During the Middle Ages it was conquered by the Lombards in 578, then by the Franks in 789, but ultimately it was the Catholic Church Bishops to gain influence and power inside the city. In 1189 a free municipality was established but internal feuds led to the rule of a number of different lords.
After two centuries of disorder, in the late 16th century the authority of the Pope was re-established. Ascoli followed then almost two centuries of cultural, economic stagnation, turning into a small agricultural centre. In 1860 it was annexed together with the rest of the Marche region and Umbria to the Kingdom of Italy.