Escape Artists

Le Marche Region ~ Italy’s Undiscovered Frontier


Le Marche region is one of Italy’s undiscovered and picturesque frontiers.  Comprised of the rolling blue mountains of the Sibillini and embracing the golden sandy beaches of the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche is quietly waiting for you.

Get to know Le Marche

Sometimes, places lie unknown as they’re thought to be hard to reach and explore, or because images and words are seldom spent on their behalf.  Le Marche falls within this second category: an Italian region that’s singularly focused on wealth and development, yet one that has managed to pursue its particular brand of economic success with very little disturbance to the quiet way of life favored by most of its inhabitants.

Rolling Hills of Le Marche

It could be argued that the people from Le Marche, that is Marchigiani like to rest and relax, to enjoy their charming lands  far from the curious gaze of outsiders, but much of Le Marche’s initial reticence to travelers and the likes belies the shy, genuine disposition of its hard working people.

Discover the new Italian frontier

Nonetheless, Le Marche is slowly being discovered as the new Italian frontier, or better yet, an abridged expression of the varied charms of the Italian peninsula. What small inconveniences one might encounter while trying to communicate with locals solely through sign language and Lonely Planet glossary are abundantly rewarded by the sheer density and variety of attractions that are continuously offered through the seasons. On the other hand a rather essential network of roads and public transportation makes it rather challenging to quickly and efficiently dash from one landmark to another, or for the active kinds, to hit the slopes in the morning and the beach in the afternoon as they like to do in California. Perhaps, that is not what one should look for when coming to Le Marche.

Some famous people of  Le Marche

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator known throughout the world for her method of teaching was born in the province of Ancona.

Raphael, the famous High Renaissance painter and architect was born in Urbino.

Dustin Hoffman describes the scenic hillsides, in the words Italy’s greatest lyric poet Giacomo Leopardi, who was also born in Le Marche region. This video gives an authentic and beautiful images of Italy’s rarely mentioned east coast.

What to do and see in Le Marche

So, what’s there to see, do, and experience in Le Marche?  Year round attractions include superlative authentic foods, breathtaking landscapes, a lively cultural landscape, artistic and natural treasures. Yes, the Italian works. An added bonus is  provided by a variety of events and activities that closely follow the turning of the seasons.

The food of Le Marche

oliva all'ascolana,

oliva all'ascolana

You can’t leave the region of Le Marche until you tasted their most celebrated street food, olives all’ascolana!  It takes and expert to learn how to prepare this local and delicious appetizer.  First you must remove the pit from the olive without breaking its skin, then it is stuffed with a mixture of chopped meats and seasonings, and closed up to form its original shape. Then all this deliciousness is fried in olive oil.Another famous dish of the region is brodetto, a fish stew prepared with the bounty of the Adriatic sea. Each family recipe differs, some include bass, tilapia, octopus while others prefer this stew with skate wing, cuttlefish, and a variety of local seafood  There are also many dishes created around truffles, and mushrooms.

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But the pasta is what I love most!  The traditional vincisgrassi, is a baked dish similar to lasagne, but instead of the typical three to five layers of pasta, this one must have 12!Now you know why I have included Cucina of Le Marche in my top ten list of Italian cookbooks.

Getting around Le Marche

Getting around Le Marche is easy for visitors. There are two airports in the region, in the north, Ancona and further south in Abruzzo, you can flight in and out of Pescara, but I encourage ‘slow travel,’ so  take the train that runs down the entire Adriatic coast, or better yet, rent a car and take a scenic drive along the A14 autostrade.

Once secret, Italy’s Le Marche, is now fast competing with Tuscany and Umbria as a vacation destination.  So if you are looking for a destination that has all the flavor and beauty of the traditional sites, but is a little more tranquil and laid back, this just might be the perfect region for your next Italian escape.

contributed by Dafne Perticarini of


Another fabulous past time when visiting the region of Le Marche is the shopping! Apart from the markets there are a number of factory outlets where great bargains can be found. One of the most popular would have to be the Prada outlet!

Thanks Elisa for the tip. Tell me where it is and I’m sure to visit when I go in November!

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