This bustling city of 94,000 people is the second largest in the Marche region and blends a charming historic center with a busy port and light industry. It is the provincial captial of the Pesaro-Urbino province, and rests along the Adriatic Coast, drawing sun-seekers to its beaches. At its doorstep is the beautiful Nature Park of San Bartolo, while the old Roman town of Fano sits to the south. Pesaro is the "last outpost" so to speak before the Marche meets Emilia Romagna.
There are many attractions packed into the city. The first thing you'll note is that hometown son Gioachino Rossini is revered. His name is emblazoned on a street, a theater and a music conservatory, not to mention his birthplace house. Not unduly hailed, the prolific composer wrote dozens of scores, including The Barber of Seville and William Tell and the operatic Cinderella. Pesaro hosts a prestigious Rossini Opera Festival annually. The Teatro Rossini is a lush space of velvet, the circular shape outlined with opera boxes and surmounted by a grand chandelier. It's a lovely experience to see a production here.
The city's Renaissance side comes through in its palaces and piazzas. The beautiful Palazzo Toschi-Mosca was built in the 1500s by a merchant family called Mosca. Their rise brought status and wealth, and a palace worthy of them. Celebrities like Casanova, Stendhal and Napoleon were guests in their palazzo, which was the city's "salon" of culture and intellects. It is now home to the civic art gallery with gorgeous paintings to enjoy along with the regal rooms. Palazzo Lazzarini was built in the 17th century and can see thanks to its art collection in the Diocesan Museum. The Palazzo Almerici, another grand residence, is now home to the prestigious Biblioteca Oliveriana, a library with rare volumes, as well as the archeology museum.
Don't miss the city's cathedral in Via Rossini, the main street through the center. It is dedicated to San Terenzio, the city's first bishop who was martyred in the third century and is Pesaro's patron saint. The floors are completely covered in amazing mosaics. The Palazzo Ducale, on Piazza del Popolo, is one of the city's landmarks, built by the Malatesta clan then passed to the Sforza and Della Rovere, a veritable power bastion for centuries. The Rocca Costanza is the literal "rock" or fortress that protected the city in the Middle Ages.
Pesaro has a nice historic center with medieval lanes, pretty piazzas, palaces, churches and architectural details to enjoy. A short walk brings you to the seafront, lined with cedar trees and sandy beaches. There is no lack of space for sunning and swimming. Baia Flaminia is a nice beach, leading off from north end of the port and going to where the park of San Bartolo begins. Don't miss Tramonto sul Molo, the only place on the Adriatic where you can see the sunset! The city organizes a summer sunset party to celebrate it every Thursday evening from June through August. (At the port.) Another nice activity is wine tasting at the civic enoteca (wine shop) housed in the courtyard of Palazzo Gradari, a lovely place to sample the area's vintages.
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Explore nearby towns
The curving road follows the hillside and the coastline along the Adriatic Sea and leads you to the gorgeous Regional Nature Park of San Bartolo, where Fiorenzuola di Focara sits, surrounded by glorious nature.
Experience centuries of history in a stunning setting at the walled hamlet of Gradara.
The city of Fano sits along the Adriatic Coast of Le Marche, but it's more than a mere beach town.