Marche, Italy: travel guide and places to visit

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The Le Marche region is on the Adriatic coast of central-eastern Italy, backed by the Apennine mountains, and has fine beaches, ancient hillside villages and beautiful scenery.

Marches - a guide and places to visit

For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Marche places to visit.

The region is often referred to as the Marches of Italy by English speaking nations.

The small independent republic of San Marino is to the north of the region - crowded but very popular for the citadel atop the hill and for the novelty value.

Urbino, Marches region of ItalySlightly to the south, the important renaissance town of Urbino is the main city in the region and the greatest highlight in the north (the Ducal Palace in particular will detain and impress you), while nearby Urbania a little way to the south-west of Urbino also has an attractive historical town centre.

A little further south and you can visit the historical town at Cagli.

On the coast of Le Marche the towns of Pesaro and the port town of Ancona are the busiest centres of activity although there are also several good resorts to be found and many, many beaches - the coastal resorts attract a great many visitors to this part of Italy.

Particularly noteworthy near here is the town of Fano (on the coast south of Pesaro) which features several very impressive examples of Renaissance architecture.

fermo in the Marche region of ItalyIn the southern half of Marche and a little way inland you can visit Recanati, best known for the famous Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, while further south along the coast in the Marche region and also a little way inland is the hill town of Fermo,

Apart from the beaches the scenic highlight of the coast is the landscape and small towns of the Conero peninsula and Monte Conero.

The town of Loreto, inland a little to the south of the Conero peninsula, also merits exploration, as does the university town of Macerata, further south-west (beyond Recanati).

Heading inland into Le Marche, the highlights are the many pretty villages that you encounter - many with no particular monument or historically interesting building but each having its own appeal and characteristics.

The town of Fabriano is also to the west of Marche, and as a cave lover I can't fail to mention the cave system at Frasassi - one of the finest cave systems in Europe, and also one of the largest - remarkably this Marche cave system was only discovered in the 1970's.

Urbania in the Marche region of ItalyStart your exploration of the towns of central-southern Marche perhaps from Jesi, and while in this region be sure to visit the classified beautiful village of Cingoli.

Other highlights include San Severino and the town and basilica at Tolentino. The town of Camerino and the fortresses in the surrounding region are also recommended.

Continuing west the scenery of Mount Sibillini awaits, with the impressive snow-capped mountains also being popular for hiking and skiing holidays (also covered under Umbria in this guide).

Towards the south of Marche, Ascoli Piceno is the largest town in the south of the region.

Marches highlights - a photo gallery

  • autumn
  • colmurano
  • corinaldo
  • fields
  • gradara
  • moresco
  • san-ginesio
  • sarnano
  • urbino

Most Beautiful Villages - Marche

The following Italian towns and villages in Marche are listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy': Cingoli / Corinaldo* / Esanatoglia / Gradara* / Grottammare* / Matelica / Montecassiano* / Montefabbri* / Montefiore dell'Aso / Montelupone* / Moresco* / Offida* / San Ginesio / Sarnano / Treia* / Visso*

Orange Flag Tourism towns in the Marches

The following Italian towns and villages in Marche are listed among the 'Orange flag towns in Italy' (a national tourist award): Acquaviva Piceno / Corinaldo / Genga / Gradara / Mercatello on Metauro / Mondavio / Montecassiano / Montelupone / Monterubbiano / Ostra / Pievebovigliana / Ripatransone / San Gines / Sarnano / Urbisaglia

See also:

Map of Marche and places to visit

Places to visit near Marche

Ancona

Ancona

If you have an hour to spare before your flight from Falconara airport you might enjoy a visit to Ancona...

Ancona

Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno

Both the walled town of Ascoli Piceno and the surrounding countryside have a lot to recommend them

Ascoli Piceno

Cagli

Cagli

The cathedral and churches are among the highlights of a visit to historic Cagli

Cagli

Camerino

Camerino

In interesting Camerino the impressive palazzos and the art museum are the main sights of interest

Camerino

Cingoli

Cingoli

Visited as a trip from one of the resorts nearby on the Adriatic, the small town of Cingoli has a great deal to admire

Cingoli

Conero peninsula

Conero peninsula

The Conero peninsula includes popular seaside resorts, traditional villages and historic monuments

Conero peninsula

Fabriano

Fabriano

Fabriano has several interesting historic monuments, the highlight being the Palazzo del Podestà

Fabriano

Fano

Fano

Best known as a seaside resort, Fano also has several impressive palazzos and churches

Fano

Fermo

Fermo

As well as the historic centre you will also enjoy the views from Fermo across the surrounding countryside

Fermo

Frasassi caves

Frasassi caves

The caves at Frasassi are one of the most extensive cave systems in Europe open to the public

Frasassi caves

Jesi

Jesi

The medieval centre, old town and cathedral make Jesi an interesting destination to explore

Jesi

Loreto

Loreto

Loreto is an important pilgrimage town because of the Holy House of the Virgin Mary, brought here from Nazareth in the 13th century

Loreto

Macerata

Macerata

In Macerata you will see numerous interesting medieval buildings in and around the Piazza della Liberta

Macerata

Pesaro

Pesaro

Pesaro is best known as a beach resort but also has a fascinating medieval centre and art museum

Pesaro

Recanati

Recanati

The hill town of Recanati is well known for the Leopardi Palace and the many artworks to be seen throughout the town

Recanati

San Marino

San Marino

San Marino is an independent principality set high on a hilltop with stunning views

San Marino

San Severino

San Severino

Highlights in San Severino include the remarkable ensemble of buildings around the Piazza del Popolo and the Archaeological Park of Septempeda

San Severino

Tolentino

Tolentino

Both the basilica in Tolentino itself and the nearby Abbey of Chiaravalle de Fiastra are unmissable highlights

Tolentino

Urbania

Urbania

The small town of Urbania includes the Church of the Dead with 50 mummified monks on display as a highlight!

Urbania

Urbino

Urbino

The medieval centre of Urbino is very well preserved and not to be missed when you are in the region

Urbino