Rich in history, monuments and churches, the hilltop towns of Le Marche are off-the-beaten path and are rarely overcrowded. Considered by many as one of the most underrated regions of Italy, it is home to 1.5 million people – about one third the population of Tuscany – and offers everything from medieval villages to spectacular beaches and renaissance palaces. Marche is also home to Michelin-rated restaurants and rolling hills covered in some of the best varieties of wine. It is positioned in a strategic geographical location at the center of Italy, giving its visitor a chance to experience many points of interest in a short and leisurely period of time.
Northern Marche is a blend of noble history and natural wonders. It contains the largest caves in Italy, Frasassi, as well as the World Unesco heritage site of Urbino, which is considered to be one of the best kept medieval palaces in the world. Here you can also find the pilgrimage of Loreto, second only to Lourdes in France.
Italian shoes are famous around the world, and in Marche shoe-making is considered a regional excellence. In fact, Marche is the largest shoe-making area in Italy, and nearly 80% of all shoes Made-in-Italy are produced here! This tradition runs so deep that in the small town of Montegranaro you can still commission a tailor-made shoe constructed fully by hand. Now, who can say they own a pair of shoes that nobody else in the world has?!
The local cuisine is composed of peasant dishes which have been revived by local chefs and acclaimed nationally by critics for their taste and simplicity. The famous Olive all’Ascolana, made with three kind of meats and lightly fried, is unique to Ascoli Piceno and is a must-try for every visitor. Along Marche’s coast it is common to find typical seafood dishes. One such dish is called “Brodetto”, a classic fish stew with variations found in each coastal town. From the land, you can experience the history of Le Marche by tasting the classic baked pasta dish “Vincisgrassi”, which is similar to the well-known “Lasagna” and uses a pasta sauce recipe that dates back to 1784! Other typical products include the Prosciutto of Carpegna which is a D.O.P protected ham similar to Parma but with a more savoury taste profile, as well as Ciauscolo, a soft salami that is spread on fresh bread like pâté. At The Italian on Tour you will find that each location we visit is connected historically to its dishes which are deeply rooted in tradition and shared with pride by all Marchigiani.
Marche is a thriving wine production area, boasting award winning reds and whites. The best known wines of the region are the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, an outstanding white wine from the province of Ancona and the Rosso Piceno, a bold red from the hills near Ascoli Piceno. In line with the quality of the wines is the hospitality experienced in this region.
At The Italian on Tour you will experience a genuine welcoming when you are on our tours. The feel of Marche is very different than that of other regions in Italy, where you are just another tourist. The Land is pristine and in many cases undiscovered by tourism. The pride of the Marchigiani shines through in their hospitality, displaying a sincere interest in sharing traditions, history and cuisine with those that come from abroad.
If you are ready to be part of the most authentic experience that Italy has to offer and would like to join in on something you will never forget, come visit this enchanting region of Italy. We assure you it is a trip that will stay with you for the rest of your life!
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