Italian Idyll

Le Marche -  Area Guide

in Central Italy neighbours Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia Romagna and Abruzzo. Possibly because of its famous neighbours  
Marche has remained virtually untouched by tourism until a few years ago. It is only now becoming discovered by
foreigners and word is only now beginning to filter through of all this exquisite region has to offer.

The  most historically important  landmark in the cultural sense is Urbino in Northern Le Marche. The birth place of  
Raphael and a buzzing university walled city its makes for a fascinating cultural tour and the beautiful Ducale Palace is
something never to be missed.

The regional capital Ascoli Piceno is an elegant ancient town with a full itinerary of interesting cultural treats, a
number of excellent restaurants and a beautiful main piazza   famous  art deco Café Miletti providing a perfect place for
an aperitivo watching the beautiful people go by.

Loreto is the most important pilgrimage destination in Europe besides Lourdes. The is a fascinating church which houses
Our Lady's childhood home. Legend has it that it was miraculously transported  to Loreto from Jerusalem. Loreto like so
many of the towns in the area is beautiful and picturesque and not to be missed.

Le Marche is literally full of medieval hill top towns which are living, thriving places for the most part. Inhabited and a
crucial part of every day life the villages have bars, shops, restaurants and fascinating churches with astonishing  art
The area is a cultural treat and many towns have tiny restored theatres where plays and recitals regularly take place.

Macerata is a beautiful provincial city in central Le Marche which holds a spectacular open air opera season every
summer in the Sferisterio. These are truly memorable evenings preceded by an excellent dinner in one of the many fine
restaurants in the city.
The ancient walled provincial city  boasts smart shops, cool bars, excellent coffee and fine dining.  open Air Opera Festival

The summer and Autumn are times of celebration of the harvest and there are hundreds of Sagras and Festas to attend.
Enjoy a plate of polenta and join in the ball room dancing in the piazza.

The food of Le Marche is another source of huge enjoyment. The hills of the region being the foot hills of the mighty
Sibillini mountains the food is mountain influenced. Truffles, wild mushrooms, chestnuts, wild boar abound here. The
food is hand prepared not mass produced, buying and eating local produce just a way of life, the normal way. The grilled
meats from the wood burning fires are again locally sourced sometimes alarmingly so and tastes wonderfully succulent.
The pasta is normally hand prepared and is light and abundant. It would take a very sorry soul not to become passionate
about the regions food. The pizzas well there is nothing to say as they are perfect.
See our Restaurant Guide for Le Marche

The region also benefits greatly from having extremely good wine, both white and red. The Conero and Piceno  reds are
deep, gutsy smooth wines alot of them made to a very high standard. The whites are crisp, apply and sometimes oaky
buttery Verdichios and light crisp Falerios.
See La Vita Wine Section.

David and Fiona have written an English restaurant guide of the area with wine appraisal. We try to ensure each house
has a copy always there so that you can get out there and make the most of the treats in store.

The coastal area of Le Marche is for the most part typical Italian beaches, flat, long and sandy, very clean, with beds and
umbrellas on daily hire. Stacks of very good restaurants serving mostly fresh fish dishes line the pavements and
overlook the beaches. The swimming is safe as are the beaches attended by guards with creches facilities for children.

On the Conero peninsula close to Ancona the capital of Le Marche you can find relatively unknown and stunning
beaches  with superb restaurants and top class hotels. These beaches are craggy, sandy or pebbles.

Shopping is unavoidable to all but the most strict in Le Marche. This is the place to buy designer shoes, leather goods
and clothes.  Designer outlets offer their goods at up to 1/2 off retails price.
Tod's, Prada, Hugo Boss, Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Fornarina to name a few.
Focus On: Outlet Shopping For Designer Brands
The coastal area of Le Marche is the most populous of the whole region tying in with it being the most built up and
industrious. Le Marche has some big name brands producing leather goods and displaying them in chic, uba cool outlet
shops some seem more in place on Bond Street or 5th Avenue than in the industrial estates tucked in close to the coastal
area in the Fermo area of Le Marche.
PRADA recently opened a stunning shop with a large selection of boots, shoes and bags along with clothing for men and
women. They also showcase the Miu-Miu brand . Outlet built in shop style, stocks the products of Genny, Byblos and
Prada that has recently acquired the other two brands, at reasonable prices compared to those of single-brand retail store.
You can find clothing for men and women, accessories, jackets, end collections and inventories formal dresses and suits
with discounts up to 50%.
Business hours:
Monday - Saturday: 10:00-19:00
TODS: Opposite Prada  have a similarly chic outfit offering the largest range of women and mens Tods and Hogan
shoes, bags and accessories.
The factory outlet Della Valle of Tod's and Hogan is located in the industrial area of Sant'Elpidio a Mare (AP). Here you
can find clothing, leather goods and especially footwear of the two famous brand at very competitive prices, discounted
20 to 40% compared to prices charged in retail sales. Sale of collections of previous years, inventories and samples.
Business hours: Monday- Saturday: 10:00-19:30 You can find everything you want, from the casual lines to the superchic
ones, created by the great Italian designer: Emporio Armani, Giorgio, Armani Collezioni, Borgonuovo, Armani Junior,
Armani Jeans. Wide assortment of apparel, accessories and intimate, between previous collections and samples. For
women, men and children.
The average savings is 50-80% on items purchased compared to single-brand stores.
Business hours: Monday- Saturday: 10:00-14:00/ 15:00-19:00
Roberto Cavalli has a smart outlet shop selling leather goods specialises in women's shoes, accessories and clothes in
Hugo Boss in Monte Cosaro close to Casette D'ete home to Prada and Tod's.
Smartly turned out Romans swarm to these places on a weekend leaving piled high with boxes.
If into designer shoeware and handbags it is worth taking a flight from Stansted to Ancona for a weekend and staying in
one of the lovely hotels near Numana and Porto Nuovo near Ancona Airport.
See Opposite for a short guide to places to stay on the coast.
Prada Outlet - Tods and Hogan - Casette D,ete off the SS77 from Civitanova turning off the A14 from Bologna and
Fraz. Casette D'Ete
Sant'Elpidio A Mare
0734 666066
Tod's S.p.a.

The beauty of the region lies in its geography, hills and mountains offering stunning, spectacular views  and the
diversity of coast line versus hills and mountains. The mountains are covered in wild flowers in May and June, snow
covered until March. There are several ski resorts with good facilities and runs.

Lake Fiastra is an enormous, fresh water lake with clear blue water and safe swimming. There are good restaurants, bars
and shops at the lake and apart from August no one there. Trekking and horse riding and quad biking are all available.
On clear days so can see 40 miles, its a perfect place for a picnic and a snooze. Take a trip to Umbria through the
mountains and see the awesome plain where lentils are farmed. Go trekking and stay over night in a rifugio.

Le Marche is text book Italy, sheep bells and church bells, old men in coffee bars, vegetable vans selling local produce,
hot, lazy days and siestas, simple, delicious heaps of food, smart shops, opera, beautiful people, bent old ladies leaving
church, ice creams late at night, star studded skies, cypress trees on a hill, vines, olive trees and barking dogs, crickets,
and sunflowers.

Le Marche really does encompass all this but without the tour buses, trooping tourists and queues. The people of the
region are gentle, funny and genuine with a love for their home, a rightful pride in it and take huge pleasure in sharing
it with us stranieri.
They adore children and greet them with open arms, often literally.

Anyone who has already discovered Le Marche is secretive about it, we all want to keep it to ourselves. Italian Idyll
clients are more than welcome however and we hope you will visit time and again and tell your friends.....well a few  
select ones anyway.
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