Destinations & Articles
Le Marche, Italy
A Voyage of Discovery
Published in the
Winter 2008-09 Issue of Canadian World Traveller
Photos by Hélène Clément and others
Like so many other seasoned travellers, I had never heard about Le Marche (pronounced Lay MAR-kay), yet this breathtakingly beautiful region of Italy was about to sweep me away.
The region boasts historic hilltop towns, wonderful gastronomy, world-famous wines and a wealth of art and architectural treasures. Its luxurious country villas set in rolling, picture-perfect landscapes add immeasurably to the region's many charms.
Most of all, Le Marche's warm and truly hospitable people mark it as one of the most desirable travel destinations in Italy and indeed, in the entire world!
This is no exaggeration. Just ask anyone who has had the good fortune to visit Le Marche and savour all that this little-known but perfect gem of a travel destination has to offer any true connoisseur of 'la dolce
Exactly Is Le
Le Marche is located about halfway down the boot of Italy on the eastern coast of the
country directly south of the tiny independent
Republic of San Marino and east of Tuscany.
It lies between the foothills of the lofty Apennine Mountains (the
so-called backbone of Italy) and the serene waters of the Adriatic Sea that lap at the region's beautiful shoreline.
Le Marche encompasses five of Italy's 110 provinces. The region's five provinces are, from north to south,
Pesaro-Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Fermo and Ascoli-Piceno, each offering the visitor its own unique attractions.
seaside City of Ancona (located in the province of the same
name) is Le Marche's regional capital and it's largest urban
centre. However, most of the region's population of just over
1.5 million live in smaller coastal and inland cities, towns,
tiny hamlets and rural communities. By
road, Ancona is just 294 km (182 miles) northeast of Rome but
is worlds apart!
Though Ancona has an international airport, I flew from Montreal to Rome, via Zurich, by Swissair and travelled to Le Marche by road.
The pleasant two-and-a half-hour drive proved to be an excellent introduction to the undulating inland terrain of Le Marche Region. I marvelled at the modern engineering feats of tunnelling that allowed the four-lane highway to run through the previously
almost impassable mountain range.
I was equally astounded by the way Le Marche's centuries-old hilltop towns and hamlets clung steadfastly to their precarious and improbably lofty sites.
Charming Country Inn
arrived at noon at the Hotel Tenuta San Settimio (www.sansettimio.it), which would be our home-away-from-home
for the next three days. This highly recommended country inn
is located in the rolling hills of Palazzo d'Arcevia in Ancona
main building housed the inn's rustic but well-appointed
restaurant where we enjoyed our first taste of Le Marche's
delectable cuisine. This feast included a platter of sizzling
mixed meats that practically fell off the bone!
was the view from the huge windows of the octagonal
timber-framed dining room of the surrounding tree-covered
valley that was truly breathtaking and somewhat
reminiscent of Canada's own pine forests.
room was in a separate one-storey brick building with a traditional
terracotta tile roof. It was located along a short winding country
lane that took me past a farmer's hillside field.
One morning on my way on
foot to breakfast in the main building, I passed the farmer who
waved to me while tilling the soil
with his tractor on his gently sloping field.
You just don't get much more rustic than that!
San Lorenzo in Campo
Our first short expedition in Le Marche was to
San Lorenzo in
Campo. The origin of this town, situated in the beautiful river valley of Cesano, is linked to the founding of its world-famous Abbey constructed by
Benedictine monks between the seventh and the ninth centuries.
The impressive pillars and magnificent original Roman-Gothic truss ceiling make it one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the Le Marche Region!
Our knowledgeable and welcoming
guide was the young Pastor of the Abbey who had visited Montreal in
2002 in conjunction with World
Youth Day, which was
being held in Toronto that
A Canadian Innkeeper
crowning touch of our visit to San Lorenzo in Campo was a
splendid dinner at 'Ristorante Il Giardino', located in the
hotel of the same name (www.hotelgiardino.it).
The gracious co-owner of this family-run, elegantly appointed
establishment was Patricia Biagiali, who proudly announced in
perfect English that she was Canadian!
related to us that her parents had left Le Marche in the
postwar era when the region was in dire economic straits. Many
of the talented local craftsmen and builders (including her
father) could not find work, so her family immigrated to
Canada where she was born and grew up.
today, the largest number of Le Marche's expats lives in
Canada, with the biggest community being in Montreal.
Her charming son Pablo
was one of our attentive hosts who served us appetizers
(antipasti) of angelica pears filled with a mousse of caciotta
cheese (a specialty of the region); cannelloni di polenta,
made from rolled sheets of pasta stuffed with pureed potatoes
and black truffles (tartufo nero); and tasty slices of
country-style pork terrine served with rolls of oven-fresh
Two Italian Main Dishes
The first main dish of the sumptuous
dinner, the 'primo' course, (yes, in Italy, there are always at least two) was
tagliolini consisting of long, paper-thin ribbons of pasta served with
a sauce prepared with local black truffles and pigeon.
The second main dish, the 'secondo', was brasato di marchigiano, which is made with thick slices of prime rump beef that are rolled around a stuffing of vegetables then braised in
This cornucopia was consumed with copious bottles of the world-famous, locally produced Verdicchio di Jesi, a wonderful white wine, and Rosso Pergola, an equally palatable red wine.
As you've no doubt surmised, you can forget about your diet while visiting Le Marche!
Fabriano Paper & More
our visit to Fabriano, nestled in the foothills of the
Apennines in Ancona Province, we discovered that this
innovative town founded in the early Middle Ages, is both a
historic centre of arts and crafts and an important
present-day industrial engine of the entire Le Marche Region,
particularly because of its prolific production of fine paper.
early as the 14th century, Fabriano's paper mills were already
producing over a million sheets of paper a year and it was
right here that watermarked paper was invented!
famed paper is still used the world over for banknotes, including
euros, and by fine artists for their watercolour paintings,
original drawings and limited reproduced prints.
toured Fabriano's fascinating Museo della Carta (paper museum), which
took us through the entire original process that was used for
handcrafting the first precious and widely sought-after watermarked
sheets of paper.
visit to the museum's excellent bilingual
website at www.museodellacarta.com
is highly rewarding.
next stop in Fabriano was its equally impressive Bruno
Molajoli Pinacoteca Civica, a museum that houses a priceless
collection of medieval art. (click on second plaque on the
rooms display several important religious carved wooden
figures, painted altar panels and restored church frescoes
(detached from their original unprotected locations in order
to preserve them).
of these pieces were created in the Italian Gothic era by
artists of the school of Gentile da Fabriano (c.1370 -
c.1427), the renowned master painter who even today remains one of Fabriano's
most famous and revered sons.
Guests of the Marquis
incredible lunch, accompanied by excellent regional wines,
awaited us at the five-star restaurant of Fabriano's
remarkable Relais Marchese del Grillo Villa .
the villa's website is only in Italian, but it is still worth
a look. (www.marchesedelgrillo.com)
beautiful Italian villa, resplendent with private gardens and
overlooking a broad valley, was built in 1771 by Marquis
Onofrio, a gourmand and connoiseur of fine wine.
remained in other noble families' hands until the mid-19th
century. In 1987, the villa was acquired and lovingly restored
by the D'Alesio family who converted it into one of the area's
most elegant restaurants and hotels.
and Dining in Macerata
major part of our visit to Le Marche was spent in the two most
northerly provinces of the region, namely Pesaro-Urbino and
Ancona. However, we did briefly visit the Province of Macerata
(located just south of Ancona Province).
first stop in Macerata was a shopping excision to the
outskirts of Tolentino. We visited the Tombolini Area.T
Outlet, which featured the designer's highly-sought-after clothing at outlet
fabulous, ultra-modern building also housed an elegant
café-restaurant. World-famous designer Antonio Tombolini (www.antoniotombolini.com)
was born and educated in Le Marche and the region is justly
proud of his international success.
came a short visit to Monte San Giusto to visit its Fabi Shoes
where literally hundreds of handcrafted shoes and boots were
displayed on its highly polished showroom floor. Italian shoes
are legendary throughout the world and much of this highly-prized footwear is designed and manufactured in Le Marche. The
Le Marche Region is renowned for the quality and style of its leather
goods, as well as its handcrafted high-end
out our visit to Macerata Province was a short but enjoyable
late-night stop at Matelica, where we indulged in yet another
delectable dinner of local specialities and wine at the
Cantina Verdicchio di Matelica.
cozy restaurant is located just a short walk from the main
square of the historic city.
archaeological finds have dated Matelica's origins back to the
Palaeolithic or Stone Age era. A return visit to Matelica and
the rest of Macerata Province is a definite must for me!
I had been in other
caves before, but nothing prepared me for the spectacular tour
of the Frasassi Caves located in the Genga Municipality of
Ancona Province. Visit the caves' excellent bilingual website
and be awestruck!
huge and wonderfully illuminated natural caverns, filled with
candle-like towering stalagmites, still-dripping metres-long
stalactites and underground mini-lakes, were discovered in
1975 by a group of intrepid speleologists.
What is equally
astounding, is that the caves, found deep in the mountainside, are so accessible to the most timid or frail of visitors
due to the fantastic suspended, easy-to-navigate walkways and
steps with reassuring handrails that have been engineered to
traverse the entire series of large and small caves without
despoiling their natural and fragile beauty.
Our knowledgeable young guide noted that Frasassi's main cavern is so large and deep that it could
easily hold the entire Milan Cathedral within its walls and ceiling! This is truly a not-to-be-missed experience.
A Jurassic Treat
The Abbey of San Vittore delle Chiuse is the most beautiful intact Romanesque building in all of Le Marche.
It is located just 500 metres along the road from the entrance to the caves.
This centuries-old edifice is worth a visit if only to tour the Speleo-paleontological Museum
housed in the
Abbey's recently renovated annex. It boasts an extremely rare fossil of Ichthyosaurus, a creature that existed in
Le Marche in the Early Jurassic Period, roughly 190-183
million years ago.
all that physical activity, it was a welcome pause for lunch
that found us at the modest but charming Al Merlo Nero
Restaurant in the Ancona town of Mergo. Our gracious and
affable host turned out to be "only the husband".
real powerhouse behind the success of this small-town gourmet
restaurant was his wife, the extraordinarily talented co-owner
and chef Marina Pierelli.
antipasti consisted of local cold cuts of meat, cheeses and
Ascoli-style olives, which are stuffed with minced meat,
breaded and then deep-fried.
three main courses were mushroom soup in a delightful bread
crust; truffle ravioli filled with ricotta cheese; and tender
veal shanks baked in a sauce fortified with Lacrima Morro di
Alba, a locally produced red wine.
delectable courses all followed in quick succession along with
side dishes of local seasonal greens and vegetables.
crown it all, we were treated to traditional Le Marche
desserts accompanied by glasses of warm mulled wine.
and shots of grappa (the famous Italian distilled digestive) followed
on this extraordinary lunch menu. Suitably mellow and in high
spirits, we were introduced to chef Marina and showered her
with well-deserved kudos
Arcevia: A Mountain Pearl
The picture-perfect town of Arcevia stands atop a prominent ridge in the Apennine foothills.
Located on Mount Cichiano at 535 metres
(1,755 feet) above sea level, Arcevia predates Roman times and is one of the extraordinary historic sites that is a must-see when visiting Le Marche.
On our visit to
Arcevia, we climbed the 14th-century tower of the lofty Town
Hall building located on Piazza Garibaldi for a spectacular
view of the tiled rooftops of the town and the broad valley
below, where the Misa and Cesano Rivers flow through the
surrounding verdant hills. And way off in the distance, one
could catch a glimpse of Le Marche's undulating Adriatic
Years of Art
On our guided tour of the town,
we were fortunate to visit the San Medardo Museum, housed in
the former church building of the same name, during the
"Luca Signorelli 1508-2008" exhibition, which
celebrated the 500th anniversary of the church's widely
revered altarpiece painted by the artist in 1508!
Signorelli was one of the great painters of the Italian
Renaissance, who was renowned for his fine draftsmanship and
unique sense of perspective.
Other fascinating works by him
and his contemporaries make this museum worthy of a visit.
a bonus, we were treated to a tour (given by the director
himself) of the neighbouring National Archaeological Museum of
which is justly located in Arcevia, though some wanted it to
be located in the regional capital of Ancona. The site is only
in Italian, but it will give you a sense of the scope of the
remarkable displays of unearthed objects from the copper and
bronze ages are vivid testaments to the long and rich history
of Arcevia and its environs.
Frontone Castle Banquet
in the high inland hills of the Province of
venerable town of Frontone has been coveted, invaded and
inhabited over periods of time by a host of different
Gauls, Romans, Lombards and Franks all came and temporarilly
occupied Frontone over
the centuries of the town's long and storied history.
earliest documents that refer to the Frontone's lofty,
imposing and well-fortified castle date back to the 11th
century. The town's story is irrevocably linked to its formidable castle, which represents one of the finest existing examples of military architecture and building techniques employed in its day.
As we drove up the steep, winding, moonlit road to the castle,
I began to appreciate its invincibility.
Frontone offers guided tours of its fabled castle and its
borgo (the medieval village located within the castle
grounds). Some of the newly renovated halls in the castle are available for social events. I attended a magnificent banquet held there and it was a truly memorable
The picturesque little
town of Pergola, located in the vineyard-dotted valley of the Cesano River, has a surprising wealth of beautiful churches.
But the highlight of any visit to Pergola has to be its Museo dei Bronzi Dorati
fully appreciate the magnificence and historic significance of
the wonderfully restored and displayed life-size gilded bronze
figures of humans and horses that date back to the 1st century
AD, you really must be there in person!
prized figures, found broken into hundreds of pieces, were
accidentally discovered in 1946, buried in a farmer's field on
the outskirts of Pergola. After decades of painstaking
restoration the figures can at last be viewed by the entire
world in all of their original glory.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was privileged to co-host a temporary exhibition (the first outside of Italy) of the famous bronzes, between July 2007 and February 2008, in collaboration with the local Italian community.
Pergola Gourmet Tasting
a brief tour of the town, we made our way to the foyer of
Pergola's Teatro Angel Dal Foco for a tasting of typical local
included organic Formaggio Pecorino,
a tasty cheese made from sheep's milk by Pergola's own Sotgia e
'piada', a wonderful regional flatbread made by
Piadineria Osteria Da Peppe with local organically-grown 'farro'
was yet another opportunity to savour the local wines. The Massaioli
Winery provided ample tastings of its fine
including its amber-coloured Santo aperitif or dessert wine;
its ruby-red fruity Vernacolo; its golden-yellow Santa Colomba
(a blended version of Le Marche's famous Verdicchio); and its
Visciolata, a delicious dessert wine made from wild cherries
grown in the region.
Breathtaking Furlo Gorge
Anyone who loves the great outdoors should visit Le Marche's Natural Reserve of Furlo Gorge
The park is located in a rugged Apennine mountain pass in the Province of
Pesaro-Urbino. These 3,600 protected hectares (about 9,000
acres) of woods, dramatic pristine mountain cliffs and
formidable peaks are something to behold.
View from the Top
We drove along a winding, perilous road (also a hiking trail) leading up Mount Pietralata from the valley-floor town of Furlo with one of the reserve's park rangers.
The Furlo Gorge tells the geological history of Italy over the last 200 million years or more. Its limestone walls are imbedded with fascinating fossils of creatures that lived around 15 million years ago!
Sky-high Avian Home
When the road came to an end, we left our vehicle and continued on foot along a short trail that led us to a stunning panoramic view of the entire gorge.
Mist clung to the lofty peaks across the gorge. Using the mounted telescopes, we spotted the cliff-side nest of a
mating pair of the gorge's legendary golden eagles.
On our return to the
bottom of the gorge, we visited the excellent Gola del Furlo
Museum (click on Museo del Territorio) where we learned more about the area's age-old fossils,
amazing flora and intriguing fauna, including the wild boars,
deer and foxes that roam this world-class natural reserve. A
perfect ending to a perfect day!
Gracious Lunch in Sant'Ippolito
The splendid historic country residence that now houses the inn (osteria) and gourmet restaurant of Palazzina Sabatelli
(www.palazzinasabatelli.it), is found near the town of
Sant'Ippolito in the Province of Pesaro-Urbino.
The original main structure, with its perfectly proportioned tower, dominates the surrounding valley.
It was built around 1630 by the nobleman Cavalier Giovanbattista Sabatelli, whose grandson Tiberio added a picture-perfect little chapel, featuring a portico with three arches, and
a secondary smaller country house on the well-manicured grounds of the estate.
Over the years, this popular meeting-place of the local gentry had fallen into neglect but
in recent times Palazzina Sabatelli has been lovingly restored and
its guests can now enjoy the renewed spirit of its historic hospitality.
The intriguing décor of our dining room, with its highly-decorative
hand-painted vaulted ceiling and plastered walls, competed with the elegant, gracious service and fine cuisine of
our repast. I could only imagine what it would be like to stay in one of the well-appointed historic guest rooms of Palazzina Sabatelli!
Villa & Science Museum
That night, we did in fact check into an equally elegant and amazingly historic country villa.
The Villa San
Martino, also known as Villa del Bali, is located near the town of
Saltara. It stands on the wooded St. Martino Hill overlooking the Metauro River Valley.
The villa's builder, Bishop Vincenzo Negudanti, was an avid astronomer who transformed it into an observatory.
Today, this historic architectural treasure of Le Marche is a unique country inn offering its seven tastefully decorated spacious rooms to discerning guests from around the world.
Be sure to visit its superb bilingual website at www.albali.it.
Museo del Bali
a remarkable concept! On the ground floor of the historic
villa was this state-of-the-art science museum. It offered
over 35 interactive exhibits that call into question and
disprove our perceptions of what is real in the everyday world
our tour of the museum (given by our fluently bilingual and
very animated guide), I could just imagine how fascinating this
would be for my young Canadian nephews! During our stay, we saw
busloads of excited Italian school kids arriving for their visits.
this remarkable museum, which includes a planetarium and observatory for
gazing at the stars, is interesting for visitors of any age.
The website (www.museodelbali.org)
is only in Italian but is worth a look-see. Astronomer Bishop
Negudanti, who build the villa would have been more than
pleased to see his dream come true more than three centuries
Hotel Laboratorio Symposium
didn't stay here but were invited to tour this amazing
facility by its owner, the affable Lucio Pompili, who also
managed the nearby Villa del Bali, where we were staying.
unique concept of the Symposium, located in the outskirts of Serrungarina,
is to have a totally
integrated sustainable tourist facility that offers the finest
cuisine and wines produced locally from organically grown and
biologically pure ingredients.
our visit, we viewed the process of making the region's
excellent virgin olive oil and enjoyed a tasting of the newly
pressed, slightly green-coloured oil, accompanied by a
sampling of local cheeses,
which were also produced in the age-old, traditional way right there at the
groundbreaking 'laboratorio' (www.symposium4stagioni.it).
the previous day, we had stopped at a roadside family-tended
grove and witnessed the harvesting by hand of some of the
region's prized olives, so it was indeed a special treat to
see the processing method and imbibe in the resulting delectable product!
Art through the Ages
is situated in the Province of Pesaro-Urbino along the famous
Via Flaminia that leads from Rome to the Adriatic.
picturesque town lies on the two sides of the Metauro River.
Its most famous landmark, the graceful V. Emanuele Bridge
(also known as the Ponte della Concordia), spans the river.
started our tour of this historic town at the Casa
Museo Quadreria Cesarini, which faces the river
(click on Art and follow the links). This multi-levelled museum-house was the home of Giuseppe
Cesarini, an avid local art collector. The décor and
furnishings of its many elegant rooms faithfully reflect the
prevailing tastes and styles in Italy during different periods
in the late
19th century and early 20th century.
museum's art galleries display over 60 works by locally born,
internationally renown artist Anselmo
Bucci, as well as a
wealth of other works by important 20th-century Italian
artists and sculptors. This fascinating museum-house was well
worth the visit.
To really appreciate Fossombrone one must stroll
through its storied streets where one finds the beautiful
Baroque-style 17th-century San Filippo Church and the
Pinacoteca Vernarecci Art Gallery, both of which boast
priceless works of Italian art that date back to the early
After our edifying
visit of Fossombrone, we travelled to Orciano
di Pesaro for lunch at the Fattoria della Ripa, a
renowned typical country inn, specializing in delicious
locally produced cheeses
made from sheep's milk
Situated at a strategic point between
Urbino and the coastal town of Senigallia,
Mondavio was one of a series of 24 castle-towns that dotted the Le Marche countryside to ensure safe passage of people and goods during feudal times.
Mondavio's 'Rocco' was constructed between 1482 and 1492. This massive, almost impenetrable
double-walled fortress stands on a high promontory.
Its walls were so thick that even cannon fire could not breach them. We visited its labyrinth of rooms and climbed up its watchtower for wonderful 360-degree views of the walled town and surrounding valleys.
This impressive fortress also features everyday Medieval
scenes with life-sized figures and
a wonderful collection of historic weapons and armory.
Fratte Rosa Terracotta
This quiet hilltop town situated in the Province of Pesaro-Urbino has a surprising attraction. For hundreds of years, ordinary utensils were made by local craftsmen out of terracotta in Fratte
Rosa. This centuries-old tradition was the inspiration for the
creation of the town's excellent 'Museo della Terracotta'
attractively presented displays, with bilingual explanations,
trace the history of the skilled art of creating useable
household objects out of terracotta. There is
also a workshop where anyone can have a try at it!
our fascinating tour of the museum, we visited the artisan workshop and showroom of
talented local terracotta craftsman Daniele Giombi (www.terrecottegiombi.it)
and witnessed him turning one of his signature pieces. A fine
a late-night gourmet dinner at Restaurant "La
Graticola" in Fratte Rosa, we drove back to our hotel
near Saltara for a well-earned sleep.
Centre of Art and Learning
are no words to adequately describe this remarkable city. This
cradle of culture, art, architecture and learning must indeed
be Italy's best-guarded secret!
of a Roman presence in the area go back to 250 BC. However,
Urbino really started its meteoric rise to glory during the
Italian Renaissance, when Frederico da Montefeltro became Lord
of the city in 1444 (and later Duke, in 1474).
'man of culture' brought the best and the brightest minds of
the day to his city-state and also supported the development
of many promising artists such as the young Raphael, who is
perhaps the city's most famous son.
his time, Frederico established the second largest library in Italy
after the Vatican's and constructed the Ducal
Palace, a true
the palace houses the must-see art collections of one of
Italy's most important museums the 'Galleria Nazionale delle
I walked along Urbino's main street pass all the beautiful
Renaissance buildings I couldn't help wondering what I would
be like to have lived in those days.
University of Urbino "Carlo Bo" was founded in 1506.
At first I thought it strange that its students seemed to be
everywhere in town until I found out that the student body of
about 20,000 easily outnumbers the general population of
15,500. It happened to be Career Day on the day of our visit.
were fortunate in having one of the university's department
heads give us a tour of his faculty, others of which are
spread out across the walled city.
explained that there are many foreign
students. They come to
Urbino to learn Italian and to do so in the great historical
ambience offered by the city.
a short walk up and down the town's quaint, narrow and rather
steep but picturesque side streets it was time for lunch at
the highly recommended Restaurant "L'Angolo Divino",
where I had the best fettuccine alfredo I've ever eaten!
Town of History & Faith
many of Le Marche’s historic towns, Corinaldo is surrounded by high
walls that in olden days protected the population from
invaders. But, this town’s well-preserved walls seemed so
this was because I was able to stroll along the top edges and
got a real sense of their height (up to 18 metres in places!)
as I tried to calculate how many thousands and thousands of
bricks they took to build.
is truly unique to Corinaldo is an amazing outdoor stairway of
a hundred steps. Picturesque brick houses line both sides of
the wide ceremonial-like flight of stairs.
This dramatic brick
stairway called the Piaggia leads down to one of just three
gateways in the high walls surrounding the city.
Maria Goretti was born in 1890 to poor parents in a humble
house in the outskirts of Corinaldo. (for English version of
website, click on inglese)
house has been preserved and many believers make pilgrimages
from around the world to visit the home of the martyr-saint
who died at the age of 12 at the hands of her older cousin
when she refused to concede her virtue. She was canonized in
visit to her shrine took on a personal turn when I recalled
that my late mum had founded a club for teenaged girls and had
called it the Maria Goretti Girls’ Club. Before this trip I
had no idea of the little virgin saint’s connection to
The Velvet Beach
spending six wonderful days traversing the hilly inland
terrain of Le Marche region, I had almost forgotten that the
region also boasts a long and winding Adriatic coastline waiting to
We only had
time to visit two seaside communities and started at Senigallia, which has justly adopted the slogan, the Velvet
Beach (see its great website).
beachfront offers the summer visitor 13 km of golden sand. A
unique feature on the beach is the Art Deco style ‘Rotondo a
Mare’, a multipurpose circular pavilion that dates back to
the 30s, which seems to
float above the waves.
History and Markets
the visitor, there’s no lack of creature comforts in
made a brief stop at the Terrazza
Marconi Hotel and Spamarine for cappuccinos and
biscotti. This elegant seafront boutique hotel features a
Zen-like spa and a wonderful rooftop restaurant and bar with a
fabulous 180-degree view of the sea and coastline.
Senigallia is also a historic city and we took a lovely stroll
by some of its architectural treasures such as ‘Rocco
Roveresca’ Fortress and the 16th-century ‘Palazzo del Duca’
also visited the city’s public library, which is housed in a
former jail! After browsing through Senigallia's
fresh food market and the weekly street market selling every
type of clothing at bargain prices, it was time to go
A Blue Oasis
short drive along the coast brought us to another of Le
Marche’s attractive seaside towns, Fano. We arrived just in time
to have lunch at the beautiful J Longer Bar & Restaurant (www.jlounge.it).
dockside of a series of marinas that lined the shore, this
ultramodern restaurant and bar is what fusion cuisine is all
about! Here, the talented chef mixed Asiatic and Scandinavian
dishes together and served them up with wonderful regional
wines and fabulous desserts.
standing on the deck-like terrace of the restaurant it was
obvious that Fano is a huge boat building and repair centre.
of pleasure boats of every size and description were either in
the marinas or dry-docked. Fano is indeed a sailor and
didn’t have much time to visit Fano’s many artistic and historic treasures, however we did manage to stop
at its famous Roman Arch of Augustus, which was the ancient
gate to the city from the ‘Via Flaminia’, the legendary
paved road from Rome to the Adriatic.
At a farewell dinner
at the 'Trattoria al
Balì' Restaurant a few steps from our
Villa I thanked our kind hosts (too many to mention in this
article) for inviting me to discover the many charms of Le
As I packed my bags for the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Rome and the connecting flights back to Canada, the many memorable moments during my Le Marche sojourn came flooding back to me.
I realised right there and then that these pleasant memories would remain with me for the rest of my life!
For More Info on
visiting Le Marche:
Italian Government Tourist Board
Le Marche Regional
Interesting Websites about Le Marche:
to Destinations & Articles Listing