Ascoli Piceno (äˈskōlē pēchĕˈnō) [key], city (1991 pop. 53,591), capital of Ascoli Piceno prov., Marche region, central Italy, at the confluence of the Castellano and Tronto rivers. It is the market for a rich agricultural area and textiles and shoes are among its manufactures. A Roman settlement with extensive Roman remains, the city became a free republic in the 12th cent. and passed to papal control in the 15th cent.