Surprising and wonderful in its diversity, this region of Central Italy, with its winding yet symmetrical form, shows off its multi-faceted beauty through cliffs and caves that overlook unforgettable beaches, hills that are steeped in history, and rich traditions and cultures, all set against a backdrop of mountains (that are, by the way, well-equipped for ski lovers).
The Marches is mostly comprised of hills and mountains; the region embraces the Adriatic side of the Umbria-Marche Appennines, yet in contrast features low-lying, sandy beaches. How could anyone forget the long expanse of fine golden sand that kiss crystal-clear waters at Senigallia? Offering numerous lidos and pleasant seaside strolls, this area is a treat anytime of day, but especialy at sunset.
No less lovely are Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Civitanova Marche and San Benedetto del Tronto. If you're looking to unwind and recharge, visit one of the many fashionable resorts frequented by high society as far back as the Nineteenth Century. For those who love extreme nature, on the other hand, the Conero Riviera offers amazing views and patches of still unspoilt land, often only accessible via the sea or footpaths carved into the green Mediterranean scrub.
The Marches protects its natural environment through its National and Regional nature reserves, the oases of the WWF reserves, and the Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga National Parks are peerless in their scenery and trekking offerings. Don't miss the Frasassi Caves, a must-see for tourists from all over Europe. Of great interest to speleologists due to their karst (or dissolved limestone layers), this underground landscape is truly awe-inspiring especially considering that parts of it have been lived in practically since time began.
Orchards and vineyards as far as the eye can see cover the hills of Piceno and extend through the Esino Valley; they surround farmhouses that offer the hospitality and genuine tastes of times past. Manor houses or old sharecroppers' farms, now used as agritourisms, tell of a way of life no longer seen.