We recommend that you have a must-do list of places to visit and things to do in Le Marche Italy before visiting this wonderful Italian region. The rolling hills that feature all shades of green, medieval hilltop towns, breathtaking beaches alongside the crystal clear, sparkling sea, genuine people and ancient traditions…What you will find and see in Le Marche, you will not find in another Italian region. Also, this territory deserves to be visited slowly and deeply. It’s not easy to make a list of the top things to pick during your trip here, but having selection of main highlights is a great place to start. So, are you ready for a sneak peek?
1. Discover the natural wonders between wild nature and national parks
This region is blessed with natural wonders and regional parks, offering ideal landscapes for those who love to spend their vacation by having close contact with nature. The Conero Regional Park, Sibillini National Park, Gola Della Rossa-Frasassi Regional Park, and Frasassi Caves are just some of the unforgettable spectacular environments you can enjoy here.
Would you like to explore Italy’s fauna and flora, or visit ecologically protected areas, or maybe go trekking or mountain bike surrounded by the typical Mediterranean landscape? If so, then this territory will definitely amaze you!
2. Visit some of the cultural and artistic cities
Coming to Le Marche and you haven’t scheduled a day to visit a cultural city? Don’t make this mistake! The walled towns with a well-preserved past, medieval and Renaissance buildings, art and religion in a unique composition are a strong part of the territory identity.
Charming, historical, magical… no adjective can sufficiently describe such incredible artistic and cultural cities in this region. Urbino, Gradara, and Fano are just some of the many interesting places to visit here: you’ll be enthralled!
3.Participate in wine and olive oil tasting
The impressive vineyards and olive groves are spread throughout all the region. There are many local wineries and olive oil family-owned companies you can visit, taste and buy the products directly from the producers. Believe me; it’s priceless! Living in large cities, the connection with the raw materials and products origin always gets more distant.
Perfect for a car trip, this whole area is considered an Italian food and wine paradise!
Tips: Wine and olive tasting area available in all the seasons, but during specific days of September you can enjoy the open wineries festival, and at October, you can visit an olive oil company during the period of the harvest and oil production: it’s amazing!
(If you need help, we can organize for you a wine or olive tasting with our local partners: just write to us!).
4. Enjoy a local folkloristic event
I think there’s no better way to understand a population and their behavior than through its traditions. It narrates the past, the difficulties, and the spirit of a community. Here, during local events, it is hard to find many tourists: you’ll be surrounded by locals, who proudly maintain their traditions along the time.
Food and wine, cultural, folk, music, dance, and religious festivals are just some of the festivals that take place in many areas of the Marche region. It is not enough just to enumerate some of the festival varieties for you to gain an insight into the importance of these ancient events. Last year I went to the Grape Festival in Cupramontana, where I saw the “Palio del Verdicchio, a grape pressing competition with feet, just like it was made in the past!
5. Enjoy pebble and sandy beaches: just choose your favorite one!
It is very hard to write a list of the top beaches because this area is plenty of beautiful beaches and everyone has their preferences.
I’ve added a list of the top beaches in Le Marche with the ones that received the “Blue Flag” recognition to make it easier for you. The right to fly a Blue Flag at a beach is given to those with high environmental standards and services, and have been recognized by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
In 2019, this region received 15 blue flags: are you ready to take note?
- Senigallia – Spiaggia di Levante and Spiaggia di Ponente
- Sirolo – Sassi neri, San Michele and Urbani
- Ancona – Portonovo
- Numana – Numana Bassa, Marcelli Nord, and Numana Alta
- Cupra Marittima – Lido
- San Benedetto del Tronto- Riviera delle Palme
- Grottammare – Spiaggia Sud and Spiaggia Nord
- Porto San Giorgio – Lungomare Nord and Lungomare Sud
- Pedaso – Lungomare dei Cantautori
- Potenza Picena – Lido Nord and Lido Sud
- Civitanova Marche – Lungomare Nord and Lungomare Sud
Pesaro e Urbino
- Pesaro – Sottomonte, Ponente/Levante
- Fano – Torrette, Sassonia Nord and Nord
- Gabicce Mare – Lido
- Mondolfo – Marotta
My favorite ones? As I love wild beaches, my favorites are those of Portonovo, Sirolo and Numana, preferably during the middle seasons!
6. Explore trails and mountain bike itineraries
This Italian region offers the perfect scenic backdrop for you to go trekking and for cycling lovers of all levels: from professional cyclists to those just wishing to pedal peacefully while enjoying the region’s beauty. For your adventure by feet or on two wheels, choose from a variety of itineraries. On the paved road for those who prefer racing bikes, off the road on mountain bikes or hiking to be surrounded by untouched landscapes. Every area in the region offers routes with exciting places to visit and astonishing panoramas.
I’ve added below some useful guides for your itinerary; I hope you will enjoy it!
Official Regional Guide to cycling routes
Read also: Discover MonteConero the pearl of the Adriatic Sea.
7. Buy handmade souvenirs done by ancient artisans
You will rarely find touristic souvenirs in Le Marche, as t-shirts with “I love Italy, I love Ancona” or industrial hand-crafts objects. Honestly, I think you can find much more interesting gifts or travel keepsakes. Handmade items made from porcelain and terracotta are just some examples.
Yes, artisans still exist here: they are not just skilled craft workers; they are just like artists. Using their creativity and old techniques they give life to unique and beautiful pieces. You only need to see it to believe it.
8. Explore castles, ruins and small streets
In my opinion, one of the best things is getting lost in the tiny streets of the region and then discovering the hidden gems: small villages, castles and hidden streets where we can feel a special atmosphere, different from everywhere else in the world.
Do you want to know what one of the last treasures was that I discovered? The Gradara Castle and the church of San Francesco at Fano, you can enjoy beautiful surroundings and experience history in an enchanted environment.
9. Go Shopping in the cities of shoes and outlets
This region is home to the best Italian shoes, famous worldwide. If you’ve got a thing about Italian shoes, you can’t miss a trip to the regional outlets.
Tod’s, Prada, Cesare Paciotti, Fabi, and Alberto Guardiani, and many other international brands are in the outlet malls or have shoe factories, which have retail outlets on the inside.
The shoe shopping paradise is situated between the provinces of Macerata and Ascoli Piceno, an area which is the heart of the Italian footwear industry.
Montegranaro has several companies producing men’s footwear and Porto Sant ‘Elpidio, Civitanova Marche, and Sant’Elpidio a Mare, have the largest number of manufacturers of women’s shoes. I’m not a shopping lover, but I couldn’t resist to this area!
10. Taste the local food
Italian food is not the result of a specific culinary style. It is an incredible mosaic of many regional culinary traditions that mix geography, climate, agriculture, history, and the culture of each region. Something that I learned living here is that Italian food does not have a national identity: the Italian way of eating implies in a serious reverence for local dishes and ingredients, simply prepared, and enjoyed with family and friends, as a ritual.
Le Marche is a great example of this match, being a paradise of food and wine. Moscioli, vincisgrassi, and olive all’ascolana: you can find a list of the ten most typical regional food in another post I wrote.
Also, remember: avoid ordering “pasta alla carbonara”(typical of the Lazio region) when visiting Le Marche; locals will always suggest you regional dishes.
So, are you ready to taste it all? As Italians say: “Mi raccommando!” (I suggest you do it, and I confide in you!)
11. Go truffles hunting
Do you like the unique flavor of truffles? So, you need to know the Acqualagna city produces 2/3 of the entire National truffles productions.
But not only at Acqualagna, but you can also find these gastronomy’s treasures: Sant’Angelo in Vado, Apecchio, and Amandola are other cities in the region famous for its truffles.
To live a full experience, I suggest you go truffle hunting! You can enjoy an unspoiled environment and realize the strong relationship between the truffle hunter and his dog. Of course, to engage all of your senses you can’t miss the delicious local specialties done with this unique ingredient!
(We can organize for you a truffle hunting with a great local partner: just write to us!).
12. Go to a photo walk in an impressive sunflowers field
I’ve declared it before: the sunflowers fields are one of the most beautiful scenarios I’ve seen in my life. Maybe because I was used to living in big cities, but every time I see it, I need to have attention to avoid a car incident. Its beauty always distracts me.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Le Marche during the summer, I suggest you this inspiring experience! Sunflowers are a rotation crop that changes fields each year, creating surprises on the map of someone intent on capturing these enormous blossoms. However, don’t worry, sunflowers grown extensively in this region!
So, what time of year do sunflowers grow here? Usually any time between mid-July and early August. However, to find the maximum number of fields of sunflowers in full bloom, visiting the region in mid-July is a pretty safe bet. So, you just need to charge your cell phone and prepare your camera! It’s impressive!
It’s never easy for me to create a top list of places to visit or things to do in Le Marche Italy. This place is an ideal destination for you to slow down and catch your breath. Le Marche is stunning, timeless, imperfectly perfect, and genuinely beautiful.
Did you find this information useful? Would you like to know more about this amazing Italian region?
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About Juliana de Brito, the author