The Passetto, Ancona
Built in the 1950s, the Passetto lift is one of the symbols of the city of Ancona. After an important restyling of the building in 2017, the panoramic structure is once again accessible for visitors to the most popular beach in the city, offering a breath-taking view.
Il Passetto is the name of the district overlooking the sea and is also the name of the beach below the lift. Tourists who stop are enchanted by the beach in the heart of Ancona and the imposing War Memorial that overlooks the city. Sunrise in this corner of Ancona is a timeless spectacle that never disappoints.
On the stretch of beach in front of the lift you can observe scenes of everyday local life: small groups of friends playing cards, others sitting on the rocks to admire the sea or sunbathe. You can see people cleaning moscioli (wild mussels exclusive to the area, as well as a protected Slow Food), a tradition that has been passed on which has an unmistakably Doric flavour.
It is a place able to represent Ancona so well and portray the life that pulsates throughout the city.
A distinctive feature of this stretch of coast is the presence of caves carved into the rock with coloured doors, the famous Caves of the Passetto. Used in the past for the storage of fishermen’s boats or to hide weapons during the war, today they are used by the Ancona people as a place to spend the summer days.
The most accessible part of the caves is just below “L’Ascensore” which has 120 caves, another 109 are accessible by a path from the Laghetti area, called “Grotte della Piscina”, while the 104 Caves under Mount Cardeto are more commonly called the “Grotta Azzurra”. There are also 78 other, equally fascinating, caves in the area under Pietralacroce called “Grotte della Scalaccia”.
A few meters away from the lift, you can admire the “Seggiola del Papa” (Pope’s Chair), the rock which has been given this name thanks to its characteristic shape.
The Passetto is a special place, much loved by those born there and capable of captivating all those passing through.
Knowing the deep meaning of the lift for the city, the young Denise Catalano, born in Osimo and who is very close to Ancona, had the idea of opening a restaurant inside the structure, with the support of her family.
The inside of the building had been closed to the public for more than 10 years. Previously, it had hosted a Jazz Club, a pub and before that, a night club. Denise, supported by a team of great professionals, decided to open the first restaurant inside the building. At the end of 2019, the Sardellini Marasca Architetti architectural studio started the project, with the aim of giving a soul to an already magical place of its own, and so this great dream became reality. “L’Ascensore” was inaugurated on 7 December 2019, together with the evocative permanent photographic exhibition “Il Passetto and its Caves”.
Now it has returned entirely to the city, to Ancona and to tourists who want to live a true culinary experience in one of the most suggestive places in Ancona.
May 24, 1956
From the Passetto, the majestic hanging garden suspended over the sea, you could go down to the rocks only through the two majestic staircases.
To contribute to the touristic enhancement of the area and to give the people a faster and cheaper mode of transportation, the A.T.M.A. (the transport and mobility company of Ancona and the province), together with the mayor Angelini, inaugurated the Passetto lift on May 24, 1956.
June 21, 2017
Inauguration of the lift after a restyling with a grand ceremony officiated by the mayor Valeria Mancinelli. The structure is renewed with a white facade, windows instead of the railings, and new lighting. In the evening, the first inaugural lift journey took place, accompanied by the Accademia Musicale String Orchestra. The lighting of the ascension was carried out with a show by the Compagnia dei Folli, with a dancer who flew over the Passetto in a hot air balloon.
The new lift becomes faster despite its reduced energy consumption.
07 December 2019
The inside of the building has been closed to the public for more than 10 years. Previously, it had hosted a Jazz Club, a pub and before that, a night club.
On 7 December 2019, together with the evocative photographic exhibition “The Passetto and its Caves”, the restaurant “L’Ascensore” is inaugurated. The new venue gives new life to the lift, offering a privileged view of Ancona’s most symbolic beach.
Discover the unique panorama of “L’ascensore”!
Scopri il panorama unico del Ristorante “L’Ascensore”!