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Marche

The Marche region is an exceptional destination with a thousand faces, ready to welcome lovers of art and nature with a tourism infrastructure that’s excellent but without the stress of having to appear trendy. Le Marche, the only region in Italy whose name is a plural, is like an elegant yet shy lady who knows exactly what she’s doing.

The Marche’s contribution to Italian culture is impressive in terms of the number of famous people born here, in this region squeezed between the Umbria-Marche Apennines and the Adriatic Sea: from poet Giacomo Leopardi to revolutionary educator Maria Montessori and contemporary celebrities like Valentino Rossi and composer Giovanni Allevi. This is a region to be explored by strolling through its lovely cities, tranquil university towns like Macerata and Camerino or the bustling centre of Ascoli Piceno, the home of travertine stone. The Renaissance shouts out from the exquisite old town of Urbino, a UNESCO Heritage Site, while the Marche economic model brings the excellence of Italian know-how to the world.

With unspoilt natural parks where eagles soar, blue flag beaches and sensational caves like those at Frasassi, Marche conquers the hearts of the most demanding travellers with its sincerity and beauty.

In Marche churches – even outside the major towns – you can come across extremely valuable masterpieces, such as altarpieces by Pietro Perugino, Lorenzo Lotto and Cimabue, Titian in Ancona, where progress has not destroyed the Arch of Trajan. This is the birthplace of Raphael, the gentle painter, and Giacomo Leopardi, the greatest modern poet in Italian literature. Marche’s great musician is Rossini, another illustrious native of the region, alongside the popular tradition of accordions in Castelfidardo.

In the Marche you eat well and spend relatively little. From the fruits of the fish-filled Adriatic to mountain specialities like the precious truffle, Marche dishes have all the ingredients to whet the appetites of gourmets from around the world. The region celebrates its excellent products with fascinating food and drink festivals. Marche cuisine is simple and based on humble ingredients, but with combinations that make it naturally delicious.

Shopping in the Marche is a gratifying experience which in itself is a valid motive for visiting the region. The vigorous manufacturing base leaves its mark in great fashion outlet stores like those of Giorgio Armani, Rodrigo for menswear and Nazareno Gabrielli. For footwear enthusiasts there’s plenty of choice, with the outlets of Calzature Paciotti, Fornarina and Nerogiardini.

In the Marche the array of landscapes encompasses every shade of blue and green. The untouched Cesano and Metauro valleys, the flower-filled spring meadows of the Umbria-Marche Apennines and the Sibylline Mountains.

The Conero peninsula, with its dramatic fragmented cliffs, seems almost out of place in the region’s gentle coastline. Its small sandy beach can only be reached from the sea or by several hours’ walk from Numana. Tiny medieval villages like Cagli and a rural landscape that’s always well-tended and used to human advantage complete the picture, worthy of a great painter.

The Marche’s excellent infrastructure makes it the ideal region for sports enthusiasts. Besides being the birthplace of Valentino Rossi it’s also the home of the fantastic women’s fencing team, who brought the Olympic gold home from London in 2012. The region’s wild natural spaces and sea offer a wide range of options for those who love adventure. Beach sports are also popular, and don’t forget that there’s a packed calendar of sports events, with regattas, triathlons and gymnastics championships for professionals and amateurs alike.

Pilates at sunset, relaxing beauty farms surrounded by nature, luxury spas and modern thermal baths where hydrotherapy combines with immense professionalism in hospitality. The Marche is the perfect place to disconnect and recharge. Inland Marche is rich in natural springs gushing out water with extraordinary therapeutic properties, such as those at Macerata Feltria and Acquasanta, whose name derives from its marvellous water. With modern complexes immersed in unspoilt natural surroundings, Marche is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend full of pampering, wellness and fabulous scenery.

Ancient medieval festivals like the Quintana in Ascoli Piceno,; the seaside night life that attracts young people from all over Italy to the chalets of San Benedetto del Tronto, Civitanova Marche and Porto San Giorgio will enliven your holidays in the Marche. For theatre lovers, this region offers the Sferisterio in Macerata, the open-air theatre with the best acoustics in Italy. After all, we’re in the land of Rossini, the great composer at the centre of the Rossini Opera Festival, held in Pesaro every August.

Legend tells that the angels brought the Holy House from Nazareth to Loreto; its architecture is typical of Palestine, as are the construction methods. For almost 800 years, the shrine in Loreto has drawn the faithful from all over the world. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; here, among hermitages and pilgrims trails, it’s easy to come face to face with spirituality. The region’s closeness to Umbria means that traces remain of the passing of Saint Francis of Assisi, with a journey through nature and art beloved of believers and non-believers alike. The region also has particular links to the movement dedicated to San Filippo Neri, as evidenced by numerous art treasures such as the Tiepolo altarpiece in Camerino and an original Rubens in Fermo.

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marche

Excellences of the region

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