Marche, Italy is similar to Tuscany and Umbria, with its breathtaking landscape scattered with grapevines and olive trees, but is far less visited by tourists.
What is gained by the lack of outsiders is lost on luxurious amenities, such as hotels and resorts, and even transportation systems, but the sacrifice is worth it. Within the Marche region, the hillside city of Urbino is a popular destination for visitors because of its history as the cultural and intellectual center of Western Europe in the Renaissance.
The Palazzo Ducale highlights the Renaissance ideals of the value of man’s many capabilities. Inside the palace is the Galleria Nationale delle Marches, an art collection filled with works by Renaissance masters in well-designed exhibits.
The city today is a college town, home to the Universita di Urbino, one of the oldest universities in the world, keeping the city’s intellectual and artistic heritage alive. The capital of the Marche region, Ancona, is located on the cliffs of the Adriatic coast.
As an important Italian port, the city was bombed extensively during World War II, but today the city has a beautiful historic center and plenty of shops and cafes worth exploring for tourists of Italy. Marche is also a pilgrimage destination, for the town of Loreto holds a popular shrine the world over, the house of the Virgin Mary.
Ascoli Piceno is a town set deep in a valley, with the Tronto River rushing through it, exemplifying how diverse the landscape in Marche can be. The Marche region, in its beauty and relative calmness of atmosphere, is also a place to visit for the rustic yet delicious food. Roughly shaped handmade pastas enriched with fresh olive oil and truffles, and all sorts of pork dishes are the specialties of the region. One can find artistic and culinary gems throughout the towns and villages in the region without the distraction of other tourists that visit other Italian regions.
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