Our list of top places to visit in Le Marche Italy is only the beginning of outstanding things to see and do in this wonderful region of Italy. This territory is blessed with art, culture, lakes, mountains, wild nature and stunning coastline that give it outstanding natural attractions, as well. Are you ready to check off your bucket list?
1) The Conero Riviera’s beaches
Grab your paper and pen and take note: here’s the address of paradise. The Conero Riviera is a small slice of heaven in the heart of the Marche region.
An astonishing green and wild nature, unforgettable crystal-clear sea and many uncontaminated beaches characterize the Riviera del Conero, a stretch of coast just south of Ancona dominated by the promontory of the Monte Conero.
Sirolo, Numana, Portonovo, and Porto Recanati are considered some of the most beautiful beaches of the Adriatic coast. Are you ready to a dip in the bluest part of this protected regional park?
2) Frasassi Caves & Temple of Valadier
The Frasassi Caves (in Italian: Grotte di Frasassi) are an extraordinary karst cave system in the municipality of Genga, in the province of Ancona. They are one of the world’s most fascinating subterranean passageways. We can imagine the enthusiasm the underground explorers must have had when they discovered such a huge underground system in 1971!
You can choose between a standard touristic trail or a more adventurous speleological expedition of the caves. The range of rock formations, stalactites, and water pools to be seen in Frasassi is astounding. I highly recommend you visit it during your trip to Le Marche!
Another incredible place to visit located near the Frassasi Caves is the Temple of Valadier.
This temple is an incredible octagonal church which rises among the rocks of a gorge between the mountains. The neoclassic architecture was designed by the famous Italian architect and designer Giuseppe Valadier and built in 1828 in a hidden cave as a refuge for sinners seeking absolution.
This unique sanctuary demonstrates that man and nature can be complicit in creating such a wonderful refuge for the soul.
3) Urbino, a majestic town stuck in medieval times
For travelers seeking for an in-depth cultural tour of Italy, Urbino is a must.
This pretty hilltop village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important Renaissance towns in Italy.
Federico di Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino in the 15th century, is the ruler that more than any other contributed to the formation of the town. During his reign, the town reached its greatest period of artistic splendor. Also in this epoch, the medieval residence of the Montefeltro was embellished to become the Ducal Palace, the main attraction of Urbino.
One recommendation: to learn and feel the Urbino history and soul nothing could be better than a brilliant guide. Certainly this is one of the cases where a good tourist guide really can change your travel experience. I was very lucky when visiting Urbino: I did a tour in the Ducal Palace with a fantastic local guide that moved me. So, I recommend you this experience: It will leave you feeling as though you’ve lived it yourself!
4) Acqualagna & Furlo Pass
Do you like truffles? If you’ve said “yes”, just take a map and sign your perfect gastronomic itinerary in Le Marche: Acqualagna, the world’s capital of truffle.
A surprising fact for me was known that at Acqualagna, thanks to its environment and climate, there’s one different kind of truffle for each season: white, fine black, and black summer truffle. This city produces 2/3 of the entire national truffles production.
During the year there are three fairs dedicated to the truffle theme. The most important is between October and November, in which this town becomes the main protagonist of the fine white truffle. It takes place for three weekends and many gastronomic stands, conventions, and events demonstrate the latest novelty and the quality and value of the truffle in the entire territory.
In addition to this main event, Acqualagna hosts two more fairs: the first in February dedicated to the fine black truffle and the second in August when the Regional Black Summer Truffle Fair is held. It’s possible to experience a truffle hunting (and tasting, of course!) with an expert guide. I did it last year and it was an unforgettable experience!
Between the municipal districts of Acqualagna and Fermignano, you can admire the Furlo Pass (in Italian, Gola del Furlo). Green fields, rocky cliffs, and intense forests: the landscape around here is majestic. The Furlo Pass represents an extraordinary scenery to explore by foot along the many hiking trails. Along these trails, one can admire the imposing cliffs, the ancient Roman Age tunnel, many rare birds and the deep green waters of the Candigliano River.
The deep gorge is the result of the extensive erosion performed by the river waters, which, just like a sculpting artist, curved the rock turning it into a true artwork.
The Furlo Pass and Acqualagna are a perfect combination of nature and gastronomy, an unforgettable itinerary!
5) Gradara: discovering how was life in Medieval times
Can you imagine centuries of history protected by majestic walls in a stunning medieval castle at the peak? Welcome to Gradara, one of the most beautiful Italian villages, situated in the province of Pesaro Urbino, in Le Marche.
Gradara is identified by its castle, famous as one of the best-preserved Italian monuments.
This amazing fortress is one of the most visited places in the Le Marche: passing through the main gate, you can be able to feel the true medieval atmosphere that is still present. This enchanted hamlet, perfect for suitable for people who love both history and art will transport you into a real fairy tale!
6) Visit some of the most beautiful villages in Italy
It’s not easy to pick just a few places when you consider that Le Marche is full of wonderful hidden gems in each province of the region (Pesaro Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Fermo, and Ascoli Piceno). Fortunately, there is someone out there who, on occasion, embarks on this mission! The most reliable lists are those issued by tourism-related institutions.
The Tourism Council of the National Association of Italian Municipalities founded the “I Borghi più belli d’Italia” Club (“The most beautiful villages in Italy”) and Le Marche really has 22 wonderful towns included in the top list. I invite you to discover some of these magical cities during your travel in Le Marche! Take note, the cities are: Cingoli, Corinaldo, Frontino, Gradara, Grottammare, Macerata Feltria, Mondolfo, Matelica, Mondavio, Montecassiano, Montefabbri, Montefiore dell’Aso, Monte Grimano Terme, Montelupone, Moresco, Offagna, Offida, San Ginesio, Sarnano, Treia, and Visso.
7) Sibillini National Park & Lame Rosse
Monti Sibillini National Park is an evocative natural park which straddles the provinces of Le Marche and Umbria. Here you can go hiking in a real Italian wilderness with plenty of natural treasures and mysterious stories: during the medieval period, this place was considered a haunt of witches and wizards. The national park, ringed by medieval villages, has a magic atmosphere and are never crowded with tourists. The Sibillini Park is a territory where the magic of local nature, culture, and history has contributed to defining a unique and unrepeatable reality. Are you ready to visit this incredible place?
To continue your adventure journey in undiscovered places, you can’t miss an excursion to the Lame Rosse. Known also as the Grand Canyon of Le Marche, the Lame Rosse belongs to the complex of the Sibillini mountains and oversee the Lake of Fiastra, in the province of Macerata. The distinctive characteristic of this rocky stratification is the shape, distinct by peaks and towers, resulting from a long erosion process. The limestone part of the mountain has shattered, forming a stretch of gravel at the base, while the inner rock layers have become visible. The mix of natural materials gives them an extraordinary red color.
Are you ready to explore this natural wonder?
8) Piazza del Popolo, the Ascoli Piceno famous square
When travelers visit the Piazza del Popolo for the first time, they are surprised by its elegance, harmony and impressive architecture. This beautiful site was renovated in the 16th Century, after a period of abandonment.
This renowned square in Ascoli Piceno stands out for its elegant Renaissance-style buildings bearing gorgeous colonnades and decorations. One of the most impressive sites in Le Marche Region, certainly Piazza del Popolo is a must-see place!
9) Loreto: the powerful mix of faith, art and culture
Loreto, an important hill town in the province of Ancona is one of the most important pilgrimage places in Italy and all over the world.
The most important attractions for pilgrims and Italy lovers to Loreto is the impressive basilica and fortress complex which includes the Holy House of the Virgin Mary and the museum.
Loreto is famous for its religious tourism, but this special place is much more than that: this city express itself by fantastic art, culture, architecture, and tradition.
The atmosphere at Loreto Marche is unique: in the Piazza della Madonna, you can feel the strong combination of devotion, faith, history, and beauty!
10) Explore the Monte Conero: the pearl of the Adriatic Sea.
MonteConero (or Mount Conero) is a small piece of heaven on the Adriatic coast. This promontory is situated directly south of the port of Ancona and is the middle of the Conero Park.
Since 1987 it has been a protected ecological area (Regional Park) with astonishing 18 trails and several archeological sites. Wildlife includes many beautiful and wild animals as peregrine falcons, foxes, wild boars, and many rare birds. It’s also a perfect place for hiking, mountain biking, and practicing many different sports. How sporty are you?
This Conero symbol embrace some of the most beautiful beaches in Le Marche: How do not fall in love with it?
This is just a small selection of some wonderful places to visit in Le Marche Italy and it’s not a ranking: you will find in this blog many others inspirational ideas for you travel in this beautiful Italian Region.
Are you planning a trip to Le Marche? Check out the list of hotels in Le Marche and book it now!
- 10 Places to visit in Le Marche
- Le Marche Travel Guide
- 12 things to do Le Marche Italy
- All about Le Marche
- Best Le Marche beaches
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About Juliana de Brito, the author