Le Marche, the only Italian region spelled in the plural, is an area rich in beauty. Sea, villages, and hinterland: all enclosed within a few kilometers. So many relatively unknown facets to discover.
Scattered among the hills are as many as 22 villages counted among the most beautiful in Italy. The artistic and cultural heritage preserved in these places is a precious treasure. Discover with us, which are the most beautiful villages to visit.
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Mondavio, located in the province of Pesaro Urbino, lies between the Metauro and Cesano valleys, a few kilometers from the sea.
Embraced by a city wall, the village is recognizable by the Rocca Roveresca fortress, which impresses visitors with its grandeur. Do not miss the view of Monte Catria and Nerone, which can be enjoyed up here.
In the heart of the village is Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, where you can find the church, the cloister of San Francesco and the Town Hall.
When talking about the most beautiful towns in Italy, it is impossible not to mention Mondolfo. Nestled in the Valle dei Tufi, it stretches as far as the coastal resort of Marotta, in a fusion of land and sea.
In the heart of Mondolfo, you can admire the Collegiata church of Santa Giustina. Another must-see is the Oratory of San Giovanni Decollato, which houses a crucifix believed to be miraculous and a Baroque painting depicting Salome with the head of St John.
Serra San Quirico
Surrounded by the Regional Natural Park of the “Gola della Rossa e di Frasassi”, the historic center of Serra San Quirico is very well preserved, with a clearly visible medieval layout. This small village can be recognized by its characteristic ‘copertelle’, or covered passageways that run along the town walls.
Ostra is surrounded by medieval walls, and the old town center winds its way through narrow, twisted alleyways that meet in the central square, Piazza dei Martiri, where the lovely La Vittoria Theatre is also located. Ostra is well known for its artisan production of honey, so do not forget to buy a jar during your visit!
How can one fail to be enchanted by the majestic Gradara Castle? This small town – located in the province of Pesaro – is just a few kilometers far from the sea and is dominated by the splendid castle that was the setting for the love story of Paolo and Francesca. This town is a little gem to discover, with many small restaurants and events throughout the year.
Also known as the ‘belvedere of Piceno‘, this village boasts a beautiful panoramic position as well as a rich artistic heritage. If you are an art lover, you will find no less than five museums here: The Art Gallery-Gypsotheque, the Archaeological Museum, the Bishop’s Museum of Sacred Art, the Museum of Rural and Artisan Civilisation, the Historical-Ethnographic Museum.
Walking around the perimeter of the town, you will be able to admire a marvelous view, ranging from Gran Sasso to Majella, from Monti Sibillini to Conero, and even touching Mount Titano and the Adriatic Sea.
This beautiful village in the Fermo hinterland is also famous for the dry pasta that bears the same name. If you have never tasted maccheroncini di Campofilone IGP, a traditional egg pasta, you absolutely cannot miss them. Strolling through the town, you will come across Piazza Umberto I, overlooked by the Abbey of San Bartolomeo, the patron saint of Campofilone, next to which stands the Abbey Garden.
This village located in inland of Senigallia can be found on the left bank of the Nevola River. The city walls, with gates, bastions, and towers, are among the most impressive in the region. Among the best-known and most photographed sights is the Piaggia, also known as the Cento Scale (One Gundred Stairs) or the Polenta Stairs.
Between the valleys of the Aso River and the Menocchia stream, lies this delightful little town surrounded by an imposing wall, still well preserved. In Montefiore dell’Aso you can also admire some buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. To admire an unparalleled panorama, look out over the ‘Belvedere Adolfo de Carolis‘: here your gaze will encompass the Monti della Laga, Gran Sasso, Monte Vettore and the Sibillini Mountains.
Between Senigallia and Jesi lies Morro d’Alba, the only Italian fortified village to have a patrol walkway along all the walls, called the Scarpa, and covered and lined with archways. However, Morro d’Alba is especially famous for its DOC Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wine, made from an ancient indigenous grape variety.
Monteprandone is located in the province of Ascoli Piceno. On the chance of a stay in the Riviera delle Palme, we absolutely recommend a stop here. In addition to its rich artistic heritage, Monteprandone is also famous for its wine and olive oil production. In fact, one of the must-see events is the festival of mouflon stew and fried olives all’ascolana, which takes place every year during the first week of August.
Famous for its imposing fortress, Acquaviva Picena is also included among the most beautiful villages in Italy. Surrounded by the hills of the Marche region, it will win you over while strolling among churches, towers, alleys, and squares.
These are just some of the most beautiful towns in the region. The best seasons to visit Le Marche are spring and summer, especially in the hills and coastal areas.