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The region of Le Marche, in Italy has the most remarkable artistic and cultural heritage in the world. Its rich and diverse countryside is home to quaint villages, beautiful palaces, and religious buildings that are treasured for their architectural and artistic value.

Le Marche, also called The Marches in English, is situated on the eastern side of central Italy. It runs from the Adriatic beaches to the mountains of Appenines. Since most tourists flock to the beaches, inland Le Marche has remained unspoiled by mass tourism. Whenever tourists visit, their top destinations are Urbino, Pesaro and Ascoli Piceno, three of Le Marcheís principal towns.

The town of Urbino is a jewel of renaissance art. Hardly anything has changed since the days of Duke Federico of Montefeltro during the second half of the 15th Century. Travellers seem to be transported back in time when viewing the beauty of the Ducal Palace, a testimony of renaissance grandeur.

Pesaro, another of the region's provincial capitals, is an appealing seaside resort and a thriving commercial town. Among its main attractions are the Fountain with Sea Horses and Triton, Palazzo Ducale, the Church of St. Ubaldo and the Pesaro Cathedral. Because of its proximity to the sea, this area attracts beach combers as well.

Ascoli Piceno, the provincial capital of Le Marche, is a beguiling town that is known for its marble-paved main square, one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Aside from this, Ascoli Piceno boasts of fabulous buildings that combine the romance of the medieval and the glory of renaissance architecture. Such buildings include the San Francesco, Loggia dei Mercanti and the Piazza del Popolo, to name a few.

Other towns worth visiting include the Ancona, one of Italy's ferry ports to Croatia, Greece and Turkey; the Macerata, a town famous for its annual outdoor festival; and the town of Sirolo, though just one of the many seaside resorts, it is considered the prettiest on the Conero peninsula.

Other than architectural wonders, Le Marche also offers tourists a wealth of natural beauty. Visitors can go to the Frasissi limestone caves, or the Furlo Gorge, a natural pass through the mountains that has been used since the prehistoric times.

The best time to visit Le Marche is between the months of May and September. Although the temperature may be hot, the region would be seen in its full glory. Visitors will feast their eyes on green landscapes with the first tints of autumn, beautiful flowers, and everything would be bathed in the golden rays of the sun.

If there is one undiscovered gem in Italy, then by all accounts, it is most probably the quiet and dignified region of Le Marche.


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