The unspoiled region of Le Marche, located between the Adriatic Coast and the Apennine Mountain is often overlooked by tourists to Italy. It has more to offer that you could ever imagine. Here are six things you will love about Le Marche.
The hilltop villages of Le Marche, rich in history, churches, and monuments, are rarely crowded and off the beaten track. There are many, but these are just a few of the charming towns.
Cingoli is one of the most famous. It is located at the border of Ancona and Macerata provinces. Because of its stunning views, it is also called the “Balcony of Le Marche”.
It is only an hour drive away from the town, but it will not be abandoned. The striking town of Loreto is a popular pilgrimage spot second only to Lourdes, France. You can continue south to Fermo, which is a beautiful medieval town, perched on the top of Acquaviva Picena and Sabulo hills. It also houses a 13th-century fortress, one of the most impressive in the region.
It’s no surprise that Le Marche is located along the Adriatic Coast. More than 20 beaches from this region have been designated blue flag beaches by the Foundation for Environmental Education. This means that they have met all standards, including safety and cleanliness.
There are many beaches in Le Marche, some of which are close to towns, while others are completely surrounded by nature. There is something for everyone, from the family-friendly beach resort of San Benedetto del Tronto that is great for families to the tranquil paradise of Mezzavalle.
The stunning landscape changes from a mountainous area to a gentle, olive-grove-dotted terrain as you travel east towards the coast.
The National Park of the Sibillini Mountains, which extends into Umbria, offers breathtaking views and fascinating wildlife for those who enjoy the great outdoors. You can also enjoy activities like horse riding or mountain biking on the many trails that the National Park offers.
Conero Natural Park is also worth a visit with its rugged coast. Although it is a challenging hike, the views are breathtaking!
There are many castles scattered throughout the landscape. But the most impressive is Gradara castle, which stands on a 465 foot high hill. It was built between the 11th to 14th centuries and has been a site of contentions between different families. Dante, the poet, made it a symbol for lovers. He recounts the tragic love story that took place in this castle in his poem, the Divine Comedy.
Rocca Roveresca, a castle in Senigallia is another worth mentioning. The castle was not only the stronghold of the town, but also served as headquarters for an important artillery school and prison, hospital, and orphanage. It hosts cultural events and exhibitions today.
Food and Wine
Le Marche, a wine producing region that is relatively unknown outside of Italy, boasts 12 DOCG and 2 DOC wines . Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is the most well-known of these wines, a superb white wine from Ancona.
The cuisine of this region is similar to its wines, but less well-known than those of Emilia Romagna. It is not uncommon to find traditional seafood dishes in this region along the Adriatic coast. One such dish is brodetto which is a classic fish stew that can be modified in every town.
The land is home to appetizer olive ascolane, which are crispy fried stuffed tomatoes. Also, the classic vincisgrassi baked pasta dish is similar to the famous lasagna. This pasta sauce recipe dates back to 1784 and was published in Il Cuoco Maceratese by Antonio Nebbia. Over time, however, many adaptations have been made.
Other Le Marche products include the Prosciutto of Carpegna, which is D.O.P protected Ham and Ciauscolo, which is soft salami spread on bread like pate.
Le Marche is a great place to shop and bargain hunt! There are many designer outlet shops in the region, including Tod’s and Prada. As if that weren’t enough, you can find high-quality leather goods in the Macerata and Ascoli Piceno areas.