Ancona (ängkôˈnä) [key], city (1991 pop. 101,285), capital of Ancona prov., chief city of Marche region, central Italy, on a promontory in the Adriatic Sea. It is a leading Adriatic naval and commercial port, handling freight and passenger traffic to Greece and Croatia for much of central Italy, and an industrial and commercial center. Manufactures include ships, machinery, chemicals, clothing, and refined sugar. There is also a fishing industry. Late in the 4th cent. B.C., Greeks from Syracuse took refuge in Ancona. The city prospered under the Romans, and its harbor was enlarged (2d cent. A.D.) by Emperor Trajan. In the 9th cent. it became a semi-independent maritime republic under the nominal rule of the popes, to whose direct control it passed in 1532. The city was badly damaged in World War II. Noteworthy buildings include the Romanesque Cathedral of San Ciriaco (11th–13th cent.) and the Venetian-Gothic Merchants' Loggia (15th cent.).
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