The Conero Reserve contains landscape that changes character with the seasons. The reserve contains over 6000 hectares and was founded in 1987 to preserve the area’s unique landscape, which stretches from the sea inland to the Conero Mountain.
From the slopes of Mount Conero, there is a breathtaking view of the coastline. If you take a walk along the old mountain paths, you will in places be surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation – the so-called macchia. The landscape is characterized by high cliffs in which there are hollows dating right back to Roman times. There are also medieval Franciscan- and Benedictine monasteries as well as impressive fortresses including the Napoleonic Fortress and the Clementina Tower in Portonovo.
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The oldest trace of human habitation in the area dates back to the year 100,000 BC. Interesting finds dating from this era and to the times of the Piceni civilization (second and third centuries BC) are on display at the archaeological museum in Ancona. The beautiful Roman churches of Santa Maria in Portonovo and the Monastery of Saint Peter are all that remain of the flourishing religious society which emerged in the area around the year 1000 AD.
There is a scenic road from Ancona to Numana, which runs through the many pine and oak forests of the area. Portonovo bay is probably the most popular of the area’s attractions. It is without a doubt one of the most picturesque places on the entire Adriatic coast, with the Due Sorelle (two sisters) cliffs being the highlight. There are more than 200 different species of birds living on and around these cliffs.