Marche boasts a long and important history and this is witnessed by its art cities and its squares where people meet to talk or its medieval towns where time seems to stand still.
Ascoli Piceno is an enchanting city, with an awe-inspiring Medieval historic centre, the arched porticoes of Piazza del Popolo or the impressive palace “Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo” and its crenellated tower. The craftsmen’s workshops enliven the centre and offer to see the creativity of Ascoli’s inhabitants, like the violin makers. The Quintana is a memorable event on the first Sunday of August, when expert horsemen run the Saracen Joust along the streets of the town.
The city of Ancona is also known as the “Gateway to the East”, because of its ancient port hub, but it also have some interesting monuments like the cathedral of San Ciriaco, one of the most interesting Medieval churches of Marche; the Greek acropolis, without forgetting its enchanting beach.
The historic centre of Urbino is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palazzo Ducale is an astonishing architectural and artistic example from the Italian Renaissance.
Not-to-be-missed is the Medieval town of Gradara, in province of Pesaro and Urbino, with its magnificent fortress that, according to legend, was where Paolo and Francesca kissed, as written in the fifth Canto of Dante’s Inferno.
Regarding religious tourism, an important destination is the Sanctuary of Maria di Loreto, where, according to the tradition, there is the house where Mary had been born and brought up, took away by angels before the final expulsion of the Crusaders from the Holy Land.
For the music enthusiasts, every year Pesaro hosts a two week event of Gioacchino Rossini full immersion in August. The Rossini Opera Festival (dedicated to the composer born in Pesaro) has become a must for classical music lovers from all over the world, in a town that can offer much more than just culture.
Fano’s Carnival is one of the oldest of Italy. It is characterized by the “vulon”, the typical town mask. During the parade sweets and candies are thrown to the crown from the allegorical floats. While the “Arabita” music is played using cans, coffee pots and jugs.