MARCHE REGION, ITALY

The 'Le Marche' is a region of Central Italy on the Adriatic side of the Umbria-Marches Apennines. The Marches are generally renowned for their famous seaside resorts. From north to south, the most important are: Gabicce Mare, Fano, Marotta, Senigallia (the famous `Velvet Beach'), Sirolo (situated in the rocky Riviera del Conero), Numana, Porto Recanati, Civitanova Marche, Porto S. Elpidio, Porto S. Giorgio, Cupra Marittima, Grottammare and S. Benedetto del Tronto.

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WHAT TO SEE IN THE MARCHE REGION

The Marches is mostly comprised of hills and mountains; the region embraces the Adriatic side of the Umbria-Marche Apennines, yet in contrast features low-lying, sandy beaches.

No less lovely are Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Civitanova Marche and San Benedetto del Tronto. If you’re looking to unwind and recharge, visit one of the many fashionable resorts frequented by high society as far back as the Nineteenth Century. For those who love extreme nature, on the other hand, the Conero Riviera offers amazing views and patches of still unspoilt land, often only accessible via the sea or footpaths carved into the green Mediterranean scrub.

The Marches protects its natural environment through its National and Regional nature reserves, the oases of the WWF reserves, and the Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga National Parks are peerless in their scenery and trekking offerings. Don’t miss the Frasassi Caves, a must-see for tourists from all over Europe. Of great interest to speleologists due to their karst (or dissolved limestone layers), this underground landscape is truly awe-inspiring - especially considering that parts of it have been lived in practically since time began.

Orchards and vineyards, as far as the eye can see, cover the hills of Piceno and extend through the Esino Valley; they surround farmhouses that offer the hospitality and genuine tastes of times past. Manor houses or old sharecroppers’ farms, now used as agritourism, tell of a way of life no longer seen. Picturesque ancient villages are often found on hilltops, frequently dominated by an old castle or tower or surrounded by thick walls. From north to south, the first is S. Leo in Montefeltro, with its imposing 14th century fortress and the Romanesque parish church; to the south stands Sassocorvaro with the Fortress of Ubaldini, masterpiece of 14th century military architecture; further south Urbania, with its interesting 14th-15th century centre, and Fossombrone, with Renaissance buildings. Passing through the suggestive Furlo Gorge (Galleria Romana) one reaches Cagli, a little town of great environmental interest with its 13th-14th century Town Hall; from here one can take a short trip to the lonely Camaldolese Monastery of Fonte Avellana at the foot of Mount Catria (1,701 m.).

Physcial Profile of the Marche Region

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OUTDOOR RECREATION IN THE MARCHE REGION

PROVINCES OF THE MARCHES REGION

Ancona Province (regional capital), Ascoli Piceno Province, Macerata Province, Urbino Province

TOWNS OF THE MARCHES REGION

Ancona – Capital of Le Marche, major port city, medieval center heavily damaged during WWII, important cathedral is still overlooking the city from nearby Monte Conero
Urbino – Walled city in northern Le Marche, historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to a university founded in the 16th century
Pesaro – Beach city in northern Le Marche, pretty historic center
Fano – Beach city in northern Le Marche, major fishing city, once a Roman settlement
Ascoli Piceno – City in southern Le Marche, in a river valley between three mountains, pretty historic center, several Roman structures remain
Fermo – Hilltop town, once a Roman settlement, Roman structures remain
San Benedetto del Tronto – Beach city in southern Le Marche, major fishing city, one of the beaches here is a “Blue Flag” beach
Cingoli – Hilltop town, once a Roman settlement
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