Guide to Marches

Landscapes, towns and monuments in a region waiting to be explored

Splendid sunny beaches, natural parks and underground caves as well as charming villages and medieval castles, piazzas and Renaissance palaces, churches and museums, are just part of what this fascinating region has to offer.

The region Marches is made up of five provinces. The province named after the two towns Pesaro and Urbino is well worth a visit. The coastal resort of Pesaro with its beautiful beach and outstanding sights such as the Palazzo Ducale on the Piazza del Popolo, and the small inland town of Urbino, a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its unique architecture and eventful history. Bramante and Raffaello were born in this beautiful town, where visitors are literally surrounded by Renaissance culture. To the south of Pesaro and Urbino is the province of Ancona. This port and provincial capital is the gateway to charming little towns such as Jesi and Staffolo, followed by rolling hills where the famous Verdicchio wine is produced. The third province is Macerata, famed for its annual open-air opera festival. Along with Recanati, the birthplace of the famous poet Leopardi, the medieval town of Tolentino is equally worth discovering. The Giotto frescoes in the Basilica San Nicola are an absolutely captivating sight. Fermo is the youngest of the five provinces. Looking down from its hilltop location, it boasts impressive architecture and excellently preserved Roman baths from the pre-Christian era. True sea lovers should take a trip to the little coastal town of Civitanova Marche. The southernmost province is Ascoli-Piceno. To the east of Monte Vettore, also this province captivates almost every visitor with its charm and unique sights.

For lovers of trekking, excursions and nature, the Monti Sibillini natural park, in the province of Ascoli-Piceno is an absolute must. At 2476 metres in height, the highest of the Sibillini mountains – Monte Vettore – is particularly impressive. While the mountains are still snow-capped in spring, the huge plateau of Piano Grande to the west radiates its full beauty thanks to an absolute ocean of blossoming flowers. Those more inclined to underground adventures would be well advised to take a trip to the Frasassi Grottoes: these karst caves are among Europe’s most beautiful and impressive.

The region with its 180 km of coastline along the Adriatic, offers splendid sandy beaches, many of which have been awarded the FEE blue flag. Among the most popular beaches with facilities are Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Civitanova Marche and San Benedetto del Tronto. The Riviera del Conero, to the south of Ancona, is a paradise for underwater divers and a favourite destination for those looking for unspoilt nature with small rocky beaches and coves nestling among the cliffs.

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