Small and hilly region on Italy's Adriatic coast
About Le Marche
The region of Le Marche, which is often translated into English as 'the Marches,' is among the Italian regions least visited by foreign tourists, although there are times when it is hailed as the new Tuscany or the new Umbria (often by those with villas to let in the area). It is a green and hilly corner of Italy, with medieval hilltowns and villages to be discovered, and the hills rising to harsher mountains inland. The coastline is more developed for tourism; a southern continuation of the Adriatic Riviera. Rimini and the beach towns of Emilia-Romagna are just to the north; Le Marche has its own string of small seaside resorts, including pleasant and historic Pesaro.
The region's capital and largest town is Ancona, also an important port. Administratively Le Marche is divided into five provinces: Ancona, Pesaro e Urbino, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo and Macerata. There are no big cities in the region, and none of Italy's major tourist honeypot destinations.
Le Marche travel
Le Marche has an airport at Ancona, called Ancona Falconara Airport, or Aeroporto Raffaello Sanzio after the painter Raphael, who was born in Urbino. From the airport there are public transport links into Ancona, where you can connect to train or bus services heading to other destinations. A railway line runs along the coast, making it easy to visit the region's seaside resorts. Inland, because the region is so hilly, towns are generally connected by bus services.
What to see and do in Le Marche
The most enticing tourist destination in the Marches is Urbino, the medieval and Renaissance hilltown which was home to the court of Duke Federico da Montefeltro. The nearby seaside resort of Pesaro makes a good place to stay to enjoy the sandy beaches as well as exploring the area. Airports and ferries make Ancona a busy and welll-connected destination, and the Conero peninsula to the south is another popular holiday area. At opposite ends of the region are two more appealing, if little-known, towns, little San Leo to the north and Ascoli Piceno to the south.
Although it is not part of Le Marche, or even Italy, the independent Republic of San Marino is a good day trip destination if you are visiting the northern part of Le Marche, since they share a border.
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