A strong musical heritage means that the summer season in Le Marche is dominated by a procession of different outdoor concerts and festivals, including the Rossini Opera festival held in Pesaro during August, and the open-air season at the magnificent Sferisterio arena in Macerata. You can also enjoy listening to some excellent jazz during summer months, particularly at the fantastic Jazz by the Sea festival in the resort of Fano. As well as music, the medieval past of Le Marche is also kept alive through various entertaining events, including the ever-popular jousting that takes place in Ascoli during August, seen as one of the most authentic festivals in the region.
Le Marche’s beautiful, 180 kilometre-long coastline boasts the highest number of Blue Flag beaches anywhere in Italy. Larger seaside resorts such as Gabicce Mare and Senigállia that offer a lively atmosphere and nightlife, sit harmoniously alongside smaller coastal towns and more remote stretches of coastline with a peaceful and tranquil feel. Although some beaches can be busy with Italian tourists in the height of summer, in early and late summer, it is possible to find a deserted beach all to yourself. As is common in Italy, beaches generally have both public and private sections: the private sections charge a small fee for their use, which is often well-worth spending for the extra facilities on offer.
Packed with spectacular scenery from rugged mountain peaks, to sweeping stretches of magnificent coastline, Le Marche is the ideal destination if you enjoy outdoor activities. Vast areas of beautiful rolling countryside lie just waiting to be explored at a leisurely pace on foot or on two-wheels. Cycling is popular all over Italy, and you will find plenty of cycle hire facilities available in the main towns. Whilst you’re ambling around the countryside, look out for the abundant wildlife especially in the various national parks, where you may find species such as red squirrels, badgers, butterflies and an array of birdlife.
Traditional home-cooked specialities remain the hallmark of cuisine in Le Marche. As much of the area remains rural, many ingredients are sourced from the wild such as mushrooms, game, nuts, field herbs, and the real culinary treasure of the region, truffles. Each local town has its own distinctive cuisine, celebrated by the many sagre – festivals dedicated to the local speciality – that usually take place during the summer and autumn. Dishes unique to Le Marche, which are traditionally based around meat, include stuffed pigeon, rabbit cooked with fennel, and vincisgrassi – a rich type of lasagne cooked without tomatoes.