Le Marche is a relatively unknown region of Italy which in our opinion makes it so beautiful and fascinating as it has not been discovered by tourism and has preserved its natural beauty.
It is known as “Italy in one region” as you can find the coast, the rolling hills and mountains all in one region.
Easily accessible by plane, train and car, this enchanting area is nestled between the dramatic Sibillini mountains and the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. Situated in the East of Italy, Le Marche offers all the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of Tuscany, but without the crowds.
Whether you would like to be in the mountains with dramatic views of the Sibillini National park or on the coast with beautiful sea views or in a country house with breathtaking views of the rolling hills and Medieval villages we have carefully selected our villas to make sure they are in the best locations.
There is so much to do in le Marche from culture to nature and adventure, gastronomy, sport, shopping, wine tasting and so much more.
We have listed a few of our favourite things of this region below but it is impossible to list everything so do get in touch if you would like more details or information or follow our blog where we keep posting new activities and festivals.
We can arrange any tours or activities for you or if there is a group of you we can arrange a fabulous holiday for you based on your preferences, check out what activities we can organise for you.
A national park on a peak overlooking the sea consisting of a rich Flora consisting of over 1000 of protected species. It is possible to do various activities here from a hike on the hill which is 512 metres high with lots of caves and woodland to explore with breathtaking views of the sea, on foot or horse back or on a bike to exploring the wonderful beaches or taking a boat tour or the area.
Le Marche’s natural environment is truly unspoilt, with nearly 90,000 hectares of land covered by two national parks, four regional parks and six natural reserves. Guests can try out all manner of waters-ports from kayaking, windsurfing and canoeing to diving. In the winter, enjoy the skiing at the Sassotetto ski resort and for adrenaline junkies why not try paragliding or white-water rafting.
The Opera culture is huge in Italy and many towns in Le Marche hold music festivals throughout the summer. There are also many cultural, historical and religious festivals during the year, such as Saint Emidio in Ascoli Piceno.
The Sferisterio opera festival is held in Macerata every Summer. The Sferisterio is an impressive, al-fresco arena, designed to look like a Roman theatre. It was built in the 1820s, originally as a sports stadium and today it plays host to popular events and can hold an audience of over 3,000 guests. This year’s programme includes Carmen, La Traviata and La Boheme
ART AND HISTORY
There is so much art and history in Le Marche so if this is your passion you will have so much to see and do here.
Le Marche has been rewarded to have the best preserved historical villages in Italy.
There are some great art galleries such as the National art gallery in Urbino which holds world famous renaissance paintings or in San Severino in Palazzo Manuzzini.
The castle of Gradara and its fortified borgo represent one of the best-preserved Medieval structures in Italy. An imposing and magnificent feat of architecture. Gradara has had many identities over the years and between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the fort predominantly acted as a theatre for the battles between the Papal States and the Casate Marchigiane and Romagnole. Over the centuries, many noble families have fought over the lands and properties around Gradara with dynasties such as the Borgias, the Della Roveres and the Medici having all played a part in its colourful history. Gradara also owes its fame to the history books that note that the “Malatesta Fort” is the location where Paolo and Francesca met their tragic fate, as recounted so passionately in Canto V of Dante's Inferno.
Ascoli Piceno, an ancient town known for its beautiful Piazza del Popolo, Macerata, the home to one of the Italy’s oldest universities, and popular for its opera, Sarnano, a picture postcard Italian village.
Loreto is an important hilltop town to the south of Ancona, and home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Italy. The main attraction for visitors to Loreto - pilgrims or otherwise - is the imposing basilica and fortress complex which also includes the museum and the Holy House of the Virgin Mary.
Well worth a full day trip as Loreto as the city offers a myriad of museums, galleries and architectural wonders and is positively steeped in history and culture.
Le Marche are the home of the world-renowned white grape Verdicchio and also to some of Italy most popular and interesting red wines: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno. There’s also the unique taste sensation sparking red wine, Vernaccia di Serrapatrona to try! It’s fantastic to tour some of the great local wineries and sample delicious local food. Today, Le Marche has 15 DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) classified wines. Subscribe to our blogas we keep posting about new vineyards and events with wine tasting.
This is our favourite part of Le Marche! The home cooking and traditional dishes in Le Marche are to die for such as “vinciscrassi” (the local lasagna), Brodetto (traditional fish soup) “olive ascolana”, ciauscolo, truffles and so much more.
The food in this area is truly Italian, and whether you love fresh fish, home made pasta, or just a local pizza you are unlikely to be disappointed by your meal – or by the price!
In Le Marche there are many festivals on all year round and most are centred around food: truffles, mushrooms festival of Olive Ascolana in Ascoli Piceno, of the “Artichoke” in MonteLupone, pizza festival in Macerata and many many more. Again subscribe to our blog to keep updated with events.
Le Marche offers no-end of gourmet and epicurean experiences, from handfuls of local trattorias serving simple rustic dishes through to more refined Michelin starred dining where reservation is a must. Across the region you will find no less than 9 Michelin starred restaurants, these are:
Al Mandracchio, Sot'Ajarchi, Da Emilia, Clandestino Susci Bar, L'Arnia del Cuciniere, Giacchetti, La Torre, Rocco & Uliassi.
FASHION MADE IN ITALY
Le Marche is famous worldwide for its superlative manufacturing of luxury leather goods, especially, shoes, bags and hats. Family run business are also dotted around the region offering the opportunity to purchase quality leather goods or even have bespoke items tailormade.
Head to Montegranaro near Fermo which has been a shoemaking mecca since the 18th century. Here you will find boutiques and outlets for high-end brands including Dino Bigioni, and Zeis Excelsashoes. The tiny village of Torre San is home to designer Rocco Pistolesi, famous for the brand’s characteristic snake skin and crocodile leather. If you are on a mission to find some investment pieces or luxury gifts head to Monte San Pietangeli which has stores including Nero Giardini, also check out Filottrano which tailors suits for the likes of Genny, Lardini, Tamantini and Sartoria Luca Paolorossi. Finally, stop of at Civitanova for some serious heels by Cesare Paciotti, Santoni or Strategia and don’t’ forget to pass by Sant ‘Elpidio a Mare to visit the headquarters and outlet store of the world-famous brand Tod’s and outlet stores of Prada and Miu Miu.
Le Marche’s coastline covers nearly 200 km and offers one of the highest number of Blue Flag beaches on mainland Italy. We recommend Riviera del Conero and its clear blue seas where some of the beaches are only accessible by boat or the Riviera del Palme, which covers the area from Pedaso through to Cupra Marittima, Grottamare and San Benedetto del Tronto.
GOLA DEL FURLO
A nature reserve in the truest sense the flora and fauna of this enchanting area are being actively protected and preserved and it is believed that there are growing numbers wolves being sighted in the Furlo region, an original inhabitant of the Apennines.
MONTE SIBILLINI, The Sibillini Mountains are some of the most breathtaking in the Apennines and include 10 peaks scaling over 2,000m in height. The National Park offers nature trails suitable for all levels of fitness. Hike through forests and over mountains and visit the many waterfalls and caves tucked away in Le Marche. There are many different tracks both long and short, for both road and mountain biking. Why not hike over the Sibillini mountains or explore the region’s off-track wilderness on horseback.
LAKE OF FIASTRA,
A beautiful lake situated in the natural reserve of the Sibillini mountains. It is possible to swim, hire out canoes, have long walks, have lovely meals and for the more adventurous it is possible to go on a hike and reach the Lame Rosse.