One of Italy’s lesser known regions, Marche, situated between Umbria and the Adriatic, provides a great mix of Southern and Northern Italian lifestyle.
Discover – Cultural Boundaries
The region is often seen as having contributed extensively to Italian culture and politics throughout history. The birthplace of Renaissance painter Raphael, Marche has been a hotbed for cultural innovation throughout the country’s history, producing many of Italy’s intellectual elite. The region is also no stranger to developing more contemporary talent, with motorcycle phenom Valentino Rossi and even Lionel Messi claiming ancestry from the region.
With a countryside that is still relatively undeveloped, Marche’s strongest attributes lay within its more rural interior. Dotted with medieval towns and vineyards, visiting the region reveals a much quieter pace of life, with many of the hectic habits of everyday life seemingly absent.
Ancona, the region’s capital and one of the largest ferry hubs in the Adriatic, provides a more urban distraction for those visiting the region. While smaller in size, the city provides a plethora of Roman ruins with the occasional Renaissance church thrown in for good measure.
Outside of the capital, Marche provides for both the culturist and nature lover alike. The Parco Nazionale dei Monte Sibillini, situated on the border with Umbria and one of the region’s largest national parks, offers great views of the surrounding mountains and ample walking trails. Urbino, the birthplace of Raphael, acts as a great day trip for those interested in all things Renaissance. Once a de facto hub for Marche’s cultural elite, the town’s historic center showcases many of the periods ornate Palazzi or Palaces.
Visit – Wine Hub
With dramatic elevation changes often leading directly to the Adriatic, Marche’s climate is ideally suited to produce exceptional wine. The region of Rosso Piceno, situated in the foothills of the Apennines, allows for wine production with a much higher acidity than the surrounding area.
Taste – Olive and Bovine
Being enveloped by nature, Marche isn’t short of inspiration for its culinary traditions. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, the region has seen the emergence of a rural economy similar to that of Abruzzo and Molise, with a strong emphasis on herding and agriculture. One such dish to emerge from the area’s rural economic past is the Ciauscolo, a smoky pork sausage that is commonly flavored with fennel and garlic. The sausage is used to enrich otherwise simple dishes such as stews and soups and is sold through Marche’s Norcinerias, stores that specialize in bovine products.
Another dish with strong roots in the regions rural past is the Ascolane Olive. Stuffed with meat and cheese and then deep-fried, the dish is primarily used as a starter or a snack prior to the meal. The Ascolane Olive can trace it roots to the town of Ascoli Piceno, just as renown for its beauty as it is for its delicious culinary creation.
Other food specialties include:
Flagship wine grapes
- Vernaccia Nera
Wine-related activities in the region
- Wine and food pairing
- Wine Tasting
- Discovery ride