The Marches are the only region with its name in the plural - this is due to its feudal "lay-out". It extends between the Apennine range and the Adriatic sea, exhibiting some highly varied landscapes; from the high Apennine mountain environment to the long beaches of the Adriatic sea coast, passing through gentle hills.
Visiting the Marches means being fascinated by the natural and landscape elements one can encounter there: they range from the numerous water courses which flow down smoothly from the Apennine chain, to the splendid coasts heading to the south, also passing through mountain areas with heights delimiting Apennine sub-regions. The hydrographic network has a very particular structure, typified by valleys separated from each other by curtains of reliefs which have caused isolation among the valleys (there is still no efficient road network along the foot of the mountains). As one moves from one basin to another, one can notice the effect of thousands of years of absent human contacts, which is reflected in the diversity of usage, customs, traditions, and in dialectal inflections, and idiomatic cadences. Most of these rivers form extremely beautiful narrow creeks, such as the gorge of Furlo, Frasassi, Rossa, and the gorges of Valnerina and Piastrone.
The pattern of the coast includes various types of environments: from Porto d’Ascoli to the Conero promontory, it goes in a south easterly direction, while it varies in Ancona. The shape of the beaches varies considerably: one starts off with the green Picene riviera, with mainly sandy beaches, and then reaches the pebbly coasts, with cliffs in some sections, also passing through long, broad sandy shores. Sometimes, large pine groves with Mediterranean pine trees extend long the edges of the beach, as in Porto Recanati, or a luxuriant vegetation, with a variety of tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean trees and bushes, such as palms, oleanders, agaves and some citrus plants. The waters are exceptionally clean and crystalline thanks to the type of sea bottom, and are blue-green in the "Due Sorelle" (two sisters) location, situated on the eastern tip of the Conero. A true paradise for underwater fishing enthusiasts.
The hilly landscape is an unmistakable part of this land. Man has drawn some precise plots of many different geometric shapes, with endless rows of poplars, dotted with olive trees and luxuriant vines. The "balcony towns" stand on the top of the hills, taking refuge through the centuries, and witnessing history: Recanati, Urbino, Fermo, Camerino, Cingoli, Macerata, Loreto are some of the most beautiful. In Montefeltro, on the borders of Tuscany and Romagna, the environment is mainly rough, with rugged rocky spurs and giant stone buttresses, like those to which San Leo and the Republic of San Marino cling.
The administrative centre of the Marches from its uncertain origins to the present day. As a cosmopolitan city, Ancona continues to be a crossroad of different peoples and cultures. Art, History, culture, sport and tourism are available to anyone with a thirst for knowledge and wanting to abandon himself to its enchantments.
Today Fermo is an important town for studies, culture and tourism, and is rich in art and monuments. Its territory is full of ancient, characteristic towns and villages bathed by a crystal clear sea.
The province of Pesaro Urbino was created a few years ago, by uniting the two previously separate towns, with their rich history and artistic beauty.
Ascoli Piceno is a very beautiful town rich in monuments and history, and famous for its production of wine and green Ascolan olives.
The Marches town was for long the ally of the Pontifical State and the capital. Towns and villages with a rich history alternate with summer seaside resorts and spas throughout the Macerata territory.