Coming up from Ancona port, and crossing the Portella di Santa Maria della Dogana (one of the town entrances from the sea), you will already find yourself in the city centre, set in a world magically far from sea life, and where appears towards your eyes the splendid Santa Maria della Piazza Church. It is, together with St Ciriaco Cathedral, one of the most significant religious building of Ancona, particularly considering its worth artworks and for the historical importance it had over the centuries.
The Romanesque Church has been built up within eleventh and twelveth centuries over the ruins of two small early-Christian churches. The Church has got a tripartite structure faςade, yet unfinished in its upper side; on the contrary, its lower side shows an elegant Dalmatian marble cover – made by Master Filippo (1210 – 1215) – finished by a series of small stone made arches having decorative pieces. The entrance has a solemn portal decorated round the edge by a frieze exalting its beauty and width.
Santa Maria della Piazza interior is very essential and bare, typical of the traditional Romanesque buildings, and it is characterized by three naves, divided by octagonal pillars and by a trussed roof. The presbytery is proceeded by some steps and finishes in the high apse, where is placed a wooden crucifix belonging to XVI century. On the roof there have been set some crystal slabs that make you catching sights of the ancient subterranean ruins of the early-Christian church. In the crypt are preserved some evidences of frescoes belonging to the VIII-IX centuries and floor mosaics of the IV and VI centuries.