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Marche are located in central Italy, it’s a region characterized by the most suggestive scenery you could ever find; in fact, it has many varieties, it’s a fascinating place that stands out among cliffs, caves and surreal beaches, but there is no shortage of hills or mountains. These lands bring with them the history and tradition of a bygone age. This region is predominantly hilly and mountainous on the side of the Adriatic coast, where the Umbria-Marche Apennines stretch with their low and sandy beaches. Here, you find Senigallia with its golden beaches and crystal waters; the beauty of this city is the fact that there is always plenty of lively activities all day long. There are also other seaside establishments in places like: Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Civitanova Marche and San Benedetto del Tronto; for those who love unspoilt and wild places, there are strips of land, sometimes reachable only by the sea or through paths among the vegetation of the Mediterranean scrub, that offer peace and calm. Here there is no shortage of anything: the region, thanks to parks like those on Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga, is an ideal place for trekking enthusiasts, as well as an area with oasis of WWF to discover. You can’t miss Frasassi caves, with their show of karstic phenomenon. For the rest, you can discover the simple taste and the genuine things in agritourisms that tell you about life of the past, noble mansions and vineyards in Esino valleys. The provinces are: Ancona (regional capital), Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, Pesaro and Urbino.
THINGS TO SEE
Here the squares reign supreme; in fact, between medieval villages and noble dwellings, it seems like time has stopped, and it offers a city rich in art of its great past. One of the monumental cities of Italy is located in Marche: Ascoli Piceno, with its historic center and Piazza del Popolo, adorned by an arched open gallery and the Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo, with its crenellated tower. You can visit some handcrafted workshops, symbol of artisan expression. An event that you cannot miss is the “Quintana” where skillful knights challenge each other in Saracino carousel on the first Sunday of August. In the UNESCO World Heritage List there is the city of Urbino, with its Ducal Palace, which is an architectural example of the Italian Renaissance. You should visit also Gradara and its fortress, a magnificent example of medieval military architecture and a place, according to tradition, where Paolo and Francesca kissed, as Dante narrated in the fifth canto of Hell. Marche are also important for the Catholic world, because here there is the Marian shrine of Loreto, considered one of the most important as a stage of pilgrimage. As cultural reference point, in Pesaro, during two weeks in August, the Rossini Opera Festival takes place, a full immersion in Gioacchino Rossini music. Finally, among folk festivals, we remember the Carnival of Fano with the characteristic “vulon” (grotesque masks of the most prominent character of the city, the launch of sweets over the crowd from the allegorical floats).
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What to do
The National Park of the Sibillini Mountains and the Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains Park offer unmissable natural shows with flora and fauna; here you can practice birdwatching, trekking and mountain biking excursions. Don’t forget the beautiful crystal waters that surround the region and all the sports and entertainments concerning it. The Conero, with Portonovo, Sirolo, Numana and Ancona coastline are unmissable destinations for all those who want to enjoy the beauty of the seaside, through diving and resorts ad hoc. From the sea to the mountains with skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing, you can appreciate the Apennines with the newest ski resorts and the various slopes; the ice building of Ussita instead becomes the scene of pleasant experiences for ice skating enthusiasts. Furthermore in Ancona, during the first days of May, the city is celebrating the Feast of Saint Ciriaco, the patron saint. For four days the city is happily invaded by hundreds of stands, artisans market, fairs, even with the typical flavors, street artists and the impromptu painting “en plein air”.
What to taste
Here you will find various cuisines, in fact in Marches different flavors and tastes join together, from the roughness of the backcountry with porchetta, marinated lamb and dishes besed on truffle, to the first course with tagliatelle, strozzapreti and the traditional “vincisgrassi”, progenitor of all lasagna cooked in the oven of the Italian peninsula. From the sea, fresh dishes arrive, such as “brodetto” (soup) with more than 14 fish specialties enriched in Pesaro and in Ancona region, by tomato and, in Ascoli reigon, by saffron. Ascoli is famous for its fried fish, like stuffed olives, cream, courgette, artichokes and lamb ribs. As far as desserts are concerned, there is the “ciambellotto” with anisette mushrooms, cream and ricotta, fried ravioli stuffed with chestnuts. All this is accompanied by wines of the region: the white Falerio from Ascolan Hills, the red Piceno and the red Piceno Superior, and finally the cooked wine, stored in barrels, with the Mediterranean charm of the anisette and the mistrà.