60 things to do in Marche

60 things to do in Marche

Marche is a relatively unknown region of Italy compared to its more famous neighbours to the West (Tuscany and Umbria), or to the North (Emilia Romagna).

However, the region offers an absolute wealth of things to see and do. Despite this, it’s remains unspoilt by mass tourism. Here’s our list of the top 60 things to see and do in Marche so that you can decide whether the region is the right destination for your next holiday to Italy.

1. Visit the region’s capital city

The seaside resort of Ancona is Marche’s capital city. Unfortunately, much of the city was destroyed by bombing during WW2 – however, there is still plenty to see and do here.

Some of the most notable attractions include the white stone Duomo positioned at Ancona’s highest point on Guasco Hill near which you can also discover a Roman amphitheatre, as well as the Archaeological Museum which is packed full of interesting Roman remains. Nearer to the port, you will find the Roman Arch of Trajan, built back in 115 AD to honour the Roman Emperor, whilst further along the coastline you will come across the city’s art gallery. The Pinacoteca Francesco Podesti is home to works by Titian, Andrea del Sarto and Sebastiano del Piombo.

2. Discover the Renaissance artworks in Urbino

Whilst Ancona may be Marche’s capital city, Urbino is arguably more well-known amongst holidaymakers, no doubt because of the rich cultural history it offers.

Urbino is where you will find what is arguably Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance palace – the Palazzo Ducale – which was built back in the 15th century. The National Gallery of Marche is within the palace and houses some incredible works by Piera della Francesca, Titian and Raphael amongst others. In fact, the latter was born in Urbino back in 1483 and, for those interested in this incredible artist, it is possible to visit his house – Casa Natale di Raffaello – where you can also find one of his earliest fresco pieces. If you’re in Urbino at the end of the day, then we can recommend taking a walk up to the grounds of Urbino’s castle – Fortezza Albornoz – where you will be rewarded with fantastic views back over the town, especially at sunset.

3. Hit the shops!

Marche is home to some of Italy’s most famous designer brands including Tod’s – famous for its leather shoes – as well as being home to several outlet stores for multi-national fashion houses including Armani, Prada and Hugo Boss. Not only that, but small family-run factories are also in abundance in the area, many nestled in the region’s rolling hills and all offering the highest level of expertise in their crafts. The one thing that unites both the large and small companies is quality and tradition.

4. Take a drive through the Furlo Gorge

The Furlo Gorge is a rather spectacular ravine that has been cut through the Apennine Mountains by the River Candigliano. It’s also where you will find the face of Mussolini. The Furlo Gorge was a favourite spot of the Italian dictator, Mussolini. In fact, he liked it so much that he had an enormous profile of his face carved into the cliffs on the Northern side of the gorge. Following his loss of power and death, his stone face was actually blown up by partisans, however, parts are still distinctly visible. For the best views, head to the village of Furlo itself. Or for something a bit different, take a walk on the wooded slopes above the gorge and you can stop and enjoy a picnic on Mussolini’s nose!

5. Discover how paper is made

In years gone by, no doubt in part because of its location near to the port of Ancona which had strong trade links with the Arab world, Fabriano was the most important centre for paper production in Europe. Head to the Museo della Carta e della Filigrana in Fabriano to learn more about how the paper is produced and the history of paper making in the town.

6. Marvel at the maiolica in Urbania

The Marche region is also famous for its pottery. The Central Italian hills are famed for their clay which is transformed into beautiful Italian maiolica, characterised by a bright colour scheme set against a creamy white glazed background. The centre of the pottery production in Marche is Urbania. Once known as Castel Durante, Urbania took its modern name from Pope Urban VIII who wanted to transform the Medieval village into a prime example of a Renaissance town. Nowadays the town is still home to many traditional businesses producing fine maiolica ware.

7. Head to the beach

With nearly 180 km of coastline along its Eastern border, Marche has a number of excellent beaches for holidaymakers to enjoy. In fact, at the the time of writing, Marche can boast one of the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in Italy with 16 different beaches in the region awarded this accolade thanks to the high quality of the water, cleanliness of the beach and services on offer. It would be impossible to list all the beaches to choose from, but some of our favourites include Mezzavalle on the Northern side of Monte Conero, Due Sorelle (which is part of a nature reserve and accessible only by sea), Spiaggia Urbani in Sirolo, Spiaggia del Frate, Spiaggia del Passetto in Ancona (which has been described as one of the 10 best city’s beaches in Italy) and Grottammare (known as the Pearl of the Adriatic).

8. Use Marche as a base to explore the other neighbouring regions of Italy

Dependent on where you are spending your holiday in Marche, you can use your base in the region to also explore other regions of Italy. To the West, Marche is bordered by Umbria, home to numerous beautiful hilltop towns and villages, and Tuscany, home to some of the most famous cities in Italy, whilst to the North is Emilia-Romagna and to the South is Abruzzo.

9. Enjoy a passeggiata in the smaller villages of Marche

Whilst you may be familiar with some of Marche’s larger towns and cities, there are plenty of other much smaller towns and villages worth exploring. To make the most of your time in Le Marche, don’t miss out on visiting these too. There are a host of villages in Marche that are among the ‘borghi piu belli d’Italia’ (most beautiful villages in Italy). These include Corinaldo, Frontino, Gradara, Mondolfo, Montefabrri , San Ginesio, Sarnano and Visso but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Take a look at all of the villages on the list at the official website.

10. Enjoy a truffle hunting experience

As with much of the central swathe of Italy, Marche is famous for its truffles including the white truffle found in Montefeltro and the Pesaro uplands. In fact, 60% of Italy’s truffles come from this area. The town of Acqualagna is the truffle capital and plays host to an annual truffle fair each Autumn, which is second only to that in Alba in Piedmonte. But don’t worry if you can’t be in the area at that time – you will be able to pick up all manner of truffle-based products from the town all year round and if you’re visiting in the first half of the year, it is possible to go hunting for black truffles too. A really enjoyable experience is to actually head out with an experienced truffle hunter and his dogs and see for yourself how they find this amazing delicacy. Follow up your experience by enjoying a spot of lunch which usually includes the fruits of your labours! Make sure that you wear long trousers (to avoid getting bitten or scratched by the undergrowth) as well as sensible shoes as you will be walking through woods. If you would like more details on where you can book this experience, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And don’t miss the opportunity to try some truffles paired with the region’s unique pasta – passatelli – made with bread crumbs, eggs and Parmesan cheese.

11. Enjoy the Christmas markets!

There are Christmas markets in a number of towns and villages in Marche. Our favourite is definitely held each year in Candelara which hosts ‘Candles in Candelara’ each December. This is a unique event with rows and rows of stall lit purely by candlelight creating a unique and charming atmosphere in this pretty Medieval village. Public lights are switched off at set times ensuring there isn’t an artificial light in sight!

12. Play a round of golf

Marche boasts a number of excellent golf courses. Head to Conero to enjoy a round at the 18 hole championship golf course here or, if you’re short on time or more of a golfing novice, opt for the smaller 9 hole course here instead. Alternatively, there is another 18 hole, par 72 course at the Riviera Golf Club of San Giovanni in Marignano where visitors will also find a driving range and putting greens. Other courses include the Miglianico Golf and Country Club, the San Donato Golf Resort, the Golf Club I Lauri and the Golf Club Montegiove.

13. Enjoy a wine tasting experience

So many regions of Italy are famous for their wine production and Marche is no exception. The region boasts a great variety of both white as well as red wines, most of which have also gained the European quality label. In the Essino Valley in the North, Verdicchio is the main grape variety, which you can taste in the central provinces of Ancona and Macerata. Offida Pecorino is a white grape variety more typical in the Southern part of the region along with Rosso Conero and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. We can definitely recommend trying them out at one of the many wine cellars and vineyards in Marche, several of which overlook the Marche coastline.

14. Spend a night at the opera

Marche is the perfect region to visit if you’re an opera lover. The region has 100 theatres to visit and plays host to two internationally-renowned opera festivals a year. The first of these is held in Pesaro which hosts the Rossini Opera Festival, celebrating the town’s most famous son, while the second is the Macerata Opera Festival which gives you the chance to watch a live opera performance in the incredible setting of Sferisterio, which is an open arena surrounded by a long colonnade and offering the most perfect acoustics.

15. Enjoy a day trip to San Marino

The UNESCO world heritage site of San Marino is nestled to the North of Le Marche. San Marino is the world’s fifth smallest country and is the perfect place to enjoy a day trip when holidaying in the region. You can easily spend a few hours just wandering around the pretty, meandering streets of the historic centre however if you’re looking for museums, there are a couple of rather unusual options – the Museum of Torture and the Vampire Museum. You may also want to enjoy the chance to head up to the historic centre via the cable car which will also reward you with superb views over the neighbouring countryside.

16. Head underground to the Frasassi Caves

There is just as much to explore underground in Marche as there is above ground. No visit to Le Marche would be complete without a trip to the Grotte di Frasassi. This is the third largest underground cave system in the world and it’s a fascinating collection of caves, underground lakes, stalactites and pillars. Its largest cave – Grotto Grande del Vento – is a vast space measuring 180 by 120 metres and is large enough to accommodate the Duomo of Milan. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, it’s even possible to host weddings and events inside this section of the cave for a truly unique event.

17. Enjoy an underground tour in Osimo

The Frasassi Caves are not the only opportunity for those looking to explore what is beneath Marche’s surface. If you want to spend even more time below ground, head to nearby Osimo, make your way to the local tourist information office and they will direct you to a staircase that descends into the heart of the hillside on which Osimo stands. In total there are 9 km of tunnels here, all twisting and turning and on different levels. These were first excavated by the Picentes, a tribe dating back to pre-Roman times and have seen a variety of uses over the years. Once your eyes are used to the dim yellow light, you will be amazed by all there is to see. In some sections, crosses have been carved into the walls, etchings that were created by the Franciscan monks who would have come here to pray and meditate away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life above ground. Elsewhere you will see wine barrels reflecting the use of the tunnels to store wine in, whilst in other parts you will see a range of symbols reflecting the use of the tunnels by various secret societies including Celtic druids, Templars, ancient pagan and Rosicrucians. It’s an absolutely fascinating, magical place to visit.

18. Enjoy a diving experience

As well as exploring underground, there is plenty to explore in the depths of the sea too. There can be few better places off the Italian coast to dive than in the waters off the shores of Monte Conero. In fact, the waters here are so pristine that they have been officially designated a marine park. There is a PADI diving centre here where you can either obtain your PADI certificate or, if you already have experience, bring it with you and enjoy a dive in the rocky waters in the Conero National Park.

19. Enjoy a cookery class or chef service

Bookings For You can organise a cookery classes or organise a chef’s dinner for our guests at any of our villas in Marche. Please let us know if you would like us to help organise this for you. You will have a variety of menu options to choose from and we can cater for all dietary requirements. Of course, you will always be offered the chance to try the regional specialities. Marche is famous for their olive all’ Ascolana, which are delicious deep-fried olives stuffed with a mixture of different meats, as well as for their salumi and pecorino cheese. And, not surprisingly given its extensive coastline, there is plenty of seafood on offer too, including the famous fish soup – brodetto.

20. Visit the village markets

Another way to try the local foodstuffs is to shop at one of the many weekly markets during your holiday in Marche. You’ll pick up some incredible meat, fish, fruit and vegetables here as well as clothing, shoes and leather goods. The best way to find the nearest markets to you is to visit your nearest local tourist information office. Markets typically run in the morning and it’s worth heading early to get the pick of the produce.

21. Spend a day at the water park 

If you want to cool off from the heat of the Summer sun, then a trip to one of Marche’s water parks is a great idea. There are a few to choose from but those with the best reviews include Eldorado Water Park in Apiro and the Verde Azzuro park in Cingoli. La Nuova Isola in Osimo is a small park with one main pool and a small water slide coming into it but it’s a great option if you fancy a change from the beach.

22. Tackle a floating inflatable obstacle course

For something a bit different, head to the coast at Pesaro instead to try out your skills on an inflatable obstacle course at Sunset Island. Positioned 100 metres off the Pesaro coast, there are a series of floating obstacles to tackle including slides and trampolines. It’s great fun for all the family.

23. Head back to the fifties in Senigallia

Senigallia is a charming coastal town in Marche. Every Summer it also hosts the Summer Jamboree, a two-week event celebrating American culture from the forties and fifties. It’s an absolutely fantastic fortnight and you’ll find visitors dressed in authentic period dress. Get your rock ‘n’ roll frocks on and join in the many musical events taking place.

24. Watch the live nativity in Genga

For those heading to Marche in the Winter months, make your way to the Tempietto del Valadier, a small church dug into the side of the cliffs in the Gola della Rossa e di Frasassi National park. The village of Genga hosts a live nativity each year which it claims is the largest in the world and this reaches its climax in the church. In place for more than 30 years and with a growing number of visitors each year, you’ll now find over 300 actors taking part to bring this miraculous event to life.

25. Spend the afternoon on the slopes

Also for Winter visitors, there is the chance to go skiing. Catering to Winter sports enthusiasts, there are nine different ski resorts in Marche, with over 82 km of runs in total to enjoy. Some of the main alpine ski resorts are Sassotetto in the Sibillini mountains, Pintura, Frontignano and Monte Prata however there is also the opportunity to go cross country skiing too.

26. Burn off some calories mountain biking

In the Summer months, many of these cross-country ski slopes become ideal mountain biking territory. Much of Marche is hilly or even mountainous and so there are plenty of challenging rides for even the most serious mountain bikers amongst you.

27. Hire e-bikes

Even if you’re not that active normally, or for those who are filled with dread at the thought of hours pedalling up and down mountainsides, e-bikes are a fantastic way to explore the area without the effort required on a ‘standard’ pedal bike. It’s a wonderful way to explore the amazing scenery that the area offers. Or, hire them in town and explore some of Marche’s towns on two wheels rather than on two feet! Pesaro is an incredibly bike friendly and attractive seaside town. Hire bikes and cycle along the Viale Trieste. During the Summer months, the road is the beating heart of Pesaro. To one side, you have the sandy coastline whilst to the other are numerous bars, cafes and restaurants to enjoy.

28. Go horse riding

Another option is to park the wheels and head out on horseback instead. With a wonderfully rural landscape, there are a number of places in Marche where you can enjoy horse riding. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, there will be treks to suit you. Please just get in touch with the team at Bookings For You if you’d like more details.

29. Spend the day at the races

If you’re passionate about horses, then another option is to spend a day at the races. There is flat racing in Corridonia so place your bets and we hope you get lucky! 

30. Go fishing

There are a couple of options to enjoy a spot of fishing in Marche. Inland, there are two fishing lakes in the region – Pioraco and Sefro – where you can enjoy a spot of fishing without the need for a license. Alternatively, also inland is Lake Cingoli, where there are ample trout, perch, pike, carp and even catfish however you will need a license to fish here. And, of course, you have the option of fishing at sea too. There are a number of companies in the region that offer a half or full day sea fishing experience.

31. Go rowing at La Ninfa del Lago

La Ninfa del Lago is an unspoilt habitat, once privately owned but now open to the public and where visitors can take a stroll in nature, catching glimpses of some of the many wildlife species who live there including deer and porcupines The park also has a natural lake where you can hire a rowing boat and go rowing, perhaps being lucky enough to see some of the turtles that inhabit it. We recommend spending a few hours here so take a picnic with you!

32. Go hiking in the national parks

Marche is lucky enough to boast four main national parks – the Sibillini Mountains National Park, the Conero National Park, the Monte San Bartolo Regional Park and the Gola della Rossa and Frasassi Regional Park. The first of these covers a vast area stretching across three provinces in Marche – Ascoli Piceno, Fermo and Macerata – as well as across Perugia in Umbria. The landscape is beautiful with an abundance of mountains, streams, woods, forests, hills, rivers and gorges to explore. The Conero Park is just as beautiful, albeit on a smaller scale. Head to the Gola della Rossa and Frasassi park and you will be sure to spot eagles in the sky above and potentially hedgehogs at your feet. The latter is the park’s symbol. There are plenty of other smaller parks too such as Simoncello and Cardeto, Sasso Simone and the Abbadia di Fiastra Reserve.

33. Take a boat trip to Due Sorrelle

Due Sorelle is often cited as one of the prettiest beaches in the Adriatic and certainly it’s a must see for anyone visiting the region. It is situated in Sirolo, nestled between the beach at Sassi Neri and Cava Davanzali. However, it’s not accessible by land and must be reached by sea. Visitors have the option of either catching one of the public ferries that leave regularly in the morning and early afternoon from Numana, Sirolo or Marcelli, renting a small boat and navigating their own way across or even kayaking across. The beach is stunning and the water crystal clear but, best of all, is the view of the two majestic white rocks rising up out of the water known as the ‘two sisters’.

34. Visit the house of the Virgin Mary in Loreto

Just south of Conero, Loreto is a popular pilgrimage site, with Christians flocking to the Basilica della Santa Casa, inside which is the simply constructed house of Mary and Joseph. According to an ancient tradition and the Catholic Church, a group of angels brought the holy house to the quiet hills of Le Marche on the night of 10th December after the spread of the Muslim religion in Palestine.

35. Enjoy a fine dining experience

As well as traditional authentic cuisine, when in Marche, holidaymakers also have the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience at one of the Michelin star restaurants that the region offers. Of note is ‘Uliassi’, situated between Senigallia’s port and its sandy beaches. In 2018, this restaurant gained its third Michelin star for the innovative recipes of its head chef Mauro Uliassi and his sister Catia. Others worthy of note include Andreina in Loreto, Nostrano in Pesaro and Madonnina del Pescatore in Marzocca.

36. Visit the Roman cisterns in Fermo

Fermo is a hilltop town in Marche, most famous for the complex system of Roman cisterns that lie under its streets. The cisterns were built in the 1st century AD by the Roman colony Dirmum Picenum to store drinking water for the town. It consists of 30 rooms covering an area of 2200 square metres and is an incredible feat of engineering. Enter via the entrance in the Piazza del Popolo and enjoy an informative guided tour of the cisterns. Founded during the Roman empire, Fermo later became an important Medieval and Renaissance town and today visitors can admire monuments and imposing palaces including the Palazzo dei Priori and Piazzale Girfalco with its breath-taking panorama.

37. Relax in the spa for the afternoon

Marche is the perfect region to enjoy a slower pace of life and to truly appreciate how sweet ‘la dolce vita’ can be. To take this one step further, why not indulge in a spa treatment, whether just to relax or for the health benefits that treatments can offer. Spas are located in a number of towns including Carignano Terme, Tolentino, Sarnano, Montegrimano, Torre di Palme and Acquasanta where mud baths, aerosol therapy and other treatments are all on offer.

38. Visit an open-air museum

In the Montefeltro region of Marche, there is the Garden of Forgotten Fruits (L’Orto dei Frutti Dimenticati). This is one of seven open air museums around Pennabilli and was set in the 1990s up to preserve ancient species of fruits and vegetables. Fruit trees grown include various rare species of apple, pear, quine, gooseberry, cherry, rowan. The museum also includes a sculpture garden. There are plenty of other museums to enjoy in Marche, both in the open air and indoors. In fact, the region has over 300 in total so visiting them all will keep you busy! 

39. Visit the castle in San Leo

The fortress at San Leo is a rather imposing building. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the building was used as a prison. Today, visitors can visit the castle and enjoy a tour of the small museum with various weapons and armour, a torture chamber and prison cells.

40. Find out more about how extra virgin olive oil is made

As well as growing grapes, a large swathe of the Marche landscape is given to olive groves. Enjoy a visit to an olive farm where you will have the opportunity to enjoy tastings and learn how the olive oil is made. Or, if you are in the area in November, make a beeline for the olive fair at Cartoceto. For a week each year, this important gastronomic event has workshops, tastings, seminars, exhibitions and theatrical shows all promoting the cultural history of the region. It also has olives and Cartoceto (DOP) extra virgin olive oil at its heart.

41. Spend the day at the zoo

Marche boasts a number of zoos. We would suggest that the best zoo would be the Falconara Zoo Park which is set on a fifteen hectare site and is home to numerous species of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians, from capybara and lemur to tigers and lions, and from ostriches to pythons and frogs. From what we can see, the zoo is focused on the protection and conservation of animal species and staff work to constantly improve the facilities for the animals they house.

42. Explore the Roman remains

There are a number of Roman sites worth exploring in Marche. These include the Roman settlement at Urbisaglia. In Roman times, the settlement was called Urbs Salvia and visitors to the town now will be able to see the remains of a Roman amphitheatre built in the reign of Emperor Titus, along with fortified walls and a temple. The ruins of a Greek theatre can also be seen here and there is an archaeological museum that displays the many artefacts found on the site.

43. Go paragliding

Marche offers a number of flight schools offering paragliding. Choose from a solo or tandem flight. The strong updrafts means that there are several departure and landing options in the Sibillini Mountains and in the neighbouring region of Umbria in Castelliuccio di Norcia, in the Subasio and in the Pennino Mountains in between Umbria and Marche.

44. Monkey around in the trees

Marche has a number of tree-top adventure parks including the Fiastra Adventure Park, where you can even fly over the lake on a zip wire. Another option is the Quercus Adventure Park in Ripatransone which has a number of different routes dependent on age and ability. In both cases, a series of tree-top pathways, bridges and zip slides will take you through the canopy of trees. There are plenty of other similar parks in the region, all challenging your climbing skills.

45. Head back in time to the Quintana of Ascoli Piceno

Held in July and August each year, a visit to the Quintana will feel like stepping back in time. There is a horse race between six knights, each representing a different local district. On horseback, each knight must attempt to hit a target, with the fastest and most accurate crowned winner.  The festival also includes parades, colourful flag wavers and hundreds of residents dressed in Medieval costumes.

46. Enjoy a photography experience

Here at Bookings For You, we’re conscious that a holiday is a precious time to make new memories. If you would like to capture these memories, there is the opportunity to enjoy a photography service. A professional photographer can take snaps of you and your family or friends either at the property or on the estate or in a location in Marche of your choosing if you fancy a particular backdrop to your images. For more details, get in touch with the Bookings For You team.

47. Take a hot air balloon ride 

If you fancy seeing Marche from above, how about a hot air balloon ride? There are a number of companies that offer them. A hot air balloon is an incredibly special way to view the beauty of the region and offers the chance to take some absolutely spectacular photographs of the Marche landscape.

48. Visit the house that is just a façade in Corinaldo

Corinaldo is a picturesque little village set in the Marche hills surrounded by 13th century Medieval walls and with the famous piagga – a scenic staircase – at its centre. However, it’s famous for a couple of events in its long history. The first is the Pozzo della Polenta (polenta well). According to legend, this well played a crucial role in the twenty day siege of the Corinaldo by the Duke of Urbino back in the 16th century. A farmer supposedly dropped a bag of corn flour in the well, inadvertently making enough polenta to feed the entire village until the siege ended and victory was secured. Every July a historical parade marks this victory. However, probably the funniest story relating to the village is the one about Scuretto, the village cobbler, who, instead of using the money his son was sending him from America to build a house, was in fact squandering it on drink and having fun! Eventually his son became suspicious and asked to see some pictures of Scuretto’s new home so Scuretto had a façade built so that he could show his son where he was supposedly living. The façade remains in place today and still no house has been built behind its walls!

49. Learn about the modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet in Torre d Palma

Laurina and Antonio were lovers whose true story mimics Shakespeare’s fictional tale of Romeo and Juliet. In 1911, Antonio was forced to leave Laurina to fight in Libya. The lovers missed each other terribly and so, when Antonio came back on leave, they made plans to run away together. They sheltered in the woods near their home town of Torre di Palma, spending eight nights there in total. However eventually the army caught up with them. Antonio’s desertion would be punishable by death and when the lovers released that they were about to be caught, they decided to end their lives together by throwing themselves off Fosso San Filippo, a seventy metre high cliff near Torre di Palma. Nowadays, it is still possible for visitors to see the cave in the woods where they sought shelter.

50. Explore one of the best-preserved Medieval villages in Italy

In the North of the Marche region lies the charming village of Gradara, one of the most well-preserved Medieval villages in Italy. Sat atop a hill and rising over 450 feet above sea level, the Rocca di Gradara is one of the best-preserved Medieval buildings in Italy and it dominates the valley. Walk along the 300 metre long ramparts and you will enjoy absolutely breath-taking views over the rolling hills to one side and the blue Adriatic Sea to the other. It’s also a place to discover the tragic fate of Paolo and Francesca, the two lovers immortalised by Dante. If you are there in July, don’t miss the chance to take a step back in time and imagine what it would have been like to live during the long siege of the castle of 1446, re-enacted in the annual event ‘Assedio al Castello’ each July.

51. Sail the Marche coastline

Marche boasts approximately 180 kilometres of beautiful coastline. Rather than staying on land, why not enjoy a sailing trip along this coast. Rent or charter a sailing boat, power boat or catamaran and enjoy a different perspective on this beautiful region. A good option is to speak to the team at the Marche Yacht Club at Porto San Giorgio.

52. Head to the birthplace of Emperor Frederick II 

Jesi is a thriving and elegant Medieval town. A good starting point for any tour is the Piazza Federico II, its name recalling the birth here in a tent of Emperor Frederick II in 1194. There is plenty in the town to enable you to enjoy a number of hours here. Its most striking feature is certainly the town’s massive 14th century walls but also worthy of note is the 18th century duomo, the Palazzo della Signoria (a magnificent Renaissance palace), the Palazzo Pianetti and the Teatro Pergolesi, an 18th century theatre that now plays host to a prestigious opera season every Autumn.

53. Climb a mountain

Most of the region of Marche is hilly or mountainous, with the main ranges being the Apennine chain on the inland boundary (characterised by bare limestone peaks, dramatic gorges and cave complexes) as well as a rather extensive system of hills that descend down to the Adriatic sea on the Eastern border (which are much more fertile). With the exception of Monte Vettore, none of the mountains exceed 2400 metres in height. Some of our favourite mountain views are at Monte Catria. Here, visitors are greeted with carpets of alpine flowers in the Spring.

54. Brave the rapids on a white-water rafting trip

The Sibillini mountains provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy white water rafting against a stunning backdrop. If you’re after a high thrill experience, then it’s probably not the place for you as the rivers are relatively small and slow flowing but it’s absolutely ideal for beginners and younger family members looking to try it for the first time. Periods of white water will contrast with slower periods of paddling through beautiful gorges and many trips allow you the opportunity to hop out of the boat and plunge into the water for a swim.

55. Learn how to fly

If you’re not content with just hang-gliding or paragliding in Marche, then why not learn how to fly a plane?!! There are a number of flying schools dotted throughout the region including schools in Fano, Ancona and Fermo, offering flying lessons.

56. Jump out of a plane!

Many of these same flying schools also offer the option of jumping out of a plane too! So, if you’d rather leave the plane controls to someone else and enjoy the thrill of a parachute jump, Marche is a great holiday destination. Tandem and solo jumps are available.

57. Visit one of Italy’s oldest universities

Situated about an hour from Ancona, Macerata is home to one of Italy’s oldest universities founded in 1290. The town has many other attractions to attract tourists though including the Palazzo Buonaccorsi, a beautifully decorated palace that today houses a superb art gallery and the Torre Civica, an ancient tower which visitors can climb to take in the beautiful views from the top.

58. Visit the ‘city of poetry’

Giacomo Leopardi was born in the hilltop village of Recanati in 1798. Giacomo Leopardi grew up to become arguably Italy’s most famous poet. He was also a philosopher, essayist and philologist and was certainly an extremely important figure in 19th century world literature. However, the city has been dubbed the ‘city of poetry’ not just because of Leopardi but also two other famous men born here – the composer Persiani and the opera tenor Gigli also came from Recanati. Leopardi is certainly the city’s most famous son though and visitors will find the poet has been celebrated in many of the city’s streets and statues. Casa Leopardi, the house where Leopardi was born and raised, is also one of the main attractions in the town, home now to the poet’s library and a significant amount of memorabilia. When visiting, don’t miss the opportunity to head to the nearby hillside – Colle dell’ Infinito – which was immortalised by Leopardi and which, as the name suggests, enjoys incredible views over the surrounding hillsides and Adriatic sea.

59. Go canyoning

For the adventurous amongst you, there is the opportunity to go canyoning in Marche. Under the expert tutelage of an experienced guide, you can spend the day descending incredible river canyons and waterfalls, sliding and jumping off the rocks and cliffs into the crystal-clear waters below. One of the key locations to enjoy canyoning in Marche is in the gorges of the Ussita River starting from the Callarelle Waterfalls in the heart of the Sibillini mountains.

60. Go quad biking

For those preferring to stay on dry land, the Sibillini mountains also offers the opportunity to go quad biking.  Most companies will only offer this sport for those aged 14 and above.

If we’ve whetted your appetite enough, then take a look at the phenomenal apartments and villas in Marche available to rent for your next holiday through Bookings For You.

Image from Flickr.