Fascinating Facts About Le Marche

Le Marche may not be the first place you think of when it comes to holidays in Italy, but the beautiful region rivals the more popular destinations in almost every aspect. White pebble bays sheltered by dominating cliffs, charming hillside towns and high-rise mountain ranges are just some of the features that make Le Marche Italy’s best kept secret. But how much do you know about this fantastic destination? Here at Essential Italy, we have an extensive range of holiday villas in Le Marche with a pool, so we thought we’d look at some fascinating facts about the region to prepare you ahead of your holiday of a lifetime.

The cathedral in Ancona

Geography:

  • Le Marche is a region in central Italy that covers an area of 9,694 square kilometres and borders the Adriatic Coast. It is north of Abruzzo, east of Umbria and south of Emilia Romagna, while Tuscany sits to the north west.
  • The region is split into five provinces: Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, Ancona and Pesaro & Urbino.
  • The capital city of the region is Ancona.
  • Two thirds of the region is covered by rolling hills, while 173km of coastline runs along the eastern border. This coast provides a plethora of white pebble beaches sheltered by cliffs for spectacular scenery, making the coastal towns and villages a popular option for holidaymakers.

Beaches, Mountains and Caves:

  • Le Marche is home to 28 blue flag beaches, which means beach-goers are assured that the sea is clean and safe for swimming. Some of the best beaches are at Gabicce, Fano, Pesaro, Porto Recanati and Porto Potenza Picena. The coastal conditions are also perfect for yachting, and there are several operating marinas dotted up and down the coast.
  • The mountains in Le Marche are mainly made up of limestone and are renowned for bare peaks, numerous caves, rushing torrents and dramatic river gorges, the most famous of these being Furlo, the Rossa and the Frasassi. The highest peak in Le Marche is Monte Vettore at 2,476m.
  • The Sibillibi Mountains make an excellent environment for rock climbing, walking, bird-watching, skiing, horse-riding, cycling and hiking. Another popular activity for tourists is hang-gliding, and the views as you float high in the sky are quite spectacular.
  • 40km west of Ancona is Grotte di Frassasi, one of the most extensive cave systems in Europe, featuring underground lakes, stalagmites, stalactites and crystal formations. The caves are 18km in length, but a 1.5km trail has been carved out for you to explore the highlights of the chambers.
  • Within the Grotte di Frassasi, the Ancona Abyss is almost 200 metres high, 180 metres wide and 120 metres long, and could easily fit Milan’s cathedral inside.

Food and Drink:

  • Le Marche is home to a higher number of native grapes than any other region. Producers have kept it local, and haven’t planted any other international variety of grape, despite this earning them less money. There are four wines that have earnt DOCG status, which means Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, and refers to the guarantee of the wines’ origin. They are: Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Reserva, Conero Reserva, Verdicchio Matelica Reserva and Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.
  • Ascolane olives are a delicacy in Le Marche, and are native to Ascoli Piceno, an area to the south of the region. It is essentially a green olive that has been pitted, filled with ground meat and then battered and fried to make for a truly addictive snack for olive-lovers.
  • Vincisgrassi is another local delicacy offering a unique twist on lasagne. The flavour is rich and the delicious dish consists of meat sauce, chicken livers and black truffles.

Culture and Lifestyle

  • Italians are renowned for their shoe-making capabilities, but Le Marche is the birthplace of this age-old craft. The southern area of the region is responsible for up to 30% of the total shoe production across Italy and is the perfect place to pick up some local, authentic handmade leather shoes.
  • Ancona is home to the beautiful Arch of Trajan, which was built in 115AD. Not far from this is the Duomo, which was built between the 12th and 13 centuries and is dedicated to San Ciriaco.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about a region you may not have known very much about and have opened your eyes to the possibility of a holiday to this fantastic destination. If you would like to know more about the region, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team who would be more than happy to help, or browse our selection of accommodation online today to find the perfect home away from home for your holiday.