Le Marche is a region located in the Central area of Italy with a population of about 1.5 million of inhabitants. Two thirds of the region is covered in gently rolling hills with a narrow 173 kilometer strip of flat coastline running along the eastern border and mountainous area which forms part of the Apennine chain.
Le Marche is known for its beaches, nature and historic towns. The beaches of the region are popular with Italians on their annual summer holidays. The coastal city of Ancona is a major port which can be especially busy in the high season.
With the mountains and valleys, Le Marche is also known as a heaven for hikers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. If you like skiing and snowboarding you can visit one of the best ski resorts in the region.
Italy has produced some of the greatest art in the world and Le Marche region has these artistic treasures in abundance. You may view many of the noble works in the churches and villas for which they first were created. The region was also the birthplace of many Renaissance artists including Raphael.
In addition to great artists, Le Marche brought many renowned architects and builders which created splendid monuments the greatest of which were the Romanesque churches built between the 11 th and 13th centuries. The most outstanding ones include Ancona’s Cathedral of San Ciriaco, the “double-decker” church of Santa Maria a Pie’ di Chienti near Macerata, and the beautiful church of Santa Maria on the beach at Portonovo on the Conero Peninsula.
The region also boasts a rich musical heritage and was the birthplace of the Baroque composers Pergolesi and Gaspare Spontini, as well as the great operatic composer Rossini. Other musical highlights in the area include the annual open air opera season in the massive arena known as the Sferisterio in Macerata, second only to Verona in its summer open-air opera calendar.
Location: Central Italy
Capital of the region: Ancona
Sights: Piazza del Popolo, Santuario Della Santa Casa, Grotte di Frasassi
Cuisine: You should try: pappardelle alla papera, lonza, ciauscolo, alla brace, porchetta
Hotels: La Meridiana Hotel, Hotel Palazzo dei Mercanti, Hotel Le Grotte
Shopping: There are lots of outdoor markets in the region. In the town of Fontanellato every month on the third Sunday a very large market is held. You can also go shopping in Ancona which is capital of the area.