A patchwork of sinuous greens, of cities with red tiled roofs resting on the hills and 29 Blue Flag beaches recognized for clean water and environmental quality.
These are the destinations you should not miss during a trip to the Marche region, my personal “beauty” tips.
On the Adriatic coast, it is well known among leisure seekers. Pesaro offers visitors seaside resorts, cathedrals, churches and other fabulous places that will make you feel fascinated throughout the time. It was the birthplace of the composer Gioachino Rossini in 1792 and every August hosts the Rossini Opera Festival, an unmissable event for music lovers and in particular for the passionate fans of this composer.
A well-preserved Renaissance city like no other, Urbino is not to be missed! A breath-taking destination. In Urbino you will hardly meet tourists. Rather many students from all over the world, thanks to the 16th century old University of Urbino.
Urbino is also the birth city of Raphael, one of the most important Renaissance artists and architects, whose work is known all over the world, in particular the “Stanze di Raffaello” in the Vatican Museum.
In Urbino it is possible to organize guided art tours on the path of Raphael and his artistic life and to discover the treasures of this work.
The romantic hill town of Gradara was declared as the most beautiful village to visit in Italy in 2018. Worth a visit is the Gradara Castle, a medieval fortress which dates back to the period between the 11th and 15th centuries. Dante has transformed it into a symbol of eternal love, making it the setting for his characters Paolo and Francesca. The castle is one of the most visited monuments in the region and is particularly impressive at night.
Macerata is a walled city and has an attractive medieval centre, which makes it a pleasant place to explore. The defensive walls surrounding the old town date back to the 14th century.
Another good reason to visit Macerata is the Sferisterio, one of the most beautiful – one of a kind arena theatres in Europe. Built between 1820 and 1829 it is a formidable amphitheatre which regularly hosts a famous Opera Festival.
The Frasassi Caves are one of the largest underground cave systems in Europe. Very rich in water so that many stalactites and stalagmites have formed inside, they are a truly natural wonder that surprises all visitors.
An attraction that never fails to arouse wonder is the Grotta Grande del Vento, the largest single cave in Europe. It is so vast that it could easily host the Milan Cathedral!
Near the coast, it is an important religious city and is home to one of the world’s most important shrines for the Virgin Mary, who many believe that once lived here. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world visit Loreto every year. The Santa Casa, Sanctuary of the Santa Casa, housing many important works of art, is a place of prayer, calm and meditation.
Food&Wine – local delicacies
As in the rest of Italy, even in the Marche region there are local specialties, which are worth tasting!
Try the Ascolane Olives, green olives stuffed , fried and served hot, delicious.
Brodetto or little soup is a dish where large pieces of various fish are marinated in a delicious citrus broth. But just a small quantity makes it! That’s why it’s called little broth. It originated as a way to offer fisherman a complete meal and to avoid wasting the fish that wasn’t sell at the daily fish market.
The climate and soil of the Marche are ideal for winemaking and the region produces remarkable but reasonably priced wines. The basis for many appreciated wines is a white variety called Verdicchio, which grows in two different regions: Jesi, influenced by the sea, and Matelica, in a mountain valley. Even if you prefer red wine you won’t be disappointed: try La Vernaccia di Serrapetrona. Three different styles of wine are created with the same grape: a dry red, a sparkling red and a sparkling sweet red. Now it’s up to you to make the right pairing!
Italian shoes are famous worldwide for the quality of the leathers and the leather soles and for the design. You might be surprised to learn that Marche is the cradle of this ancient craft. 30% of Italian footwear production takes place in this region and it is estimated that the export turnover is 180,000 million dollars. Include a visit to a shoe factory in your itinerary and you can buy a pair of handmade leather shoes for no more than 50 euros.