Marche: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Region of Italy  —


Coat of arms
Country Italy
Capital Ancona
 - President Gian Mario Spacca (Democratic Party (Italy))
 - Total 9,694 km2 (3,742.9 sq mi)
Population (2008-09-30)
 - Total 1,565,919
 Density 161.5/km2 (418.4/sq mi)
Citizenship [1]
 - Italian 93%
 - Albanian 1%
 - Romanian 1%
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal € 38.5 billion (2006)

The Marche (Italian: Le Marche, pronounced [leˈmarke]) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. The Italian name Le Marche is the plural of marca, and literally means "the Marches", originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo.

The Marche are located in the Central area of the country, bordering Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the north-west, Umbria to the west, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Except for river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. In the nineteenth century, a railway from Bologna to Brindisi linked the Marche along the coastline of the entire territory. Inland, the mountainous nature of the region, even today, allows little travel north and south, except by rough roads over the passes.



A view of Monte Conero.

The Marche extend over an area of 9,694 km2 of the central Adriatic slope between Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany and Umbria to the west, and Lazio and Abruzzo to the south, the entire eastern boundary being formed by the Adriatic. Most of the region is mountainous or hilly, the main features being the Apennine chain along the internal boundary and an extensive system of hills descending towards the Adriatic. With the sole exception of Monte Vettore, 2,476 m high, the mountains do not exceed 2,000 m. The hilly area covers two-thirds of the region and is interrupted by wide gullies with numerous - albeit short - rivers and by alluvial plains perpendicular to the principal chain. The parallel mountain chains contain deep river gorges, the best known being those of the Furlo, the Rossa and the Frasassi.

The coastal area is 173 km long and is relatively flat and straight except for the hilly area between Gabicce and Pesaro in the north, and the eastern slopes of Monte Conero near Ancona.


The Marche were known in ancient times as the Picenum territory. The coastal area was occupied by the Senones, a tribe of Gauls. It was conquered by the Romans after the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. The Romans founded numerous colonies in the areas, connecting them to Rome by the Via Flaminia and the Via Salaria. Ascoli was a seat of Italic resistance during the Social War (91–88 BC).

The Renaissance town of Urbino.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was invaded by the Goths. After the Gothic War, it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna (Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini, and Senigallia forming the so-called Pentapolis). After the fall of the Exarchate it was briefly in the possession of the Lombards, but was conquered by Charlemagne in the late eighth century. In the ninth to eleventh centuries the marches of Camerino, Fermo and Ancona were created, hence the modern name.

The Marche was nominally part of the Papal States, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes. In the twelfth century, the commune of Ancona resisted both the imperial authority of Frederick Barbarossa and the Republic of Venice, and was a maritime republic on its own. An attempt to restore Papal suzerainty by Gil de Albornoz in the fourteenth century was short-lived.

During the Renaissance, the region was fought over by rival aristocratic families, such as the Malatesta of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano and the house of Montefeltro of Urbino. The last independent entity, the Duchy of Urbino, was dissolved in 1631, and from then on, the Marche was firmly part of the Papal States except during the Napoleonic period, which saw the short lived Republic of Ancona created in 1797, the merging of the region with the Roman Republic and the Kingdom of Italy from 1808 to 1813, and then a short occupation by Joachim Murat. After Napoleon's defeat, the Marche returned to Papal rule until November 4, 1860, when it was annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy by a plebiscite.


Indesit Headquarters in Fabriano, Province of Ancona. The home appliance sector represents the core of the regional industry.

Up to 30 years ago the Marche was considered a rather poor region, although economically stable in some sectors, thanks particularly to its agricultural output and to the contribution of traditional crafts[2].

Today the contribution of agriculture to the economy of the region has less importance than in the past, and the gross value added generated by this sector is slight, just above the national average. The Marche have never suffered from the extremes of fragmented land ownership or ' latifondo'. Greatly diffused in the past, the sharecropping never produced an extreme land fragmentation. The main products are cereals, vegetables, animal products and grapes. In spite of the marine impoverishment, the sea has always furnished a plentiful supply of fish, the main fishing centres being Ancona, San Benedetto del Tronto, Fano and Civitanova Marche[3].

In the last 30 years the economy of the Marche has been radically transformed, without however repudiating its rural past. Many of the small craft workshops scattered throughout the rural settlements have modernised and become small businesses, some of which have become major brands known all over the world (Indesit, Tod's, Guzzini, Teuco). This evolution led to the emergence of 'specialised' industrial areas, which are still profitable: footwear and leather goods in a large area straddling the provinces of Macerata and Ascoli Piceno; furniture in the Pesaro area in particular; household appliances and textile industry in the province of Ancona, in which the main engineering companies are also to be found (including ship building, petrochemicals and paper, as well as consumer durables). The region continues to draw tourists, whose increasing numbers have been attracted by the rich and broadly distributed heritage of history and monuments, as well as by the traditional seaside resorts[4].


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1861 909,000
1871 958,000 5.4%
1881 972,000 1.5%
1901 1,089,000 12.0%
1911 1,145,000 5.1%
1921 1,201,000 4.9%
1931 1,240,000 3.2%
1936 1,278,000 3.1%
1951 1,364,000 6.7%
1961 1,347,000 −1.2%
1971 1,360,000 1.0%
1981 1,412,000 3.8%
1991 1,429,000 1.2%
2001 1,471,000 2.9%
2008 (Est.) 1,566,000 6.5%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The population density in the Marche is below the national average. In 2008, it was 161.5 inhabitants per km2, compared to the national figure of 198.8. It is highest in the province of Ancona (244.6 inhabitants per km2), and lowest in the province of Macerata (116.1 inhabitants per km2). Between 1952 and 1967 the population of the region decreased by 1.7% as a result of a negative migration balance, well above the national average, with a rate varying between 4.9 and 10.0 per 1000 inhabitants. In the same period the natural balance of the population was positive, but lower than the national average and insufficient to counterbalance the net emigration. The population continued to decline until 1971, but in 1968 began growing again[5]. In 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics (ISTAT) estimated that 115,299 foreign-born immigrants live in the Marche, 7.4% of total regional population.

Government and politics

The Marche forms, along with Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, the Italian "Red Quadrilateral", a strongly left-wing area. In the April 2006 elections, the people of the Marche gave 55% of their votes to Romano Prodi.

Administrative divisions

The region is divided into five provinces (the official data for the fifth province (Fermo), instituted in 2009, will be available only with the 2011 census, here its figures are still included in those of the province of Ascoli Piceno):

Province Area (km²) Population Density (inh./km²)
Province of Ancona 1,940 474,630 244.6
Province of Ascoli Piceno 2,087 388,621 186.2
Province of Macerata 2,774 321,973 116.1
Province of Pesaro and Urbino 2,892 380,695 131.6



External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Marche is a central region of Italy on the east coast composed of rolling hills and fertile plains at the base of the Apennine mountains. It is bordered by Umbria in the west, Emilia-Romagna to the north, and Abruzzo to the south.

Beautiful Adriatic beaches and ancient towns perched on hilltops, or nestled deep between rolling farmland, give travelers to Le Marche a real taste of central Italy.

Two main highways traveling along the coast facilitate transportation to the larger cities. One of the most valuable parts of visiting Marche is driving through the interior, visiting smaller towns and exploring areas where there are virtually no tourists.

Recently a buzz word in Britian and a ex-pat destination for vacation home buying. The Marche has been compared to Tuscany as having all the attributes, with none of the hassles of high prices and large crowds.


Marche Region is divided into five provinces (from N to S):

  • Ancona - major port on the Adriatic Sea
  • Ascoli Piceno - often overlooked - attractive old town that is older than Rome with gleaming white stone and medieval towers
  • Cingoli - small walled city with many sixteenth century buildings
  • Fermo - once the most important town in Le Marche, and now again a provincial capital
  • Macerata
  • Pesaro - pleasant resort by the sea
  • Recanati - town of medieval origin, unusually built along the ridge of a hill and with great views towards the adriatic and the Apenines
  • Senigallia - home of Michelin star restaurant Uliassi
  • Urbino - attractive university town up in the hills
  • Conero Riviera The only relief (572 meters) overhanging the sea from Trieste to Gargano, in symbiosis with the towns of Ancona and Camerano, and with the sea resorts of Sirolo and Numana, mount Conero is the heart of the homonymous Regional Park. Established in 1987, the Conero Natural Park is a protected envirnomental oasis covering some 5800 ha. of woodland and spectacular white cliffs plunging into the Adriatic sea.
  • Monti Sibillini National Park The Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini comprises over 50 mountain peaks over 2,000 metres high, that rise at the heart of the park area, stretching for no less than 40 kilometres from north to south between Umbria and the Marches. The highest of these peaks is Monte Vettore (2,476 metres), followed by Monte Priora, Monte Bove, Monte Sibilla and a number of others. In the 15th and 16th century popular belief maintained that the Monte Sibilla was the kingdom of the “illustrious prophetess”, while others thought it to be the dwelling place of “the seductress Circe in league with the devil”. The “demonic”Lago di Pilato on the other hand is said to be the place where the body of Pontius Pilate vanished off the face of the earth, dragged into oblivion by a herd of cattle.
  • Fiastra Abbey, Tolentino (Mc) The territory of the nature reserve sourrounding the medieval abbey of Fiastra presents the typical morphology of fluvial areas, and it is characterized by the valleys where the river Chienti and the river Fiastra run. The flora and the fauna of the area are very interesting, since they include some species which are typical of the hills of the Marches region and species which are rather rare in Italy. It is a popular among locals for walking and riding activities.



Le Marche is described as "all of Italy in one province", a visit there uncovers an unspoilt, pretty, friendly, and extremely civilised area of Italy. The region is bordered by neighbours Tuscany, Umbria, Abruzzo and Emilia Romagna and shares many of their best geographical features, yet is relatively undiscovered and surprisingly accessible.

To the West of the region Sibillini Mountains which are one of the highest sections of the Appenines. They are 40km long, contain 10 peaks in excess of 2000m- the whole area is home to many species of rare wildlife and is protected by the Sibillini National Park. The geography of Le Marche between mountains and sea consists of vine-clad hills, medieval villages and a rich mosaic of farmland.

The Sibillini Mountains and the Marche countryside below are laced with paths and old mule tracks and are home to a stunning array of flora and fauna. It is a paradise for those who enjoy Mountain holidays, hiking, walking , or cycling.

People of Le Marche

The Marchiaghiani, or people of Le Marche, remain closely linked to the land and life here still revolves aroundn the family and on self-sufficient communities of farmers and craftsmen, where the local Le Marche market consumes most of the produce.


The wonderful medieval Le Marche towns offer the visitor an amazing range of <a title="le marche history" href="" target="_blank">history</a> and historic architecture, that ranges from Art Nouveaux villas to characteristic stone cottages, and are home to wonderful art, over 1000 working theatres, fantastic markets and year round festas where you can sing and dance, eat and drink great local fayre, and enjoy the <a title="le marche customs" href="" target="_blank">local crafts and customs.

Get in

From the UK, Ryanair fly from either Liverpool or London Stansted to Ancona.

Get around

The railway that runs down the coast is excellent for exploring the region with fast and frequent trains running all day. Busses tend to be rather infrequent, especially if you are looking to explore inland, so hiring a car is essential if you want to explore a bit.


Sightseeing - make sure you make time to visit the wonderfully preserved medieval villages that decorate this bucolic region. Here are some highlights in and around the Macerata province;

Sibillini Mountains - if you travel to the South West, the landscape a stones throw away from the villa becomes far more dramatic as the hills are dominated by the Sibillini Mountains. This area, which is protected by the Sibillini National Park, is accessed via some great roads and paths which allow the visitor to discover lakes, rivers, some amazing gorges and wildlife.

Theatres - Le Marche is also the land of a thousand theatres including the grand 'Sferisterio' amphitheatre in Macerata, which holds 7,000 people and is second only to Verona in Italy's summer open-air opera calendar and a venue for the Macerata festival.

Abbadia-di-fiastra - The Cistercian monastery of Fiastra was founded in 1142, the building material was taken from the near Roman city 'Urbs Salvia' whose farmland stretched 30km to the coast in medieval times. Today the surrounding parkland is still cultivated by the monks and wines and other produce is on sale to the public, there are two very good well priced restaurants, and the medieval monastery, an archeological museum and beautiful nature reserve are open to the public.

Urbisaglia - Adjacent to Abbadia di Fiastra, the impressive Roman site of Urbisaglia provides free tours of its frescoes, theatre and amphitheatre, which was water filled and battles were fought on boats

Sarnano - The bustling and perfectly preserved medieval town of Sarnano, named one of the most beautiful in Italy, has a wealth of character in the ancient, cobbled streets that wind up through carefully restored centro storico and the impressive towers of the centro Storico that dominate the amazing local landscape. It has a famous Terme or Spa which offers pampering and health treatments. Its is a focal point for walkers and cyclists and lovers of the great outdoors and even has its own ski resort which was completely restored in 2008.

Ascoli Piceno - The city of Ascoli Piceno is dominated by numerous medieval towers and the Piazza del Popolo which is tiled with travertine and undoubtedly one of the most elegant squares of Italy. An amazing array of gothic architecture, great riverside walks, shopping and art galleries, plus some wonderful bars to sample the local Piceni wines. Oh, make sure you do some people watching in the Art Nouveaux Bar Meletti in the main Piazza.

Caldarola - Caldarola is dominated by the well preserved Pallotta castle, where building started in the 9th Century and which was transformed in the 16th by the Pallotta family, who still own the castle and now open it to the public, there are also 3 other castles in the surrounding Marche countryside.

Camerino - The panoramic university hill town of Camerino has a history that goes back to Neolithic times. It has remained unchanged since its Renaissance heyday, when the local Da Varanno family governed much of surrounding Le Marche. Imposing churches, palaces and art plus lovely gardens, museums, outdoor cafes and some great shops.

Amandola - This touring centre for the Sibillini national park has a wonderful gothic piazza, sit in one of Amandola's bars there and watch the world go by, or try getting up and sampling the museum of rural history.

Macerata - Macerata has a number of central piazzas with stunning architecture, a beautiful theatre, Duomo, art gallery and museum of carriages and the unification of Italy/ wartime resistance. There are also a variety of tempting shops and some lovely bars and ristorante. Macerata is also home to the Sferisterio, a grand open air opera house that hosts a fantastic "season" of themed opera performances each Summer

Tolentino - Tolentino is a vibrant medieval city home to the shrine of St Nicola, and some amazing architecture including an ancient roman bridge and a bizarre clock tower in the main square and the nearby 12th century Castello della Rancia. Wander round the museum of caricature and humour in art, or simply enjoy the shopping, cafes and trattorie.

Montemonaco - A pretty walled town with an information centre for the Sibillini National Park. From here you can walk in a couple of hours to the 'Cave of the Sibyl' (the lair of Tannhauser's Venus), or more striking, follow the River Tenna up the amazing limestone Gola dell'Infernaccio, 'Little Hell Gorge', a three-hour walk from the road.

Frasassi - Frasassi has an awesome network of underground limestone caves that is the largest in Europe and a must see for any visitor. Tours every hour in most languages

Library of Casa Leopardi, Recanati - The library comprises more than 20,000 volumes, most of which were collected and arranged by Monaldo Leopardi, the father of Giacomo, in the second half of the XVII century and includes rare volumes such as the first edition of the Encyclopedie by Diderot and Dalambert.

Roman temple of Monterinaldo, 2nd Century A.C. - The temple is an impressive and unique example of a well preserved roman architecture in le Marche.

  • Lorenzo Lotto Tour [1] It is possible to buy a single ticket which gives you access to several museums dotted around the centre of Le Marche displaying the works of Lorenzo Lotto, one of the finest painters of the Renaissance.


Le Marche Festas & Events - Le Marche hosts 'festas' or outdoor celebrations, games, concerts and dancing most weekends from spring to Christmas. During the summer these also occur on most weekdays as neighbouring villages compete in throwing the best party. The common theme is a Marche festa that allows the visitor to sample local produce, food and wines. For detailed information on the numerous events visit the tourist office, the Marche tourism site, look for roadside posters, or buy the Corriere Proposte in the local tabacchi (newsagents).

Hiking, Walking and outdoor pursuits in Le Marche, Italy - To get a proper feel for Le Marche you should try hiking off the beaten track and immersing yourself on an italian walking holiday in the heart of Le Marche's stunning countryside. There are a range of maps available, especially and the whole area is dissected by networks of hiking trails and old mule tracks; which are well marked on the maps (one for the Monti Azzuri and another for the Sibillini Mountains National Parkt) hat open the whole area up for independent walking holidays. Sarnano and the area nearby is a good base for walking, has marked circular walks and some accommodations offer maps and itineraries [2]. The dramatic landscape, with a highest peak of 2500metres, flower filled plateaux and the rolling hills below, offer an ideal location for walking holidays, cycling holidays, bird watching, photography, drawing and painting.

The Sibillini National Park has organised tours and treks throughout the spring, summer and autumn months and has numerous predefined itineries for walking and cycling available. There is parascending [3], white water rafting [4]and extreme sports [5] on offer nearby and two of Italy’s most stunning gorge walks and mountain lakes with beaches and trattorias.

  • Vincisgrassi A lasagna dish from Le Marche with an odd name. Vincisgrassi is the Italianization of the name of the Austrian general, Prince Windischgratz, who was commander of the Austrian Forces stationed in the Marches. The dish was allegedly created for the prince by a local chef.
  • Ciauscolo This unusual salami is originally from Le Marche, but it is also prepared in Umbria, especially in the area that borders the town of Macerata. It is made by kneading very finely ground pork with a good quantity of fat until the mixture is very soft. The meat is flavored simply with garlic, salt, and pepper, and it is often smoked. Ciauscolo is meant to be spread onto bread rather than sliced, given its soft consistency; Ciauscolo resembles the rillettes of France, which differ because they are cooked while ciauscolo remains raw unless it is smoked.
  • Olive all'ascolana (stuffed olives) The invention of these stuffed and deep fried olives dates back to the beginning of XIX century. Apparently created by an unknown chef who worked for an aristocratic family of Ascoli Piceno, they are a must on the table of locals during the festivities.
  • Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, one of the strongest Italian white wines;
  • 'Falerio dei colli ascolani, A white wine whose millennial history is written in the name itself, typically Roman, which, in turn, was derived from that of the ancient city of Faleria. It is produced in the rolling hills between Fermo and Falerone and it is excellent with fish and white meats.
  • Rosso Conero, A red wine produced in the Conero area, south of Ancona and it is made from the Montepulciano grape. It is a rich, perfumed wine that often reaches greatness. From 2006 it boasts the coveted DOCG description
  • Rosso Piceno, is a red wine produced in the south of the region (the "Piceno" area), made from at least 60 percent Sangiovese (the Chianti grape), plus some of Marche's native Montepulciano and, optionally, small amounts of the local red grape Passerina and the white Trebbiano. Legend has it that Hannibal used the hearty red wine of Piceno as a rubdown for his army's horses.
  • Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, An intensely-scented red wine produced in the area around Morro d'Alba. The principal vine variety is Lacrima, with the possible addition of Montepulciano and/or Verdicchio (but only up to 15% of the blend). The name Lacrima means tear (as in weep) and derives from the fact that as the fruit ripens the juice seeps through the skin of the grape. The denomination may be derived from some legend or simply from the nearly oval shape of the grape or the pyramidal form of the cluster, both resembling tear drops. The wine is almost a varietal, for all "correction" is limited to the addition of 15 per cent of Montepulciano and/or Verdicchio grapes.
  • Vernaccia di Serrepetrona, an extraordinary sparkling red wine.


Although many hotels can be found around the region, especially along the coast, the best way to enjoy a visit is to stay at an agriturismo [6] (a kind of accommodation in which hospitality is offered on farms, usually on a 'bed and breakfast' basis) or rent a self-catering property, either in the country or in a town. The Le Marche region tourist site has an accomodation database [7], alternatively, if you search the internet there are some independent Villas with great facilities; some of which have sites that provide the visitor with great information on the region.

Stay safe

Le Marche is probably one of the safest Italian regions.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Marche discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also marche



Etymology 1

Marche or Marches

Proper noun


  1. A region of central Italy.

Etymology 2

Proper noun




  1. Obsolete spelling of March.




  1. Marche (department of France)


  1. Marche (region of Italy)



Marche f plural

  1. Marche


Simple English

Flag Coat of arms
File:Flag of File:Coat of arms of
File:Italy Regions Marche
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Country Italy
Capital Ancona
President Gian Mario Spacca (Democratic Party)
Basic statistics
Area  9,694 km² (3,743 sq mi)
(Ranked 15th, 3.2 %)
Population 1,553,063 (12/2007)
(Ranked 13th, 2.6 %)
 - Density 160 /km² (415 /sq mi)
Other information
GDP/ Nominal € 38.5 billion (2006)

Marche is a region in center Italy on the Adriatic Sea. The capital is Ancona. The population was about 1.528.809 in 2004.


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