"Just wander and lose yourself" Top 5 Page for this destination Marche by toonsarah

Marche Travel Guide: 617 reviews and 1,803 photos


Marche is not by any means the best known of Italy’s regions, at least where tourism is concerned – but it deserves far more attention than it gets.

It has beach resorts, great scenery (the Apennines run down its western fringes) and lots of attractive little towns, many perched invitingly on a hill-top overlooking the plains below. What it lacks, perhaps, is an obvious “draw” – no single destination stands out as a must-see, and none of Italy’s famous great cities is located there.

But maybe this disadvantage is also one of its strengths? No need here to feel you must tick off certain sights, or devote lots of your time to one place. Marche is a region in which to wander and lose yourself: follow the tantalising glimpse of a pretty hillside town or an intriguing church campanile spotted apparently in the middle of nowhere; turn off the main road just to see where this track may lead; head for the mountains and follow the rivers along their spectacular gorges.

If you want to base yourself in a town, Fabriano on the western side is a good possibility – an interesting museum, some old churches and other architecture, and small enough to mean that in a day you will have seen its sights and be ready to explore.

I was also surprised by how much I liked Ancona, on Marche’s coast. It may be less good as a base as it’s at some distance from the most scenic areas, unless it’s mainly the beaches you are here to explore (and even then, a seaside resort base would be the better choice). But Ancona makes a great entry point, having both port and airport, and also merits a couple of days, maybe at the start or end of your trip.

Having seen a little of Marche in 2012, touring with my friend Ingrid (VT's Trekki) in the couple of days before the VT Euromeeting in Bergamo, I was keen to see more. So in the next year I returned for a longer visit and we spent much of my week in Italy staying in and exploring the region. Most of my tips on this page now relate to that visit.

Some of these tips also appear on other pages, but I’ve repeated them here as I want to encourage others to consider Marche as an “off the beaten path” option for a holiday in Italy.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Unspoiled and uncrowded
  • Cons:Less tourist infrastructure than some other regions
  • Last visit to Marche: May 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (29)

Comments (7)

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Nice, I agree with you, forbidding pictures in the cave is a nonsense, forbidding them because you could disturb the guide, is ridicolous.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Nov 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      That's what I thought - putting the guide's needs ahead of the visitors' is mad. I know it must be distracting for them if while talking they're the visitors wander off to take photos, but they could wander off anyway and if that's how they want to enjoy the caves, rather than hanging on the guide's every word, that should be fine!

      Thanks for visiting some of my Italy pages - much appreciated :-)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    An excellent coverage of this area. I love the village, but all those steps! No good for me or Ian!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Sep 18, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Thanks for visiting Dee. You needn't worry about the steps - there are other ways into the town that may be steep but nearly as tough as that!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Yes Sarah, you certainly have expanded this page since I last looked in July 2012. A very nice overview of this region, with lovely photos.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Jun 16, 2013 at 3:44 AM

      Thank you Don for visiting this and my little Offagna page :-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Oh joy :-) Sweet memories :-) Thank you Sarah for having joined the explorations :-)

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    What a good idea to promote this region with a separate page as an overview!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Too bad you had to make some difficult choices and couldn't see everything you wanted to, but from your tips (and Ingrid's) this looks like a beautiful region with several worthwhile destinations. – By the way, I'm glad you’re enjoying the Olympic Games in London.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    :-)) Oh more sweet memories :-))) The weather wasn't that good on these 1 1/2 days, except Ancona. But do you remember that strange rainfall that hit us when we came out of one of the tunnels after the Arcevia round?


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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