The seafront city is connected historically to Recanati, providing a port access to the old inland town. While it was settled by the Romans, the area was developed in the 1200s by Frederick II, who donated the territory to the town council of Recanati and instructed them to built a port. He constructed a castle, the Castello Svevo, which was used a customs house and port of sorts, but despite numerous fits and starts, a real port was never built here.

Today's Porto Recanati is a lovely seaside resort, just below the rocky promontory of Monte Conero. It is popular with families because of its miles of sandy beaches, calm sea protected by numerous breakwaters, and pedestrian waterfront promenade. There are lots of sports, events and entertainment options throughout the summer.

For museum lovers, the Museo del Mare dedicated to the Adriatic Sea is interesting, as is the Picture Gallery, located in the castle. There are several pretty churches worth visiting, and the beautiful natural landscapes of the Conero are nearby. Inland are lots of stone hill towns to explore, along with wineries and nature parks. While in the area, a sampling of the seafood stew, brodetto, is a must.

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