Tucked away in the centre of Italy, south of Venice, north east of Rome and facing the azure waters of the Adriatic sea, Le Marche is a region abundant in endless rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns, vineyards, fortresses, wonderful art, beautiful theatres, bustling piazzas and tranquil beaches.
Cliff lined bays scatter the Adriatic coast with a perfect blend of white pebble and golden sandy beaches, while inland there are sloped hill towns and the high rise mountain ranges of Monti Sibillini, complete with numerous hiking trails and cycle routes, ski resorts, freshwater lakes, rivers and great local cuisine.
We first discovered Le Marche in the summer of 2015 and were astounded by the beauty in the scenery, old stone houses and grand architectural cathedrals and piazzas. The region rivals Tuscany in take-your-breath-away sights, but with the added value of a stunning coastline and plenty of blue flag beaches too.
Furthermore, Le Marche is home to some of the friendliest people in the country and offers great potential for tourists who want to immerse themselves into an authentic Italian experience.
Le Marche has over 200 towns and villages, many of them medieval which offer a glimpse into an ancient era, with old city walls cascading around the towns that are perched high above sea level at the top of steep hills.
These historical communes seem to defy the laws of gravity as tall stone houses, shops and churches are stacked high into mountainsides, narrow cobbled streets enhance their old-world charm and large piazzas offer the most fantastic panoramic views.
Beach towns such as San Benedetto Del Tronto come to life during the summer, but are equally as charming during winter.
Macerata, with its famous open air amphitheatre and summer opera festival is a busy town where tourists and students visit from all over the world, while Loreto with its mighty domed cathedral is a place of pilgrimage every year for thousands of Catholics who visit the house of the Virgin Mary.
Another town we love is Urbino, Raphael’s hometown and a visual feast, its streets lined with an abundance of Renaissance art. Ascoli Piceno is home to the beautiful Piazza del Popolo, cobbled stone streets, antique markets and grand architecture – all overlooked by the snow-dusted peaks of the Sibillini mountains.
Le Marche isn’t saturated with tourists, even in summer, so we certainly saw the appeal for anyone who wants to visit an area that offers so much but without the crowds.
The region’s capital, Ancona, is serviced by daily flights from London Stanstead, while a two-hour drive to Bologna or two and a half to Rome makes it a convenient destination from regional UK airports and an accessible weekend retreat.
A railway line travels the length of the coast from Bologna all the way down to Puglia in the South, so there is also great appeal for anyone visiting as a stopover on a trip around Italy.
What more could you ask for in a place to make a home?