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Le Marche, "the best kept secret of Italy"
Le Marche is a quite unknown and still virgin region with medieval villages and cities between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea in Central Italy.
The landscape has a varied flora and fauna. The hills here are rolling with vine and olive yards, maize and corn fields and are perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding tours. Also by car you can make beautiful tours. For motorbikers is Le Marche a paradise! Twisting roads lead you to beautifull restored fortified villages on the top of the hills, inviting to be discovered.
In each village there is something to go through or to visit: narrow alleys where it seems to get back in time, castles, palazzi, monasteries, abbeys, churches and museums, or just enjoying a nice wine or an "espresso" in the local bar.
The coast has large sandy beaches and idyllic bays (Ancona). The authentic fishermen and seaside villages are quite, but can be very lively in August when the Italians enjoy their vacations.
Many cities have kept their authentic character. Especially Urbino is a cultural place to visit. But also Ascoli Piceno, Loreto, Cagli and Fano are beautiful.
Perugia and Assisi in the region Umbria can be reached by car in only two hours following the beautiful way through the Apennines. A stop at the caves of Frasassi is unforgettable and refreshing in hot summertime.
In spring and summer you can enjoy the concerts and opera shows, which are organised not only in the cities, but also in the little villages.
August is the month of the lively village festivals.
The cuisine of Le Marche offers a range of local dishes with, of course mostly at the sea, wonderful fish. But also wild boar, pasta, olives, truffles, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Good DOC wines (Verdichio, Vernaccia, Rosso Conero) can be tasted in the many enoteca's.
The SEA of Le Marche
The coast of Le Marche is 170 km long with beautifull villages and romantic beaches.
The beaches are mostly sandy, but near Ancona, where the prominent mountain Conero makes the coast abruptly high and cliffy, and full of breathtaking bays.
The seaside villages are little jewels thanks to the beauty of the sea and the purity of the water. That's also why the many beaches of this region in 2005 have received more than 11 Blue Flags from the Ecology Movement (an international recognition started in 1987 - the blue flag - that stands for the quality of the seawater, of the beaches, of the coast, of the services, the safety measures at the visitor's desposal and the ecology information for the promotion of the respect of the sea).
The hills in Le Marche are gentle and suggestive. Unforgettable views lead the visitor through a consecutive following of castles and borgo's (little old villages).
The history and the art of this region can be found especially on the hills: the fortified towns of the duke of Montefeltro, the melancholy of the hills of Leopardi (a famous poet), the calling power of the Gola del Furlo in Fermignano, the breathtaking caves of Frasassi,
the magic of the district of Pesaro, with the legends of Gradara and the enchantment of Urbino, the Barco of Urbania, Ascoli with his inimitable Piazza del Popolo, Macerata and his historic centre.
The MOUNTAINS of Le Marche
On the Sibillini mountains, with the Maga Alcina, on the peaks Nerone and Carpegna, in the woods at Cingoli (the "balcony of Le Marche"), you turn in an unforgettable scene. Between beech trees and rivers the rough beauty of nature stimulates to enjoy skiing, walking, climbing and the agriturismo's.
The Piano Grande, a plateau at 1400m altitude, at the foot of Monte Vettore is in spring full of colourful flowers. Tourists and photographers from around the world come here to the Piano Grande. Are you in the month of June here, then a visit to the Piano Grande is a must!
The skiing centres in Le Marche are:
Sarnano, Camerino, Ussita, Acquasanta Terme, Comunità Montana di San Ginesio Monti Azzurri, Parco Naturale Gola della Rossa and Parco Naturale di Frasassi.
The Guardian wrote in march 2013 this article about Le Marche region: read the Guardian article.
Le Marche in general
"It is a matter of fact: Italy possesses the most remarkable artistic and cultural heritage in the world.
And this is not all: its heritage is not just to be found in the great artistic cities, but is diffuse, "spread" throughout national territory as in no other country.
The proof? Le Marche. A region in which a rich and varied countryside (the Adriatic sea, with its flat and sandy coast interrupted at intervals by rugged, rocky precipices; the harmonious agricultural landscape of its gentle hills; the deep and mysterious caves; the protected areas of natural beauty) is enriched with towns, villages, palaces, and religious buildings, all of them of important architectural and artistic value.
This is the case with the cathedral of Ancona, the regional capital and an important Adriatic port, or the cathedral of Pesaro.
In Urbino, the Ducal Palace is a stupefying testimony of Renaissance grandeur.
If you find yourself in Macerata during the summer it is an unpardonable not to book a seat at the majestic Sferisterio theatre for a play or musical performance.
At Ascoli Piceno the blend of medieval and renaissance architecture (S. Francesco, Loggia dei Mercanti, Piazza del Popolo, etc.) arrests the attention of even the most distracted visitor.
But in almost all the centres of Le Marche, even the smallest, there are many genuine artistic treasures. It is difficult to single out one without doing the others an injustice. We will make an exception for Recanati, the birthplace of the most beloved Italian poet of all time: the tender, bitter, unhappy and sublime Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). It is difficult not to feel moved when visiting the building where the poet spent his childhood and adolescence. An emotion which is felt, in a rather different way, by the visitor to the Santa Casa at Loreto, the destination for continuous crowds of pilgrims."
(Contents taken from ENIT 's Official Website)