the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche
"the marches" is perhaps one of Italy’s
most beautiful and diverse regions. Travelers know
Le Marche for its rich medieval and renaissance history,
while Italians know it for the luxurious beach resorts
and scenic coastline.
Founded by Magna Graecia exiles in
the 4th century BC, many of the towns in Le Marche
have a strong Greek influence, most notably Ancona.
However, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages, that the
region derived its name "Le Marche" or "border",
by marking the eastern edge of the Holy Roman Empire.
The region reached it historical highpoint in the
15th century when the small hilltop town of Urbino
exploded onto the Renaissance scene under the reign
of Federico Montefeltro. Since then Urbino
has been one of the cornerstone examples of art and
culture throughout Europe and Le Marche’s most famous
city, followed up by the little known town of Ascoli
Piceno. It may not be one of Italy’s more famous
cities, but it surely has history and the sites to
be compared with the likes of any other city.
Along with the vast history, Le Marche
is famous for one of the most dramatic coastlines
in the entire country, from steep cliffs that stand
almost perpendicular to the sea, to wide spacious
beaches. Many travelers don’t realize it but these
beaches are second to none. During the vacation months
many Italians flock to resort towns like Pesaro,
which has a rich history in its own right. Italians
have tried to keep the beaches of Le Marche to themselves,
but in the past few years the growing rate of hotels
and shopping areas have attracted more and more outsiders.