Marche is not one of Italy’s top destination, but this does not mean it is not worth it to visit it and travel in it; this region has more than 80 km of coastline along the Adriatic Sea, soft and undulating hills as fascinating as Tuscany’s or Umbria’s, charming one-street villages, market towns and cities full of history and art. My suggestion, given its “vertical” shape, is to set your base in one of the many costal town and then use a car to reach other places. Here are two locations you might enjoy while discovering this charming region.
I’ve wrote already about Urbino, its Cathedral and its history, another city to visit is surly Ascoli Piceno. Also called “city of travertine”, because many of its buildings built from this precious stone, Ascoli is as good as it gets in the southern part of the Region. Honestly it is better to just stroll in the centre and wander around instead of having a list of things to do in this town; if you can, though, a visit to the Archaeological Museum is worth the two euros admission fee. The town will not disappoint the foodies too: “olive all’ascolana” (deep-fried stuffed olives) are a must here and they go very well alongside a local red wine, “rosso piceno”. Extensive Roman remains include parts of the city wall, two bridges, and the ruins of a theatre, an amphitheatre, and a temple of Vesta. Walls and towers from the medieval fortifications still stand.
Pesaro is another city to visit while in the region; it has a good balance of beach activities and culture. Birthplace of one of Italy’s most known composer, Gioacchino Rossini, Pesaro has an interesting Opera offer, especially during the August “Rossini Opera Festival”. The Musei Civici have a high-quality art collection and it costs nothing to appreciate Villa Ruggeri, in Piazzale della Libertà, a sporadic example of art nouveau architecture, built for a pharmacist in the early 1900s. The Renaissance was Pesaro's most flourishing age; the houses Malatesta (1285–1445), Sforza (1445–1512) and Della Rovere(1513–1631) gave the city the construction of numerous public and private palaces, and the erection of a new line of walls (the Mura Roveresche).
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