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Basilicata
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Emilia Romagna
    Parma
Lakes & Como
Liguria
Marche
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Puglia
Sardinia
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Tuscany
    Montalcino
    South Tuscany
    Lunigiana
Umbria
Veneto

Why Le Marche?Southern Tuscany
Located in central Italy between the Apennines and the Adriatic, the region enjoys a very varied landscape going from mountains through hills to beautiful beaches. In the hinterland there are fine, ancient medieval boroughs, whereas the centers along the coast are mostly modern, and suited to summer tourism, thanks to the low waters and fine sandy beaches, apart from one high, rocky cliff at Monte Conero, with, just below, the city of Ancona, the only natural port of the region.

The "marchigiani" like to live in the small centers, and they are hard-working, orderly people who established a network of small industries of high quality merchandise in the textile and leather sectors, or in very special niches like high quality paper at Fabriano and musical instruments at Castelfidardo. Agriculture relies mostly on vegetables, olive trees and vineyards, and fishing is also an important resource, since the region is the fourth in Italy for fishing. Tourism, especially to the seaside resorts, has been growing in recent times.

Mountain Biking in Le MarcheSibillini National Park Le Marche

A mountain chain rising in the heart of Italy and reaching Mt. Vettore (2,476m). The park was established with the aim to safeguarding the natural environment, and wildlife including wolves, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and a number of local plants. In winter there are skiers but the rest of the year the mountains are scattered with a few walkers and mountain bikers.

 Food and Drinks of Le Marche

The cuisine of Le Marche is as diverse as the whole of Italy with each area focusing on it's own produce. In rural areas many dishes include nuts, game and even truffles if you are lucky. The wild foods of the mountain slopes provide food too, for the game and pork is widely available and delicious. Fish stews around the coast can be delicious using fresh fish and clams.

History of Le MarcheHistory of Le Marche

Before the Roman conquest (3rd century BC) the region was inhabited by the Piceni along the coast and the Gauls in the mountains, then under the Romans it was important for trade, which developed along the Via Flaminia and Via Salaria. At the time of the barbarians' invasions, it was split in two, with the Southern part under the Lombards and the Northern under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. The name of the region comes from the establishment by the Franks of "Marche", that is Marquisdoms, such as Camerino, Fermo and Ancona.

Little by little the towns and cities got more and more independent from the feudal lords, and in the 14th century the region was divided into a number of small states with the Malatesta in Fano, and the Montefeltro and later the Della Rovere in Urbino. Then the State of the Church gradually widened its influence in the region, until in the 17th century all the territory was under the rule of the Popes. In the Napoleonic period Marche was a republic, then after the Congress of Vienna returned under the State of the Church, to be finally annexed to Italy in 1860, during the Second War of Independence.


Le Marche Coastline Le Marche Coastline

The Marche region has 180 kilometres of Adriatic coastline and a host of inviting seaside resorts if you want to spend a week or two al mare.

There are basically two types of beach resort in the Marche. First there are the bigger centres with a lively atmosphere, busy nightlife, plenty of visitors from abroad and nose-to-tail hotels along the prom. Good examples include (from north to south) Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Senigallia, and San Benedetto del Tronto.

Then there are the many more smaller resorts with less spectacular beaches and more rented villa/apartment accommodation rather than hotels. These places are often filled for the short summer season by Italian families, often inland marchigiani, who return each year. The adults will always sigh that they're doing it for the bambini but secretly love it. And there's always the mobile telefonino so they can pretend to be in the office.

A couple of places that don't fit into either category are the resorts nestling under the rocky peninsular of Monte Conero. Here you'll find rocky coves and white limestone cliffs totally unlike any other stretch of the Adriatic from Trieste in the north to Italy's "spur" at Gargano in the south.

All the resorts in the region have a very short season; basically they're only crowded from mid-July to the third week of August. Come in mid-June or right at the end of August/early September and you'll have plenty of room with reasonably reliable weather. Most places are pretty well closed up from mid-September through to mid-May.

Although all resorts have a stretch or two of free public beach (spiaggia libera), it's often at the least attractive end of the strand and is rarely as clean as the bits where you pay. Anyway, if you want the real Italian beach experience choose from one of the many pay sections with their ranks of umbrellas and sun beds. They're usually not that expensive, have all the facilities you could want and are the best place to see Italians up close. If you're staying at a hotel, free access to one of the beach concessions is usually included in the price.

Le Marche can boast one of the highest number of Blue Flag beaches of any region in Italy. The prestigious Blue Flag is awarded  by the Foundation for Environmental Education to environmentally well-kept beaches across Europe. The important "eco-label" is given to sites that meet strict criteria including water quality, environmental management, safety and other services.

The region's eleven towns with Blue Flag beaches in 2006 are, from north to south, Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Sirolo, Numana, Porto Recanati, Civitanova Marche, Porto San Giorgio, Grottammare, and San Benedetto del Tronto.

Cultural events:

  • Pesaro - The Rossini Opera Festival in late summer. For further details visit the Rossini Opera Festival web site.
     
  • Macerata - The open-air opera season in the magnificent Sferisterio arena - summer; further details at the Sferisterio Arena web site.
  • Ancona - The newly-restored Teatro delle Muse has a strong opera, classical music and jazz season. Full details on www.teatrodellemuse.org
     
  • Fano - Fano Jazz by the Sea - July. tel +39 0721 8292883
     
  • Polverigi - Festival Internazionale Inteatro - contemporary theatre festival - Villa Comunale Nappi - July. tel +39 071 909007
     
  • Ancona - Klezmer Music Festival at the Mole Vanvitelliana - July. tel. +39 071 203045.
     
  • Urbino - Early Music Festival - July. tel +39 0722 309601
     
  • Jesi 2003 - Jesi Opera season - Teatro G.B.Pergolesi - end-September to November. tel +39 0731 538351
     
  • San Severino Marche - Blues Festival - July - tel. +39 0733 41252
     
  • Osimo - International Dance Festival - July - Piazza Duomo - tel. +39 071 7249271
     
  • Senigallia - International Piano Competition -Teatro La Fenice - August-September. tel. +39 071 6629350
     
  • Falerone & Urbisaglia - Teatro Classico - Classical theatre productions staged in two of the Marche's finest Roman amphitheatres - July & August - tel. +39 0734 710115 (Falerone) or +39 0733 506385 (Urbisaglia)
     
  • Amandola - International Theatre Festival - end August to early September. tel. +39 0736 840704
     
  • Castelfidardo - International Accordion Festival early October. One of the world's leading events dedicated to the instrument. Tel +39 071 7829349.
     
  • Ancona - Ancona Jazz Festival - Teatro Sperimentale - early November. tel. +39 071 217 4239
     

Eating events or Sagre:

Pretty well every town and village throughout the Marche has some food or wine event during the summer months. Here are just a few of them :

June

  • Pianello (near Cagli) - Sagra della Lumaca (snails) - mid-June
  • Apiro (near Cingoli) - Sagra del formaggio pecorino (pecorino cheese)

July

  • Sefro (near Camerino) - Festa della Pizza - early July
  • Matelica - Sagra della Rana (frogs)
  • Ostra Vetere (near Corinaldo) - Festa della trota (trout) - earlyJuly
  • Montemarciano (near Senigallia) - Sagra del pesce (fish)
  • Corinaldo - polenta festival on third Sunday in July to commemorate the time when the town's people successfully resisted a siege thanks to copious supplies of the stuff.
  • Sefro (near Camerino) - Festa del Tortellino alla boscaiola (pasta) - late July
  • Castelplanio (near Jesi) - Sagra della crescia sul panaro (stuffed flat bread) - last Sunday of July
  • Ostra Vetere (near Corinaldo) - Sapori ed Aromi di Casa Nostra - late July - local food, music and a procession of old farm machines

August

  • Monte Vidon Combatte (near Fermo) - Sagra delle quaglie (quails) - 1st Sunday
  • Sassoferrato  - Sagra del Cinghiale (wild boar)
  • Cingoli - Sagra di prosciutto e melone
  • San Severino Marche - Sagra della ceca (chick peas)
  • Staffolo (near Cingoli) - Festa del Verdicchio (verdicchio wine festival)
  • Fermo - Sagra delle vongole (shell fish)
  • Serra San Quirico (near Fabriano) - Sagra del coniglio in porchetta (roast rabbit with fennel)
  • Monteprandone (near San Benedetto del Tronto)- Sagra delle olive fritte (fried stuffed olives)
  • Pedaso - Sagra Nazionale delle cozze (mussels)
  • Massignano (near Ascoli Piceno) - Sagra delle frittelle (omelettes)
  • Vererotta (near Ascoli Piceno) - Sagra della vitella allo spiedo (spit-roast veal)
  • Loro Piceno - Sagra del Vin Cotto (a sweet "cooked" wine)

September

  • Apiro (near Cingoli) - Sagra della polenta
  • Montecassiano - Sagra del pesce (fish)
  • Cupramontana  - grape festival in the heart of Verdicchio wine country in September.
  • Piandimileto (near Urbino) - Mushroom fair
  • Lapedona (near Fermo) - Sagra del Vino Cotto (the Marche version of Vin Santo)
  • Fermo - Sagra della Polenta
  • Arcevia - Sagra dell'uva (grape festival)

October

  • Acqualagna (near Cagli) - Fiera nazionale del tartufo (truffle fair) - last weekend in October and first two weekends in November in the town that calls itself the "truffle capital".
  • Acquasanta Terme (near Ascoli Piceno) - Festa d'autunno (autumn produce)
  • Montemonaco (near Ascoli Piceno) - Sagra della Castagna (chestnut)
  • Castelsantengelo sul Nera (near Visso) - Sagra del Marrone Castellano (chestnut)
  • Sant'Agata Feltria - White Truffle fair
  • Sant'Angelo in Vado (near Urbino) - Mostra del tartufo bianco (white truffle)

November

  • Talamello (near San Leo) - Formaggio di Fossa cheese fair
  • Acqualagna (near Cagli) - truffle fair  - last weekend in October and first three weekends in November in the village that calls itself the "truffle capital".

Fun & Games:

  • Ascoli Piceno La Quintana - jousting in Ascoli's main square on the first Sunday of August. The most authentic "medieval" goings-on in the Marche.
  • Urbino Festa del Duca - a jamboree in honour of Duke Federico on the third Sunday in August.
  • Cagli Palio dell'Oca - medieval games to win a golden goose in mid-August.
  • Mondavio Wild Boar Hunt - a medieval chase in the square - very jolly. mid-August.
  • Fermignano Palio della Rana - yes, a race with frogs in wheelbarrows - the joint is really jumpin' on the first Sunday after Easter.

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Hull Chamber

RealPoint Property www.realpointitaly.com Beverley, East Yorkshire, UK
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buy house in italy italian villas, italy farmhouse a place in the sun italy