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Le Marche

Photo by Martha Bakerjian

Le Marche Itineraries

Ascoli Piceno in 48 Hours

A region of rolling hills dotted with vineyards and hill towns

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Le Marche, sometimes called the Marches in English, is one of Italy’s regions that’s less visited by tourists. It’s a beautiful region in central Italy whose varied landscape goes from seaside to hills and mountains and is dotted with pretty villages and several stately towns. Cities along the coast are served by train but inland towns are more difficult to reach so we recommend booking a rental car to explore the region more easily. Le Marche is also known for its fall truffle fairs.


Le Marche Highlights:

* Urbino, in the northern part of the region, is a beautiful Renaissance city built on a hill. Its stunning Ducal Palace holds one of Europe’s top collections of Renaissance art in its National Art Museum. Urbino was the birthplace of Renaissance painter, Rafael.

* Urbania is a lively walled town near Urbino that has been a top center for ceramics production for several hundred years. Urbania’s Ducal Palace, now a museum, has a good collection of ceramics as well as ancient maps. The Church of the Dead has an unusual display of naturally preserved mummies.

* Ascoli Piceno, in the southern part of the region, is one of the top towns to visit. Ascoli Piceno’s main piazza is known as one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The town itself is also pretty and is surrounded by mountain scenery. The first Sunday in August the town holds one of the top medieval festivals, La Quintana that includes a big parade with people in historic costume.

* Jesi is the center of the Verdicchio wine region, a top white wine. The town has a historic center enclosed by 14th century walls with Renaissance and Baroque monuments.

* Macerata is a city with a medieval center. It has several museums including one of the biggest museums of nativity scenes in Italy, the Museo Tipologico del Presepio, an art museum, a natural history museum, and a carriage museum. Summer concerts and an opera festival are held in its outdoor theater.

* Frasassi Caves are Italy’s most spectacular caverns and well worth a visit.

* Fano and Pesaro are two of the top seaside towns, both with good beaches and historic sights in the town center. Also on the coast, Grottamare has a fortress overlooking the sea. Ancona is a large city on the coast but most of its old buildings were lost when it was bombed in WWII.

* Loreto is a famous pilgrimage site. One of the world’s most important shrines to the Virgin Mary is in Loreto.

* Gradara, overlooking the sea, is a small, walled town with a castle.

* Pergola has a small museum built to house the rare life-size ancient Roman gilded bronze statues found in a field nearby.

* Sibillini National Park, in the southern part of the region, is a mountainous area with hiking trails.


What it Costs

Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often change or vary by season so we refrain from quoting exact prices that could quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, we indicate general price ranges for all points of interest.

Price ranges are quoted in €.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
Free
€ => Tickets less than €15 per person
€€ => Tickets €15- €30 per person
€€€ => Tickets €30 or higher per person

Sleep — Out of town/rural

€ => Rooms less than €60 for a double
€€ => Rooms €60 – €100 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €100 or more for a double

Sleep — Large Cities
€ => Rooms less than €100 for a double
€€ => Rooms €100 – €150 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €150 or more for a double

Eat
€=> €5- €10 per person for a meal (without alcohol)
€€ => €10 – €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol)
€€€ => Above €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol)

Tours
€ => Tickets less than €25 per person
€€ => Tickets €25 – €50 per person
€€€ => Tickets more than €50 per person

Background

Cuisine

Verdicchio, a white wine, is the top Marche wine and the town of Jesi is in the center of the wine region. The food of Le Marche is usually made with fresh local ingredients. Along the coast you’ll find good seafood while inland the cuisine is based on meat and vegetables.

Recommended Reading

Blue Guide The Marche & San Marino

* Marche Travel Guide: Sights, Culture, Food, Shopping, & Fun

Websites and Maps

Le Marche Map and Guide

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