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Le Marche – The Hidden Gem of Italy

Updated: May 19, 2023

Rolling green hills dotted with trees in Le Marche, Italy.
The Hills of Le Marche

Welcome to Le Marche, Italy’s best kept secret. The Marche region of Italy is a picturesque destination on the Adriatic coast that boasts miles of sandy beaches, rolling hills, and charming historic towns. It’s a secret haven for those who seek to experience authentic Italian beauty and culture without the crowds of the more well-known tourist destinations.

A photo of the Due Sorelle beach in the Conero Riviera, in Le Marche, Italy. Sandy beach with blue water and the sunset behind the cliffs.
Due Sorelle Beach

The natural landscape of Le Marche is breathtaking, with the undulating vineyards and hills making for a perfect backdrop to your Dolce Vita. The beaches, too, are awe-inspiring, with the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea lapping against the pristine coastline. Whether looking for a secluded rocky cove or a long stretch of golden sand, Le Marche has something for everyone.

Map of Le Marche
Map of Le Marche

The Marche region is in central Italy, bordered by Emilia-Romagna to the North, Tuscany to the Northwest, Umbria to the West, and Abruzzo to the South. With just over 1.5 million population, the Marche is a relatively small region, but one teaming with culture, history, and natural beauty. Le Marche is also very well situated for those who love to travel. Croatia and Greece can be reached by an overnight ship from Ancona, and a high-speed train will see you in Milan within three hours.

One of the most alluring aspects of the Marche is its low cost of living. Compared to other famous Italian destinations like Tuscany, Umbria, or Liguria, the Marche has mainly remained undiscovered by the masses. As a result, living costs are significantly lower than in other parts of the country.

Casa Montelipa – Fattoria Forano, Appignano MC – country house in the vineyards and hills of Le Marche, Italy.
Casa Montelipa – Fattoria Forano, Appignano MC –

Property, for example, is incredibly affordable in the Marche. Whether looking for a charming "casa colonica" or a luxurious villa, you’ll find plenty of options that won’t break the bank. The region’s low cost of living also extends to food and beverages, with delicious local specialities like porchetta, truffles, and Verdicchio wine available at incredibly reasonable prices.

A vineyard in Le Marche, Italy, lit up at sunset.
Vineyard – Le Marche

But whilst the Marche may be easy on the wallet, it certainly doesn’t skimp on quality. The region is home to some of Italy’s finest artisans, who produce everything from handcrafted leather goods to exquisite ceramics. The Marche is also renowned for its world-class wineries, where you can sample some of Italy’s finest wines while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

Rolling green hills in Le Marche, Italy
Fattoria Forano – Appignano, MC –

Someone holding olives in their hands.

However, the most enticing aspect of the Marche is its stunning natural beauty. The region boasts some of Italy’s most picturesque landscapes, from rolling hills covered in olive groves to dramatic mountain peaks that soar above the clouds. The Marche is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with its rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the Marche is by exploring its many charming hilltop towns. Each of these picturesque villages is a treasure trove of history, culture, and tradition, with winding cobblestone streets, ancient churches, and stunning views at every turn. Whether you’re strolling through the medieval streets of Urbino, admiring the Baroque architecture of Ascoli Piceno, or savouring a cappuccino in the charming town square of Macerata, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a simpler, more romantic era.

The town of Urbino lit up at dusk with the sunset in the distance.

Urbino is one of the most famous towns in the Marche, and with good reason. This stunning hilltop town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the seat of one of Italy’s most powerful Renaissance courts. The town is home to the beautiful Ducal Palace, which houses a world-class art collection, including works by Raphael and Piero della Francesca. The town also boasts a wealth of charming cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

A photo of Via Porta Tufilla in Ascoli Piceno, taken from a bridge overlooking a river with trees on either side. In the distance, the town of Ascoli Piceno and behind that, the hills and mountains.
Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno is another beautiful town in the Marche, known for its beautiful piazza, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. The town’s historic centre is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, with plenty of surprises around every corner. Ascoli Piceno is also famous for its olives, which are considered some of the best in Italy, as well as its delicious stuffed olives that you can find in the many markets and shops around town.

A photo of Macerata up on a hill, taken from below.

The Sferisterio of Macerata lit up at night and filled with people.
Sferisterio Macerata

Macerata, on the other hand, is known for its stunning opera festival that takes place every summer in the town’s open-air arena – Lo Sferisterio. This historic town is also home to a beautiful university and a wealth of cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and theatres.

For those looking for a more active vacation, the Marche offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring the great outdoors. The region has several national parks, including the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, which boasts some of Italy’s most dramatic mountain scenery. The park is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, with dozens of trails winding through its rugged peaks and valleys.

Fields of purple flowers under the Monti SIbillini
Fields of flowers under the Monti Sibillini

Monti Sibillini in the summer, covered in lush vegetation
Monti Sibillini

Photo taken from the Monte Conero national park, overlooking the beach with the sunset in the distance.
Monte Conero

Sandy beach with pebbles in the Conero Riviera.
Beach - Conero Riviera

If you’re more of a beach lover, the Marche also has plenty to offer on that front. The region boasts some of Italy’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches, from the golden sands of Senigallia to the rugged coastline of Monte Conero. Whether you’re looking for a quiet cove to relax in the sun or a lively seaside resort with plenty of activities and nightlife, you’ll find it all in the Marche


Foodies will delight in Le Marche’s culinary delights. The region is known for its simple, rustic dishes made with fresh, local ingredients, from hearty pasta dishes like the famous and succulent roasted meats to freshly fished seafood crudités.

Seafood market, various kinds of seafood in crates being unloaded from the boat on the dock.
Seafood Market

The region is also renowned for its wine, particularly its crisp, refreshing Verdicchio. This white wine is the perfect accompaniment to the Marche’s seafood dishes. You’ll find it served in restaurants and cafes throughout the region. Another popular wine from the region is Rosso Piceno, a full-bodied but refined red that pairs well with cheeses and salumi.

Four bottles of wine in a row, wine from Fattoria Forano.
Wine from Fattoria Forano – Appignano MC –

If you are looking to relocate to Italy, Le Marche is an ideal destination. It offers a laid-back and authentic Italian lifestyle while providing easy access to larger cities like Rome and Florence. There are also some towns in this magical region that offer tax incentives for foreign retirees, such as a 7% flat income tax rate. Our expat relocation agency can assist you every step of the way, from finding the perfect property to organising paperwork, ensuring a stress-free and smooth transition to your new home in La Bell’Italia.

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