THE MAGIC OF LE MARCHE
This could be due to lack of knowledge, great publicity for those areas, or maybe it’s because Italians purposefully like to keep some special spots for themselves.
Since Italy is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, some places may have been purposefully kept from the itineraries of the main tourist crowd.
If you’ve already ventured to the most famous cities, Le Marche is a less-known region that we suggest you visit during your next tour of Italy.
UNSPOILT ITALIAN REGION
Le Marche is the perfect spot for a more relaxed Italian holiday. Surrounded by Umbria, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo, and the famous Tuscany, it’s a central region that many seem to forget about or simply not know.
With access to the Adriatic Sea, rolling hills and mountainous inland landscapes, Le Marche is the perfect vacation spot. The towns and villages of this region are a fantastic and less crowded option with so much to offer.
In the following paragraphs, we’ve listed some of the great experiences that this region has to offer.
The beaches of Le Marche dive directly into the Adriatic Sea. Crowding the shoreline in the summer months are sunbathers, tourists, and locals alike.
Monte Conero is a mountain of limestone, which has many coastal towns at its base. Numana is an ancient port that was destroyed by a series of earthquakes during its prime.
Since then, it has functioned as a small fishing village. Today, it is a small town in the Conero Rivera with lovely views. The smallest town on the riviera is Portonovo.
It’s known for the mussels of the area which are found in all the restaurants along the coast of the town.
The best view of the mountain and seaside come from the town of Sirolo. It’s a lovely ancient town, dating back all the way to the Roman empire.
Ascolano olives are a staple of the Le Marche region. Coming mainly from Ancona, these are larger than most types of olives and vary in color.
Situated in olive groves are many properties of this region. These are great stays for a unique experience in the fall months, when the harvest takes place.
The large oil mills in the farms run day and night to produce the incredible oil of this region. From green and purple olives to thick, golden oils, it’s a magical process to witness.
By the end of your stay, you’ll have tasted the best olive oil of your life. You’ll be tempted to ship bottles home to keep year round.
It’ll be difficult to use mass-produced brands after experiencing these fresh, rich flavors.
GROTTE DI FRASASSI
This is a truly unique excursion if you can handle it. If you’re looking for simple, easy walks on the rolling hills, through olive groves and vineyards, this is not the trip for you.
They will fully equip you with hard hats and rubber boots, lamps, etc. These underground caves are extensive, and 18 kilometers have been explored, but only 1 kilometer is accessible to visit during the tour.
Stalagmites cover the floor of one section, giving the impression of a floor of candles. One area is said to be so large it could hold the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, which is in Milan, by the way.
Delicate areas of stone, stalactites, and stalagmites are extremely unique visual wonders of this excursion. It’s an intense expedition but well worth it and surely one you will not forget.
BASILICA DELLA SANTA CASA
The town of Loreto holds a famous site of Catholic pilgrimage. This will come as no surprise to most, given that Italy is largely Catholic.
It features gorgeous churches and religious architecture and art from centuries of religious practices.
The basilica is particularly special to Catholics. The historical significance and importance in the Catholic religion lies within the Holy House or Santa Casa inside the church.
It’s a beauty not only for architectural reasons but also for the artistic mosaics and paintings from famous artists of the 16th century which decorate the interior of the structure.
This delicacy adds a strong, earthy flavor to many dishes. Typically found in the region of Piedmont, truffles have specific harvesting times in which dogs sniff and “hunt” for them.
Acqualagna is the Le Marche truffle capital. You can plan a truffle hunt during specific times of the year.
The truffle hunting dogs dig up the main truffle, leaving the buds. The hunters then pat the buds back down into the earth in order to support their continued growth.
These unique mushrooms are used for oils, creams, sauces, and pastes. However, some are traded and sold through the private market.
MAIN DISHES OF LE MARCHE
TYPICAL OF THE COAST
The region of Le Marche has some particular delicacies in terms of food and drinks. It is a famous area for anise and the anise-based liquor, Anisette Melletti.
A particular grape of the region (of the Verdicchio grape variety) gives birth to a dry white wine with a citrus aftertaste. Menus along the shoreline are decorated by plenty of fish dishes due to the long Le Marche coastline.
The Brodetto dell’Anconetana is a tomato soup with 13 species of shellfish and fish. Le Marche is also a great region to indulge in a dish of mussels.
Moving inland to the hillside terrain, the Ascolana olives are stuffed with meat and fried to make a dish known as olive all’asolana.
Moving to the inland forest areas, this region makes a special lasagna delicacy. It is made with a sauce of truffles and béchamel, with veal spread in between the layers, and liver on the soft sheets of pasta.
Typically grilled on embers of wood, meat dishes like lamb and rabbit have a smoky, wooded flavor. Also, the pork sausage has an intense combination of flavors, sure to leave your belly full and happy. Lastly, Truffles are a staple of the area, so if you’re a fan of this pungent flavor, this is also a good place to indulge in dishes of truffles.