Marche is one of the more rustic and natural destinations available to travelers in Italia. Bordered on the north by Emilia-Romagna, the East by the Adriatic Sea, the south by Abruzzo and the west by Umbria and Toscana (Tuscany), Marche is increasingly sought out by travelers with an appetite for a less commercial version of Italia. The Apennine Mountains dominate the region with the eastern hills running down to the Adriatic coastline.

Urbino is an excellent example of a Marche Renaissance hill town with all the flavor and tempo of a time long past. Inside the city walls are fine examples of Renaissance art and architecture, but travel just outside and you enter the unspoiled, unhurried pace of pastoral Italia.

In the south of Marche is the classic beauty of Ascoli Piceno a city with a car-free, historic city center and some of the most elegant public spaces (Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Arringo). In addition to Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture, each summer Ascoli Piceno hosts a 1000+ participant, 15th C.-costumed festival to bring their history to life.

Slow down, breathe deep, and enjoy Le Marche.

Ancona juts into the Adriatic in a way that is clearly linked to its name; ankon is Greek for elbow. The strategic position Ancona held for the Romans is marked at the port by Trajan’s Arch which commemorates Trajan’s campaign departure for conquest in the Balkans.

The waterfront at Ancona today is dominated by tourism and a healthy fishing industry (an annual International Fishing Fair). Beyond the Marche National Museum of Archeology, Ancona offers the sunny charm of the Vaile della Vittoria and the restaurants adjacent to Passetto beach.

Raphael, perhaps the greatest painter of the Renaissance, was born in Urbino and in keeping with his prominence; the National Museum of the Marches in the Ducal Palace of Urbino is one of the most prestigious museums in all Italia. The Ducal Palace is known as a ‘city in the form of a palace” and has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.