Back Places not to be missed

Places not to be missed

What to see and do on your first visit to the Marche Region.
What to see and do on your first visit to the Marche Region.

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Level of difficulty: media
Target: Leisure
Seasonality: Estate

The stages of the itinerary

  • Urbino, UNESCO city and Raffaello's birthplace
    The stage includes the following destinations: Urbino città UNESCO e patria di Raffaello

    Urbino is situated between the valleys of the Metauro and Foglia rivers. Its historic centre now boasts the honour of being included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It is  birthplace of two great artists, Bramante and Raphael, and it is home to one of the oldest and most important universities in Europe, founded in 1506. For the second half of the 15th century its windy hill was the setting for one of the most illustrious courts in Europe. Duke Federico da Montefeltro gathered around him the greatest painters, poets and scholars of his day and housed them in one of Italy's most beautiful Renaissance palaces, a palace that still stands as an eloquent memorial to this quintessential Renaissance man.
    The Palazzo Ducale is a splendid late XV century residence, one of Italy's most beautiful Renaissance palaces, defined as "a city in the form of a palace", by humanist Baldesar. It was built by Luciano Laurana (1464-1472), who designed and carried out the main part of the building, like the Torricini façade, the Cortile D'Onore and the monumental series of steps. Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who built the most important fortresses in the Montefeltro area, finished the works started by Laurana. None of the rooms of the palace were designed to oppress with grandeur but were built on a human scale and decorated with glad-hearted sobriety. Nowadays they house the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche - a remarkable collection of paintings including one of the world's greatest and most enigmatic images, Piero della Francesca's Flagellation of Christ. Other great pictures here are Piero's Madonna di Senigallia , Raphael's La Muta, the Silent One, an anonymous portrait of a gentlewoman who we feel might talk to us if she only wished to, and a famous vision of the Ideal City by an unknown hand and much used by art designers to illustrate books on the Renaissance. The Duke's Studiolo is the most unusual room in the palace. His tiny study is entirely decorated in exquisite trompe l'oeil inlaid woodwork panels, some based on designs by Botticelli.
    Urbino is the birthplace of Raphael, one of the most remarkable Renaissance artists. The house where he was born is now a delightful little museum. Further tourist attractions are: Oratorio S. Giovanni Battista entirely decorated in 1416 with wall-to-ceiling frescoes by the Marchegiani painters Jacopo and Lorenzo Salimbeni; Presepio or nativity scene of the Oratory of San Giuseppe by Federico Brandani; the elegant Cathedral with the nearby Albani Diocesan Museum; the Sanzio Theatre, built in the 19th century;  the rarely visited but nevertheless delightful Orto Botanico. You can't miss: the Collegio Raffaello, founded  by Pope Clement XI in the early eighteenth century, housing the town council hall, some offices of the Prefecture and the Cabinet Museum of Physics; the Albornoz Fortress, built in the second half of the fourteenth century by Cardinal Egidio Alvares de Albornoz. As you leave Urbino you can’t miss the tombs of Duke Federico and his son, Guidobaldo, in the fine church of San Bernardino. It was built in 1491 by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and stands on the hill above the junction for the Pesaro road.
    The famous local specialty is "Casciotta of Urbino", one of the region's handful of officially protected DOP regional food; is a delicate pale cheese made from both ewe and cow's milk  across Pesaro and Urbino province. Crescia of Urbino is another popular specialty; it is a sort of focaccia (italian bread), filled with wiith sausage, wild herbs, ham or cheese. The most remarkable events  taking place in Urbino during the year are: Festival of Ancient Music (July), the Festival of the Duke (August) and the Kite Festival (September).

  • Pesaro
    The stage includes the following destinations: Pesaro

    Pesaro is an attractive seaside resort, a thriving fishing port and an important manufacturing centre; it is crossed by the Foglia river and is situated between two hills: Mount Ardizio and Mount San Bartolo (which gives its name to the Monte San Bartolo Natural Park).
    Pesaro boasts seven kilometers of sandy beach; some of them are free and some equipped with beach resorts. There's a wide range of accommodation facilities, like hotels, holiday farms, B&B, camping resorts, apartments -  for a total amount of almost 11,000 lodgings. Pesaro welcomes visitors warmly; a special care is given to families and children. Since 2010 Pesaro has been hosting the Night festival of children, with music, plays, exhibitions, shows; further educational activities, including public readings on the beach, organized by Baia Flaminia Library, are dedicated to children. Due to the peculiar shape of the territory, characterized by a narrow and sandy coast to the south, and by the San Bartolo and Ardizio uplands to the opposite side,  you can find beach resorts close to the hotels and the town centre, and little bays. There are several biking trails: “Bicipolitana” is an itinerary for bikers, connecting several parts of the town. Trails are marked by specific signs and lines painted with different colors. The Pesaro-Fano biking trail runs south along the coast, up to Fosso Sejore.  The pedestrian and biking  “Umberto Cardinali” trail flanks the Foglia river and leads to the discovery of the local flora and fauna.
    The most remarkable religious buildings are: the Cathedral, built on the remains of a late Roman building, which boasts an interesting mosaic floor; the Church of St. Agostino, with its remarkable Venetian Gothic portal ; the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, built in the thirteenth century by the Malatesta family and rebuilt in Baroque style. The most important monuments and museums are: the fifteenth-century squared Rocca Costanza, surrounded by a wide moat, formerly used as a prison; the Ducal Palace, now seat of the Prefecture, built by Alessandro Sforza in the second half of the fifteenth century; the Oliveriano Archaeological Museum and the Civic Museums (including the Art Gallery with Giovanni Bellini’s masterpiece, Coronation of the Virgin, and the Museum of Ceramics). The city was once noted for its ceramic workshops that turned out the brightly painted earthenware known as majolica. Here you can browse through one of Italy's finest collections of Renaissance and baroque pottery, much of it striking for its spontaneous, almost modern, use of colour and design. Rossini's House, the modest house where Italy's great opera composer Gioachino Rossini was born in 1792, is now a small shrine/museum dedicated to the composer. The annual Rossini Opera Festival in August has earned a world-wide reputation for performing works from his large repertoire of bel canto operas. Maritime history is well documented by the Washington Patrignani Museum. A striking contemporary sculpture is the "Palla di Pomodoro”, a bronze sphere realized in 1998 by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. Villino Ruggeri is one of the city's most flamboyant buildings: this heavily stuccoed confection is one of the finest examples of the Italian Liberty style that swept the Adriatic Riviera at the turn of the 20th century; not far from Pesaro, in the Colle San Bartolo area, is Villa Imperiale, a splendid Renaissance villa. In the Mount San Bartolo Park, must see attractions are Casteldimezzo, Fiorenzuola of Focara and Santa Marina Alta, picturesque villages overlooking Adriatic Sea. The most significant events taking place in Pesaro during the year include the already mentioned ROF (Rossini Opera Festival) , the International Festival of New Cinema, (Pesaro Film Festival), one of Italy's most important Summer Film festivals.


  • Gradara
    0541964673 (Gradara Innova) -
    The stage includes the following destinations: Gradara

    A few miles from the Adriatic beach resorts, Gradara is one of the most popular Marche’s tourist destinations. Gradara boasts the Orange Flag award, it belongs to the Association of The most beautiful villages in Italy and to the National Association of Wine Cities.

    The imposing 14th century walls surrounding the town are some of the best preserved in the Marche, with their crenellated battlements and bristling towers. The single main street leads up through the city gates to the fortress at the higher end of the town. The squared fortress, a polygonal tower on the northern side, dominates the town: it was here, according to tradition, that the murder of Francesca da Rimini and her lover Paolo, the lovers immortalized by Dante in his Divina Commedia, took place in 1289. It dates back to the twelfth century, but was changed under the rule of the Malatesta and the Sforza families. Pieces of 15th century furniture, valuable frescoes and altarpieces can be admired inside. Around the castle people can walk along the Lovers’ path, which surrounds the hill. There you can enjoy a nice view of the farming landscape. In the wonderful setting of the Medieval castle there’s also a bird’s park, which is also a falconry centre ( The Teatro dell’aria” or Theatre of the air”). It’s a park of environmental education entirely dedicated to the art of falconry. Here you can enjoy exhibitions of flying birds of prey and intriguing shows with them. Must-see attractions are also the little theatre, which can accommodate 70 people; Rubini Vesin Palace, built by local artists in the second half of the 19th century and now used for several cultural events: theatre, music and literary conferences.

    The most typical dish is the "bigol," a kind of homemade spaghetti seasoned with mushroom or gravy sauce.

    The most remarkable events taking place in Gradara during the year are: Gradara d’amare ( Gradara for lovers) in February, Solstice at the castle, Thursdays at the castle ( June/September) and Siege to the castle ( July).

  • Ancona
    The stage includes the following destinations: Ancona

    Ancona, the region's capital, is located on the central Adriatic coast.

    SEA TOURIST OFFER: The city has several beaches. The most central is called Passetto, with large white rocks;  gravel beaches are towards the south of Ancona. From Ancona, the first port of call is Portonovo, the smallest retreat on the Conero Riviera. The bay of Portonovo  is one of the prettiest white pebbled beach on the whole of the Northern Adriatic shore. The strand is split in two by the Fortino Napoleonico, a squat, blank-eyed fort built in 1808 by Napoleon's Italian Viceroy to fight off English ships. It is now a most singular hotel. At the end of the road, where the evergreen oaks that smother the mountain come down to the sea, stands the early Romanesque church of Santa Maria. Built between 1034 and 1048, its curious form is unique in Italy and looks as if it might be more at home in Normandy. On the bay, often crowded, there are few restaurants with a breathtaking view balcony serving fish dishes. “Della Vela” beach is a spectacular beach with a rock, shaped like a sail. It's a free public beach, at the very end of the south versant of the bay. The beach of Mezzavalle adds a touch of wilderness and scenery to the beauties of the bay. To the north of the port of Ancona is the sandy beach of Palombina, with shallow sea water. To the southwest of the port of Ancona is  the well equipped marina "Marina Dorica", including 1200 berths.

    ATTRACTIONS: The most representative monument of Ancona is the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, a pleasant mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine syle, built on the foundations of a temple of the fourth century B.C. and a pre- Christian church. The most remarkable tourist attractions are: the Church of Santa Maria della Piazza, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, with its impressive facade ; the Arch of Trajan, a Roman arch erected in the first century A.D; the Church of San Francesco alle Scale, with its beautiful facade in Venetian Gothic style, the Mole Vanvitelliana, a former pentagonal fortress, buil by Vanvitelli and now hosting shows, art exhibitiosn and concerts in summer time; the Loggia dei Mercanti, with its Venetian-Gothic facade; the terrific Fountain of Calamus or Tredici Cannelle, a regimented row of 13 masked spouts. Must see attractions are also:  the Municipal Art Gallery, which houses masterpieces of art made by Carlo Crivelli, Titian, Lorenzo Lotto and Guercino; the Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche, an outstanding collection of antique nick-nacks - black and red Attic vases, Etruscan bronzes, and Iron Age jewellery; the Tactile Museum Omero, allowing the blind to approach art by touching life-size plaster casts of famous sculptures, architectural models of famous monuments, but also archaeological finds and original sculptures by contemporary artists. 
    The most popular dishes are the stoccafisso all'anconetana (salt cod) and the fish soup. The mosciolo selvatico ( wild mussel) from Portonovo, is protected by Slow Food Association. The most typical wine made in the area is Rosso Conero, a full-bodied red wine produced around the Conero peninsula. The most important events taking place in Ancona during the year include: the Fair of San Ciriaco ( May) and the "Adriatic Mediterranean Festival" (August/September), boasting artists from countries of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean areas.



  • Riviera del Conero
    The stage includes the following destinations: Riviera del Conero
  • Loreto e la Santa Casa
    The stage includes the following destinations: Loreto e la Santa Casa

    Loreto and the Holy House

    The town of Loreto developed around the famous Basilica that contains the “Santa Casa” (the Holy House of Nazareth) where, according to tradition, the Virgin Mary was born, lived and received the announcement of the miraculous birth of Jesus. 

    Tradition says that, when in 1291 the Muslims finally expelled the Christians from Jerusalem and then tried to regain Nazareth, a group of angels took care of the House and, after some wanderings, spreading their wings took it to Loreto. For this reason, the Madonna of Loreto is venerated as the patroness of aviators. 
    Studies highlight that the origin of the House is Palestine in view of both the architectural style and the use of construction materials, unknown to the Marche territory and instead widely used in the Holy Land at the time. A recent theory, supported by the discovery of documents written after 1294, asserts that the transfer was the work of the Angeli Comneno princes, a branch of the imperial family of Constantinople, who carried the stones by ship. Both theories, in any event, concur that the House left Nazareth in 1291, passed through Dalmatia, remaining for about three years in Trsat (now a district of the town of Rijeka in Croatia), and arrived in Loreto on the night of December 9th-10th, 1294. 

    In 1469, on the initiative of the bishop of Recanati, Nicolò delle Aste and later with Pope Paul II, the first construction of the present basilica began, first with Gothic and later Renaissance forms. In 1586, Pope Sixtus V appointed Loreto to the diocese and the bronze statue designed by Antonio Calcagni and Tiburzio Vergelli, that is placed in all its majesty next to the entrance of the Basilica, was dedicated to him. The octagonal dome was the work of Giuliano da Sangallo and was built in the years 1499-1500. The statue of the Virgin Mary, made of embossed and gilded copper, is on the top of the dome’s lantern. Next to the white Istria stone facade, completed in 1587, stands the elegant bell tower (1750-55) by Luigi Vanvitelli. The shrine of the Holy House is positioned under the dome, faced with marble and with statues and reliefs, a masterpiece of 16th century sculpture. The highly evocative interior is a destination for pilgrims who come from all over the world to pray before the statue of the Black Madonna

    The Chapel of the Annunciation was decorated with frescoes by Federico Zuccari, the sacristies of San Marco and San Giovanni by Melozzo da Forlì and Luca Signorelli, the ceiling and the roof of the Sala del Tesoro by Pomarancio. The Museum and Picture Gallery of the Holy House of Loreto, housed in the Apostolic Palace, preserves paintings, sculptures, tapestries and majolicas from the Sanctuary and donated to the Holy House in the course of the centuries. The later works by Lorenzo Lotto, who died in Loreto in around 1556, stand out in the collection of paintings. 

    The Holy House Treasure includes valuable works of very refined jewellery.

  • Jesi the city of Federico II, G.B. Pergolesi and Verdicchio wine
    0731 538420 - 0731.5381
    The stage includes the following destinations: Jesi città di Federico II, di G.B. Pergolesi e del Verdicchio

    Jesi is one of the most beguiling towns in Ancona’s inland and boasts a sophisticated old centre and lively cultural life. As you arrive you must look at its most striking feature - a belt of massive 14thC walls, built on Roman foundations and later strengthened with buttresses and impregnable towers, and topped by houses.
    Piazza Federico II lies at the north-eastern end of the town where the Roman forum of Aesis once lay. Its name recalls the birth here of the fabled Medieval Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II in a tent on 26 December 1194. In Piazza Ghislieri is the Federico II Museum, a large multimedia museum dedicated to the emperor, documenting Federico's life and his stirring deeds. A few steps down Via Pergolesi and you will be in Piazza Colocci and in front of Jesi's most remarkable building, Palazzo della Signoria. This Renaissance palace was built at the end of the 15thC; the large rampant lion above the entrance is the symbol of the power the city once held. Piazza della Repubblica, Jesi's largest square, is dominated by the town's 18thC theatre, Teatro Pergolesi, home to a prestigious autumn opera season and named after the composer Pergolesi, who was born here in 1710.
    On Via XV Settembre stands Jesi's most flamboyant building, Palazzo Pianetti. Apart from its hundred windows, the bland facade little prepares you for the over-the-top Rococo flourishes inside. The most extravagant part is the sugar-candy stucco work in the long galleria. The over-blown decoration alone would merit a visit; the added bonus of the civic art gallery makes it obligatory as here is kept a small group of some of Lorenzo Lotto’s finest works: the Judgement of Santa Lucia, a Visitation, an Annunciation and a restless Deposition.
    To find an exhaustive selection of Marche wines you can’t miss the regional “enoteca”, in the city historical centre, where you get to know the delicious Verdicchio, a white wine proudly produced in this area.
    Among the main events, to be mentioned is the Palio of San Floriano and historical re-enactment: during the first week of May the town fully plunges into a medieval atmosphere. 

  • The Frasassi Caves
    0732.90090-97211 Info e prenot
    The stage includes the following destinations: Le Grotte di Frasassi
    In the heart of the Marche region, about 40 minutes drive from Ancona, in the Regional Natural of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi, certified with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, are the spectacular Frasassi caves, the largest karst complex in Europe. Some 13 km of limestone caverns have so far been explored and it is reckoned that they may run for up to 35 km. Only one and a half km of this crystalline wonderland is open to the general public. Equipped with walkways and theatrical lighting, it includes inlaid stalactites, gigantic stalagmites and the awesome Grotta Grande del Vento, Europe's largest single cavern, so vast that Milan Cathedral would fit comfortably inside. The guided tour lasts for around an hour;  the temperature inside is a constantly low 14 degrees C.  The caves were discovered in 1971 by the Cai Speleological Group of Ancona and open to the public in 1974. Information about the discovery of the caves can be found by visiting the portal of Ancona Marche CAI Speleological Group ( Near the caves, stop to admire the splendid backdrop of the Frasassi Gorge and the Romanesque church in the little spa of San Vittore delle Chiuse. This tiny, perfectly square church was built in the 12thC on chastely simple lines and is one of the prettiest romanesque churches in the Marche. Not far from the caves is the Romanesque Abbey of San Vittore alle Chiuse, dating from the eleventh century, one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in the Marches. The Paleontological and archaeological Museum of Genga is housed in the monastery of the Abbey and boasts the famous ichthyosaur of Genga, a marine reptile about 3 meters long, looking like a dolphin, that lived in the Late Jurassic , about 150 million years ago.

  • Fabriano, City of the Paper
    The stage includes the following destinations: Fabriano città della carta

    Fabriano is famous worldwide for the production of paper and watermark; this invention was introduced by papermakers from Fabriano in the second half of the thirteenth century.
    The town is one of the UNESCO's Creative Cities; in 2013 it was included in the category Crafts and folk arts, beacuse of the production of handmade paper.
    So proud is the town of its traditional industry that it has dedicated an interesting modern museum to it - you'll find the Museo della Carta (Paper and watermark museum) in the former monastery of San Domenico. The Paper and Watermark Museum traces the town's fascinating history of this important craft, with centuries-old machinery and well-preserved manuscripts illustrating its prominence over the ages. The most remarkable churches are: the Cathedral of San Venanzio, built in 1600 boasting frescoes by Allegretto Nuzi in 1360; the church of San Domenico; the Church of San Filippo , the church of St Biagio and the church St Romualdo, whose crypt houses the marble sarcophagus with the relics of St. Romuald, founder of the Camaldolese order; the late-thirteenth-century Church of St. Agostino, full of valuable frescoes; the church of St. Nicola, the church of St. Benedetto, housing works by Simone de Magistris, Orazio Gentileschi and Pasqualino Rossi. You can't miss: the Oratory of the Banner, with a ceiling carved and decorated in pure gold at the beginning of the seventeenth century by French sculptor Leonardo Scaglia ; the Oratory of the Charity, frescoed by Mannerist painter Filippo Bellini from Urbino. In the locality of Poggio San Romualdo is the abbey of San Salvatore in Val di Castro, dating back to the year 1000; in nearby Campodonico is the hermitage of San Biagio in Caprile. In the central and picturesque Piazza del Comune stands the Palazzo del Podestà, a typical example of medieval architecture, built in the middle of the thirteenth century, with swallow-tail battlements; further tourist attactions are: the Fountain of Sturinalto, a smaller version of Perugia's famous fountain, built at the close of the 13thC, the Town hall, the Loggiato San Francesco, the former hospital of Santa Maria del Buon Gesù, a fine example of late Gothic architecture housing the art gallery Bruno Molajoli and boasting precious paintings on wood and frescoes by Allegretto Nuzi, Maestro di Staffolo, Antonio da Fabriano, Ottaviano Nelli, Orazio Gentileschi and Andrea Boscoli; the nineteenth-century Teatro Gentile, with a precious curtain by Luigi Serra. The theatre is dedicated to Gentile da Fabriano, Italy's greatest master of the late International Gothic style of painting, born in Fabriano in 1375. 

    The typical product of Fabriano is the "salame of Fabriano", that is a sort of salami with pieces of lard. The top quality white wine made in the area is Verdicchio di Matelica DOC wine.
    The most important event taking place in Fabriano is the Palio di San Giovanni Battista (June). During this event there are games and historical parades. In late May Fabriano hosts Poiesis , a festival including poetry, art, music and  theatre.

  • Serra Sant'Abbondio - Monastery of Fonte Avellana
    The stage includes the following destinations: Monastero e Abbazia della Santa Croce di Fonte Avellana

    The Monastery of Fonte Avellana is situated on the wooded slopes of Mount Catria (1701 m.) at 700 meters above sea level in Serra Sant'Abbondio. It dates back to late tenth century, around 980, when several hermits chose to build the first cells of a hermitage, that later became the present monastery. The spirituality of these hermits was influenced by San Romualdo from Ravenna, the father of the Camaldolese Benedictine Congregation. He lived and worked between the tenth and the eleventh century near Fonte Avellana. Today the monastery includes a large square that gives access to the church in Latin cross, covered with barrel vaults with pointed arches; the crypt built in the eleventh century is one of the oldest parts, along with the cloister and the thirteenth century scriptorium. Among the valuable volumes housed in the monastery, notworthy is the NN code dating back to the eleventh century. The prestigious Library "Dante Alighieri" contains over 10,000 volumes, including precious manuscripts and ancient holy books. The hospitality of individuals or groups is provided throughout the year.  In Fonte Avellana there are meetings of Lectio Divina and retreat days.
    The Monastery of Fonte Avellana joins the project the Monasteries of the Marche.

  • Tolentino -Abbey of Santa Maria di Chiaravalle in Fiastra
    0733.202942 (Ufficio informazi
    The stage includes the following destinations: Abbazia Santa Maria di Chiaravalle di Fiastra

    The Abbey of Santa Maria di Chiaravalle of  Fiastra is one of Italy's best preserved examples of Cistercian architecture. The Cistercian monks arrived here in 1142. The construction of the abbey began a year after their arrival in the area. The church has three naves, pointed vaults with cruciform pillars crowned with Romanesque capitals; it was built using materials taken from the ruins of the nearby Urbs Salvia, the Roman city destroyed by Alarico between 408 and 410. The nicest  fifteenth century frescoes are in the second chapel of the church and are attributed to Camerino's school.
    The monastery houses a large cloister with low brick columns, segmental arches and a trussed roof. It still preserves the Chapter Room, the Refectory, the dormitory of conversi ( laymen), the "cellarium" and the "Oil room", where oil was stored.  The cellars of the Abbey now house the Wine Museum and the Museum of Farming. The guest house provides six rooms, a kitchen and a large hall, able to accommodate groups and individuals.
    The abbey is included in the homonymous Nature Reserve covering an area of ​​1,800 hectares of land,  between the towns of Urbisaglia and Tolentino, ten kilometers far  from Macerata.

  • Recanati, Giacomo Leopardi's birthplace.
    071 981471
    The stage includes the following destinations: Recanati città di Giacomo Leopardi
    Recanati is a remarkably hill town, just inland from the Adriatic Sea. It is situated on a ridge between the valleys of the Potenza and the Musone rivers, with a wonderful view that stretches from the Sibillini Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. It's close to the heart of many Italians as the birthplace of one the country's greatest poets, Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). Around every corner, plaques mark spots referred to in his poems.

    ATTRACTIONS: Palazzo Leopardi, at the southern edge of town, where he was born and brought up, holds memorabilia, manuscripts and his fascinating library, containing 20,000 volumes. Further places connected with Leopardi and his poems are: the square of "Il sabato del villagio", just in front of the eighteenth-century Palazzo Leopardi; the "House of Silvia; the "Hill of Infinity", the peak of Mount Tabor, which inspired the eponymous poem composed by the poet at 21, and now home to the Orto sul Colle dell'Infinito literary Park; the ancient vegetable garden of the monastery of the Poor Clares and the World Center of Poetry and Culture, the Leopardi National Studies Centre, the Tower of the "Passero Solitario", located in the courtyard of the cloister of Sant'Agostino, Palazzo Antici Mattei, Leopardi's mother birthplace.  In 2014 the film " Il giovane favoloso", focusing on the life of the poet, was shot for most of the time in Recanati.
    The most significant religious buildings are: the church and the convent of the Capuchin friars, dating back to 1600, the Church of Santa Maria Morello, where Giacomo Leopardi was baptized, the Church of San Vito, with its impressive facade designed by Vanvitelli, the Church of Sant'Agostino with its beautiful Istrian stone portal, the Church of San Domenico, housing the "San Vincenzo Ferrer" frescoed by Lorenzo Lotto, the Cathedral of San Flaviano, boasting a magnificent 17th century wood ceiling. In the delightful Piazza Leopardi you find the statue of Giacomo Leopardi and the neoclassical Town Hall, built at the end of the centenary of the birth of Giacomo Leopardi; the Torre del Borgo, built in the second half of the twelfth century as a symbol of the foundation of a single municipality, now reopened to the public. A nice example of fifteenth century architecture is Palazzo Venieri, built by Cardinal Venieri. Recanati is also the home town of the great tenor, Beniamino Gigli and the Museo Gigli in the historical Teatro Persiani holds a collection of his costumes from some 30 operas, a mock-up of his dressing-room and some of the many presents he received, including a walking stick from Verdi. The museum in Villa Colloredo-Mels, a splendid 18th century villa on the edge of the town centre, holds Recanati's greatest art treasure, a room with four of Lorenzo Lotto's finest pictures, including a most haunting Annunciation packed with almost breathless narrative detail - a high spot in any art-lover's tour of the central Marche. 

    The most typical specialties are the "piccicasanti", a kind of sticky soup, made with poultry, pork and extra virgin olive oil. Two delicious wines are: Rosso Piceno (red wine) and Colli Maceratesi (white wine). The most remarkable events taking place in Recanati during the year include: Lunaria, offering a series of concerts in July in the central Piazza Leopardi; "Amantica", boasting a summer program ( July) with traditional music; San Vito Festival, celebrating the the patron saint of Recanati, taking place on 15 June.

  • Macerata and the Sferisterio
    0733256361; 0733271709; 0733.2
    The stage includes the following destinations: Macerata

    Macerata is known across the world for its annual open-air opera festival, taking place in its open-air Arena Sferisterio - a neo-classical arena erected by private subscription in the 1820's. Its centre was almost entirely built between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Renaissance two-tiered arcades of the Loggia dei Mercanti on central Piazza della Liberta' is the town's most striking piece of architecture. The best of the city's palaces line Corso Matteotti, the road that leaves the square at the side of the Loggia, while Corso della Repubblica leads to Piazza Vittorio Veneto where stands Palazzo Ricci, which houses a collection of twentieth century Italian art.
    The Palazzo Buonaccorsi was built in 1700–1720 thanks to Raimondo Buonaccorsi and his son Cardinal Simone Buonaccorsi using designs by Giovanni Battista Contini. The piano nobile is known for the Sala dell'Eneide, decorated with the most impressive frescoes by Rambaldi, Dardani, Solimena and canvases by Garzi and Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. The building also houses the Museo delle Carrozze, where fine carriagies can be admired. The cathedral was built in Neoclassical style in 1771–1790; it has the remains of a 15th century Gothic bell tower. Macerata boasts a very old University, which was founded in 1290.  In the historic center there are nice buildings : the Town Hall, the neoclassical facade on which it was placed, in 1952, the image of Our Lady of Mercy with the inscription Civitas Mariae;  the Church of San Paolo, built between between 1623 and 1655; the 64 meters high Civic Tower, from whose terrace you can enjoy a panorama that sweeps from the Sibillini Mountains to the Adriatic Sea; the eighteenth-century Teatro Lauro Rossi, the  nearby Basilica of Mercy, full of stuccos and marble; the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, boasting an "Epiphany" by Tintoretto. 
    The most typical dish is  vincisgrassi, a sort of baked lasagna. The ingredients of the original recipe are: ham, truffles, parmesan and a sauce of milk and flour. The main events taking place in Macerata during the year are: the Macerata Opera Festival (July / August) and the Feast of the Patron San Giuliano (August).

  • Fermo
    The stage includes the following destinations: Fermo

    Fermo is situated on the slopes of Sabulo Hill (319 above sea level). The city is now divided into two parts: the old town, that has remained almost intact through the centuries, and the new area.

    SEASIDE HOLIDAY OFFER:  Fermo features the seaside resorts of Marina Palmense (3 km of beach to the south of Porto San Giorgio)  and Lido di Fermo, Casabianca and Lido San Tommaso (4 km of beach to the north). The beaches at Lido di Fermo and Marina Palmense are both pebbled and sandy; the area is full of camping sites, tourist villages and apartments and equipped with many facilities, like bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The resorts are surrounded by green and lush hills, protecting the coast from the winds. There's a bike path running from Casabianca to the village of San Tommaso.

    ATTRACTIONS: The heart of the town is the magnificent Renaissance Piazza del Popolo, formerly Piazza Grande, where there is the sixteenth century Palazzo dei Priori, whose main entrance is topped by  Sansovino's grand statue of the Bishop of Fermo who was to become Pope Sixtus V. Now it is home to the Municipal Art Gallery, boasting valuable paintings of the Venetian and Marche schools and the "Nativity" by Rubens, and the Sala del Mappamondo (Hall of the Globe), taking its name from the world map drawn by the cartographer Moroncelli of Fabriano in 1713; the building also houses the archaeological section "From the Villanovians to Piceni"; further remarkable palaces surrounding the square are: the Palazzo degli Studi, housing the town library "Spezioli" with 400.000 volumes, and the Apostolic Palace, built in 1532 as the residence of the Governors and of the papal legates. Fermo's pride is also the prestigious "Teatro dell'Aquila", a fine example of eighteenth century architecture.  Also worthy of note are the underground piscine romane (roman pools) which comprise thirty magnificently preserved underground chambers built between 41 & 60 BC to conserve and purify the town's water supply, and regarded as the finest example of their kind in Italy. Climbing up Girfalco hill, you reach the 13th century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral, with its richly decorated interior and fine rose window. You cant' miss: the Church of San Francesco, which houses fragments of frescoes by Giuliano da Rimini; the church of San Domenico, rebuilt in 1233 on the area where once stood the church of St. Thomas of Canterbury; the Church of St. Agostino, decorated with nice frescoes by Giotto's school.
    The most famous local products are: caciotta, a top quality cheese made from both ewe and cow's milk; ciauscolo ( soft cured pork) and vin cotto (sweet "cooked" wine). The frustingo is the typical Christmas cake. It is made with dried figs, raisins, almonds, walnuts, cooked wine, flavored with cocoa, coffee, rum, grated orange and lemon peel, candied fruit and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The most imnportant event taking place in Fermo is the feast of the Assumption, celebrated on August 15. During the summer period the Piazza del Popolo plays host to Fermo's music festival featuring some of the world's finest performers, as well as outdoor markets.


  • Ascoli Piceno, the city of Travertine
    0736 298334 (Ufficio turistico
    The stage includes the following destinations: Ascoli Piceno
    The enchanting town of Ascoli Piceno is one of the most important art towns in southern Marche and in central Italy. Travertine was widely used to pave the historic centre.

    Not to be missed is the unique main square Piazza del Popolo, with important buildings such as the medieval “Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo”, the historic Cafè Meletti in Liberty style, the Church of San Francesco and the Merchant’s Lodge, an elegant 16th century building. The other major buildings stand at the centre of the most historic city, in Piazza Arringo: the Cathedral, where a polyptych with the Madonna and Saints by Carlo Crivelli is housed, the town hall or palazzo Comunale, the medieval Baptistery of St. Giovanni, the Cathedral of St. Emidius, whose crypt is dedicated to the local patron saint and houses the great polyptich of St. Emidio dated 1473 and signed by Carlo Crivelli, the Bishops’ Palace, the Arengo Palace, seat of the Pinacoteca Civica, Ascoli's art gallery, where, among other works of art, worth mentioning is the 13thC cope (piviale) of Pope Nicholas IV, an impressive piece of embroidery work made in England. On the other side of the square appears the 17th century façade of Palazzo Panichi, seat of the Archeological National Museum. Among religious places, noteworthy are the Romanesque Church of Ss. Vincenzo e Anastasio, the 13th century Church of San Pietro Martire, the Church of Sant’Agostino, renovated in the 9th century, and the 16th century Church of Santa Maria della Carità.
    There are also two little temples dedicated to the patron saint Sant’Emidio, Sant'Emidio alle Grotte and Sant'Emidio Rosso. Among monuments, the Roman Solestà bridge, the ruins of the Roman theatre, the Pia Stronghold, the Malatesta fort, the Teatro Ventidio Basso, a 19c theatre in neoclassical style, the Palazzetto Longobardo, a Lombard mansion which is flanked by the elegant Ercolani Tower, one of the remaining towers of the over 200 mentioned in Medieval documents. In the neighbouring area of Ascoli Piceno is Castel Trosino, a very old Lombard settlement near the Castellano river.

    Among food specialities, olives from Ascoli are well known by gourmands. They’re fried and filled with meat. As far as drinks are concerned, worth mentioning are the Anisette from Ascoli, the Rosso Piceno Superiore and Falerio red wines and the Vino Cotto, a sweet wine.

    Among events, La Quintana, Ascoli's jousting tournament, is one of the most authentic and exciting medieval shows in the Marche and takes place in the main square on the first Sunday of August, as well as the Carnival of Ascoli Piceno (February- March), Fritto misto all’Italiana (Italian fried food) in May- April and the Antiques’ market (3rd Sunday every month).
  • National Park of Sibillini Mountains
    0737 961563 - 0737 961014 - 33
    The stage includes the following destinations: Mistero, magia, cultura, ambiente: il Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini

    Europarc Federation Certified

    The National Park of Sibillini Mountains covers an area of 70.000 hectares of protected land. It was established in 1993; the towns included in the park are: Amandola, Arquata del Tronto, Bolognola, Castelsantangelo sul Nera, Cessapalombo, Fiastra, Montefortino, Montegallo, Montemonaco, Valfornace, Pieve Torina, San Ginesio, Ussita, Visso.

    The Monti Sibillini National Park has obtained postive evaluation by Europarc Federation ; therefore it is officially recognized by the European Charter for sustainable tourism in protected areas.

    The great limestone massif that stands in the southern Marche includes one of the highest peaks on the Italian mainland - Monte Vettore at 2,476 metres - and the wild tarns and windswept high plains of the Monti Sibillini provide some of the Marche's most spectacular landscapes.
    Established in 1993, the National Park of Sibillini Mountains covers an area of over 70,000 hectares of protected land. This chain of mountains is chiselled by glaciers and limestone erosion; the traces can ben recognized in Mount Vettore, Mount Bove, the Ambro Valley , Tela Valley (Mount Rotondo) and in the underlying U-shaped valleys.
    Karst phenomena is particularly evident all around the area.

    The Park possesses some outstanding natural sights , including the vast upland plains which are a mass of flowers in spring. The most impressive is Piano Grande below the village of Castelluccio, famous across Italy for its lentils. In May and June, this huge expanse of treeless plateau, 1250 mts above sea level, eight kilometres long and five wide, is transformed into a carpet of wild flowers. Among the poppies you'll find wild tulips and exotic alpine flowers such as carex buxbaumii.
    Different types of trees can be found in the park : the oak, the hornbeam , the beech , but also natural pastures with very rare and valuable species such as the edelweiss of the Apennines and the willow dwarf, that is considered the world's smallest tree. The fauna is also varied; there are different mammals, such as the wolf, the wild cat, the hedgehog, the roe deer; some birds populate the park too: the golden eagle, the goshawk , the sparrow hawk and the peregrine falcon. 

    In the Middle Ages the Sibillini Mountains were known in Europe as a kingdom of demons, necromancers and fairies. There are many legends on the Sibillini area that have been handed for centuries: the mountains take their name from a legend that one of the sibyls - the prophetesses of classical mythology - hid here in a cave on Monte Sibilla known as the Grotta delle Fate (Cave of the Furies) when she was chased out of the underworld. We must also mention the legend of "Pilato", according to which the dead body of the famous Roman procurator was dragged by a team of oxen into the reddish waters of the "demonic" high tarn. The lake is also the only place in the world where you'll find Chirocephalus marchesonii, a pink crustacean that swims belly up.

    Nearby is the Gola dell'Infernaccio, an awe-inspiring gorge carved through the rock by the river Tenna. On the flowery slopes of the park , especially in sumemrtime,  you can admire the Ragnolo meadows, full of splendid blooms of orchids, liliaceae and other interesting species, such as the Orsini fritillary, the narcissus or the alpine star; the valley of Fiastrone is also impressive, as it is a gorge carved by the waters where Grotta dei Frati, an ancient and evocative hermitage of the Clareni monks of the year 1000, is located. Climbing up the river, near Lake Fiastra, you can reach the Acquasanta valley with its splendid waterfalls and the Bear's cave, a toponym documenting the  presence of bears in the past.

    The Park dwellings and the Environmental Education Centers provide tourist information service. A wide range of activities can be made: hiking tours, horseback riding, mountain biking, hang-gliding or paragliding, rock and ice climbing, skiing, sightseeing in towns of the Park. There are also food and wine tours;  you can taste all specialties and delicalicies of the area.

    After the earthquake occured in 2016, we indicate the risks along the paths of the park (ref. Monti Sibillini National Park Authority Press release no. 21/16 dated 12 Dec 2016)

    Mount Vettore from Forca di Presta with visit at Castelluccio di Norcia:  the streets leading to Forca di Presta are temporarily closed to transit and the entire area of Castelluccio is red zone. Access is available under permission.

    Mount Sibilla: access to Mount Sibilla is not banned.

    From Valle dell'Infernaccio the Church of Padre  Livini (The Mason of God) from Rubbiano: access to the Infernaccio Valley and to the hermitage of San Leonardo is forbidden under the order of the Mayor. The route has been damaged by very large landslides.

    Frome Foce the path that leads to the Palazzo Borghese: the municipal road leading to Foce di Montemonaco is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic under the order of the Mayor.
    The following cartography shows the streets and the paths temporarily closed due to the earthquake.

    Due to the earthquake occurred in 2016, the offices of the National Park Authority are temporarily located in:

    VISSO – Swimming pool, locality Palombare.
    Tel. 0737 961563 - 3357226283.

    TOLENTINO – Institute of Prevention of animal disease Marche and Umbria,
    Via Maestri del Lavoro 06029 Tolentino.
    Tel. 0733 961946.