Acona, Italy & the Jadrolinija Ferry

Ancona is a beautiful city on the east coast of Italy. It's all hills with stairs and steep alleys connecting parallel streets. The airport is tiny and reminded me of flying into Key West, except flying over the Alps in a small plane was much smoother than flying from Atlanta to Key West in a small plane.
We stayed in The Royal Palace Hotel that was walking distance to the pier where we would board the ferry to Split. We had shipped most of our luggage, so we only had backpacks and one small suitcase.
The hotel was the most romantic of any we stayed in. Our room was the theater room and it overlooked the water. It had a giant tub that we could sit in beside each other and the shower could fit a small sports team. The room had free drinks, fresh fruits, and they left us a sweet handwritten note. We took full advantage of the time to ourselves in a romantic room in a romantic country.
We did our favorite thing to do in a new city - we walked all day. We found a pizza place called La Dama Café Bistrot, and ordered the best takeaway pizza I've ever had. Pizza in Italy just hits different than New York or Chicago pizza.
The following day we checked out of the hotel and had until 7:45 pm until we boarded the ferry. We found a little restaurant near La Dama, on the southwest corner of Piazza del Plebiscito. They were afraid it was too cold, but we were loving it. Just as I finished my lasagna, and scraped the last of the sauce with the bread, a downpour started. Daniel was still only half way through his carbonara. There was an umbrella we said, we'll be fine. Then the outdoor heater at the restaurant next door blew over and we started laughing hysterically and packing up our plates to take cover. The waitress came out, helped us pack and said, "You must come in now!" We did. We ended up having the dining room to ourselves, which was nice for our first indoor dining experience since early 2020. The food was absolutely magical and so was the dining room. with arches all around us, we wondered if the building predated our country. Looking back to try to find the name, we found the location on Google maps but it doesn't list a restaurant being there. Nor on the street view. No lie, it's kinda spooky now but if it materialized just for us we're not complaining.
On our last morning we walked to the ferry port and asked how to get our tickets (we had already prepaid). We had to walk about a mile to the Biglettenia Porto Traghetti Ancona to pick up our tickets. It was a lovely walk, with some amazing sites along the way.
After a full day exploring we headed to board the Jadrolinija ferry. They checked our passports and a nice ferry worker helped us find our room, which we were very grateful for. Ferries from our part of the world are not anything like these.
We had a private bathroom and two twin beds in our ferry cabin. And just like on the Queen Mary, we were in a stormy sea. I wouldn't call it a restful night sleep, but we made it to Split around 6am the following morning. The ferry was fascinating, with restaurants, bars, and lots of people. Ferries in the US south are just flat things you drive across with a little cab the operator sits in.

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