Le Marche is a charming region. We do not say this by presumption, but according to the figures provided by the Tourism Observatory. In fact, the number of tourists who choose the Marche for their holidays is constantly increasing. Italians are on the increase, but even more so are foreigners. What are the 10 places to visit in Le Marche that you should absolutely not miss? Read this guide to find out which are the most beautiful places in this region. There is something for everyone: the wild beaches of Conero, the elegant Ancona, the cultural tourism on the footprints of the poet Giacomo Leopardi in Recanati.
10 places to visit in Le Marche Italy: our guide of Marche tourist attractions from south to north
We know that 10 places might seem reductive and in fact there are so many places to visit in Le Marche. These are, however, those that in our opinion those who come to Le Marche should not miss at any cost. We have chosen places that are important to us. These are the ones that give us endless emotions every time, through the enchanted looks of the tourists who tell us about their adventures. Le Marche is one of the Italian regions with the highest average stay, valued at around 5.30 nights/customer (compared to the Italian average of 3.37 nights/customer).
What does it mean? That tourists like Le Marche thanks to its great variety of places, events and entertainment. That’s why more and more tourists are choosing to rent a holiday home in Le Marche, the ideal way to fully experience this region. Let’s start and find out the must-see places of Le Marche, thanks to our list we made starting from the south to get to the north of this region.
1) Ascoli Piceno: the harmony of a stone-built town
Ascoli Piceno boasts an incredible appeal that comes from its architectural style. In fact buildings and monuments were built using travertine blocks extracted from the nearby Piceno quarries. This feature gives the city a unique harmony. Walking in the streets of Ascoli Piceno tells a story of elegance and refinement. The most beautiful place in Ascoli Piceno is undoubtedly Piazza del Popolo.
The lord of Ascoli at that time, Raniero de’ Ranieri, in 1509, decided to use the same style and the same guidelines for all buildings that surround it: each building had to be built with red brick vaults and travertine columns. The owners had to build buildings all of the same height and with windows positioned in the same way. This obligation was probably not very pleasant for the inhabitants of the time, however, it has given us one of the most beautiful squares not only of the Marche, but of all of Italy.
2) San Benedetto del Tronto: walking along its seafront promenade
San Benedetto del Tronto is the southernmost coastal municipality of the Marche region. It is a town that can amaze you with its charm, its livability and the beauty of its beaches. From the ancient settlement, originally from the Roman era, it has since developed the modern urban area, full of attractions and entertainment for tourists. But it’s its promenade that makes it famous worldwide.
San Benedetto boasts the most beautiful promenade on the Adriatic coast, as well as one of the most beautiful in Italy, over 6 km long. It is about 30 meters wide, thus allowing easy walks for both pedestrians and cyclists. It is characterized by more than 8000 palm trees, so it is defined as Riviera delle Palme. This verdant path features also beautiful parks and gardens, a pine forest, a skating rink, tennis courts, exclusive pubs and hotels.
Here there is a bike path in the shade of palm trees, overlooking the sea, which is connected with the “Ciclovia Adriatica“, a project that is still being completed that will create a single cycle lane covering the entire Adriatic coast. The currently accessible stretch that includes San Benedetto del Tronto is already very long and goes from Cupra Marittima to the north up to Porto d’Ascoli to the south.
3) Fermo: a town where history and culture merge indissolubly
Among the 10 places to visit in Le Marche we want to include Fermo, because here, perhaps more than in any other town of this region, different historical periods, traditions and cultures that come from distant ancestors are harmoniously mixed. The origins of Fermo are very ancient, even at the dawn of the Etruscan civilization. In fact remains of Villanovan civilizations have been found, with grave goods dating back at least to the IX century. B.C.
Then it was an important Roman colony, set in a strategic position and therefore involved in many military campaigns. Later many Signoria followed, each of which left its mark in the city style. This is why walking along the streets of the historic center of Fermo is like visiting an open-air museum. Visitors will stroll on Roman roads, with their characteristic pavement, flanked by buildings from different eras, from the 15th to the Renaissance, up to the more modern, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An unmissable walk full of emotions.
4) Recanati: “Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle…”
Le Marche is the birthplace as well as inspiration of one of the greatest poets of Italian literature: Giacomo Leopardi. Visiting Recanati is like giving life to his poems, an emotion that can hardly be described without living it. The house where Giacomo Leopardi was born is undoubtedly a place of utmost importance, which is still inhabited by his descendants. In the big library handled by both the young Giacomo and his father Monaldo Leopardi, over 20,000 volumes are collected, including some exclusive manuscripts of inestimable value.
Reading the poet’s verses we can visit the main square of Recanati, which is the one described in the poetry “Il Sabato del Villaggio “, where it seems to still hear the shouts of joy of the children playing: “I fanciulli gridando, Su la piazzuola in frotta, E qua e là saltando, Fanno un lieto romore…” Then you arrive at the Torre del Passero Solitario, until you reach the Colle dell’Infinito, or Mount Tabor, home of the World Center of Poetry and Culture.
5) Loreto: the most beloved Marian shrine of the Catholic world
Loreto is known all over the world. Loved by all Catholics, it is considered one of the most important existing Marian shrines. The town stands on a hill surrounded by countryside and olive groves and enjoys a breathtaking view that stretches from the Adriatic Sea to the Conero promontory. According to tradition, the imposing cathedral above the hill holds the relic of the “Holy House” of Nazareth, where Mary was born and where the Annunciation of Jesus took place.
Loreto is also worth a visit by anyone who is not a Catholic, that’s why we listed it among the top 10 places to visit in Le Marche. The beauty of this town, its cultural interest and the spiritual atmosphere you breathe make it an enchanting place, capable of winning over visitors.
6) Natural Park of Monte Conero: a dip in pristine nature
Among the 10 places to visit in Le Marche could not miss the Monte Conero Natural Park. This incredible nature reserve is an unspoiled location along the Adriatic coast. Lose yourself watching the sea from the white beaches of the Conero, without the typical crowds of tourists in the seaside resorts. It’s an emotion beyond comparison.
Within the park it’s possible to arrange tours, walks and playing different sports, such as mountain biking, climbing, surfing, diving or paragliding. Those who just want to relax under the warm sun, enjoying a clean blue sea, can’t fail to reach the most hidden beaches, some of which can only be reached on foot through steep paths, or even by sea.
The most beautiful beaches are:
- “Due Sorelle” Beach: it is the symbol of the Conero, due to the two twin rocks that overlook the sea right in front of the beach. It is a gravelly and pebble beach reachable only by sea, which has kept intact its pristine and unspoiled nature. Absolutely one of the most charming places to visit in the Marche;
- Mezzavalle: it is reachable only on foot through two paths that climb down the steep banks of Monte Conero. It has no beach facilities but there is a restaurant;
- Portonovo: here there are both free beaches and areas with beach facilities, with peculiar restaurants where you can taste a delicious fish;
- “San Michele” Beach: it is partly equipped with beach facilities. It is a gravelly and pebble beach overlooking a vivid and clean blue sea;
- Numana: the beaches of Numana are ideal for tourists looking for fun without giving up the beauty of the nature. Equipped with beach facilities, restaurants, pubs and sports entertainment, they are ideal for young people and families.
7) Frasassi Caves: the extraordinary strength of nature
Let’s continue our list of sights to visit in Le Marche with another dreamy place: the Frasassi caves (in Italian: Grotte di Frasassi). These wonderful underground karst caves are located in the province of Ancona, in the municipality of Genga. They are part of the Natural Park of Gola Rossa and Frasassi, loved and visited every year by thousands of people from all over Italy and the world.
The complex of the Frasassi caves consists of a sequence of caves, some of which can be visited, with different routes according to difficulty. At the entrance of the Frasassi Caves you enter the majestic Abisso Ancona, a natural cavity probably among the largest in the world. 180 meters long, 120 wide and even 200 meters high, with stalagmites and stalactites that create extraordinary natural sculptures.
8) Ancona: discovering the city’s beauties and the Cathedral of San Ciriaco
It would be simplistic to describe in a few words all you can visit in Ancona. The beauty of this city ranges from historical to architectural remains, as well as artistic and cultural excellence. You will also like Ancona for its excellent cuisine, which combines fresh fish dishes with meat dishes. Walking through the city, do not miss Piazza del Plebiscito, the center of the social life of Ancona, with its palaces, restaurants and pubs open until late at night. Other important places are:
- the Mole Vanvitelliana;
- the art gallery “Pinacoteca Civica Podesti”;
- the Arch of Trajan (in Italian: Arco di Traiano).
There is also a place that, in addition to its historical and cultural importance, offers a unique sight: it is the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, which overlooks the city from above. The particular shape of the coast makes this place the only one from which it is possible to enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset over the sea. It is therefore considered one of the most romantic places in the city.
9) Senigallia: the promenade, the Summer Jamboree and the Rocca Roveresca
Senigallia is one of the liveliest towns of the Marche, certainly one of the most beloved by young people and by lovers of social life and entertainment. Getting bored is impossible for those who spend time in Senigallia. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches of fine sand, stroll along the promenade or visit monuments of historical and artistic interest.
The seafront of Senigallia is a very long path that runs along a clear and calm sea, with shallow water suitable also for children. It is equipped with bars and facilities to welcome visitors with every comfort. The most famous monument is certainly the Rocca Roveresca. In reality it consists of two fortresses built into one another, with improvements and extensions made over the centuries. The most clear changes, as well as those that currently predominate over the others, are those of the Renaissance period.
Senigallia also means fun. There are many events held every year in the city. Do not miss the Summer Jamboree, the international festival of music and culture of the 1980s, which every year attracts thousands of visitors from all over Italy and beyond.
10) Urbino: experience the Renaissance with the Ducal Palace and the house of Raphael
If you visit Le Marche, it will undoubtedly lead you to Urbino, whose historic center has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beauty is largely due to Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, who spent much of his wealth to embellish this city with artworks, including the building of the Ducal Palace (in Italian: Palazzo Ducale) which is undoubtedly the most sumptuous.
Urbino is the essence of Renaissance, in its streets and alleys you can feel the magnificence of the city in that historical era. The Ducal Palace reflects Federico da Montefeltro’s desire to make Urbino the perfect “Ideal Renaissance City“, while the palace was to be one of the most sumptuous ever built. The patron loved to surround himself with artists and writers and inside the palace he housed them and allowed them to work.
Another great tourist attraction of Urbino is the home of Raffaello Sanzio. Raphael’s father was an artist at the court of the duke and Raphael began to develop and nurture his art in this challenging environment. Inside the house you can look at some early works by Raphael: his home is one of the places to visit in Le Marche because it is able to tell a milestone in the history of Italian art (and beyond).