3 top experiences in the Italian Le Marche

12 Apr 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

3 top experiences in the Italian Le Marche

© Lonely Planet 3 top experiences in the Italian Le Marche

Le Marche is one of Italy's best kept secrets. Sandwiched between the Adriatic Sea and the better-known regions of Tuscany and Umbria, this quiet and sparsely populated region has long remained under the travel radar. Yet it is the perfect place to experience Italy, away from the hustle and bustle, with charming hill towns and landscapes ranging from snowy Apennine peaks to dreamy beaches and extraordinary caves.

We give you three reasons why Le Marche should be your next destination in Italy.

Renaissance art in Urbino

There is no place where you can enjoy Renaissance art more than in Urbino. This city was an important cultural center in the 15th century and it was here that the artist Rafaël was born in 1483. To this day, the historic center of activity is teeming with the students of the local university roaming between their lectures. Urbino's superlative art collection adorns the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Palazzo Ducale, which in itself is also a formidable example of Renaissance architecture. See Piero della Francesca's Flagellazione di Cristo (Flagellation of Christ) and La Muta (Portrait of a Young Woman), an enigmatic work by Rafael, who grew up near Casa Natale di Raffaello.

Street food in Ascoli Piceno < p class = "tinymce_p"> Street food in Ascoli Piceno means olive all'ascolana (fried olives stuffed with minced meat). These crispy bite-sized snacks are a long-standing local specialty and there is no takeaway or bar where they are not served. Aside from food, Ascoli is an animated provincial town with an elegant historic center characterized by majestic churches and photogenic squares such as Piazza del Popolo and the nearby Piazza Arringa. To experience Ascoli at its most festive, come in April for the fried food party Fritto Misto all'Italiana.

© Offered by Pijper Publishing BV 3 top experiences in the Italian Le Marche Going underground at Grotte di Frasassi

In addition to the rugged peaks and quiet green valleys, Le Marche also has exciting underground treasures. The Grotte di Frasassi is one of Europe's largest cave systems, an underground wonderland that has been carved out of the karst bottom of the Sentino River. Guided tours certainly go along the Ancona Abyss, a gigantic room 200 meters high, and the Gran Canyon, a ghost room full of monumental stalactites and stalagmites. The caves are located in a remote hilly landscape near the village of Genga in the regional center. To get there from Ancona, follow the SS76 and take the Genga-Sassoferrato exit.

© Offered by Pijper Publishing BV 3 top experiences in the Italian Le Marche Transport to and around Le Marche

The most important traffic junction of Le Marche is the Adriatic port city of Ancona. International flights serve the airport of Marche just northwest of the city, while ferries sail to and from destinations in Greece, Croatia and Albania.

Once in the region, trains run along the coast and buses go to most towns and villages inland. Realistically, however, you want your own transport to explore the green hinterland of the region. Car rental is available at Marche Airport and Ancona train station.

Le Marche is number 2 of the Best in Travel top 10 regions, view the full list here.

Opening image: Stefano_Valeri / Shutterstock