Le Marche

The Italians have known about Le Marche for years, particularly its sun-kissed Adriatic waters, which they swarm to every July and August. But beyond that, it remains off the tourist radar, although that’s been changing recently. In his 1957 book Viaggio in Italia, Guido Piovene had this to say: “Italy, with its range of landscapes, is a distillation of the world; the Marche is a distillation of Italy.” There’s surprise and delight around each corner. In between the pebble and sand beaches on its 112-mile coastline and the peaks of the Sibillini mountain range lies a variety of character, culture, and cuisine that turns each day’s experiences into a journey of discovery. The region’s jewel in the crown is Urbino, northern university town and birthplace of Renaissance master, Raphael. At the opposite end of the region lies Ascoli Piceno, capital of the southernmost province of the same name. A city of quiet elegance and style, it boasts one of the most breathtaking piazzas in all of Italy. Every August, its travertine flagstones play host to an authentic medieval jousting festival.

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