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Passing through Marche

Trumbull...
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Passing through Marche

In late September we will be traveling from Northern Italy down through the eastern side. We will be passing through Marche on our way to Abruzzo. We plan to spend 3-4 days in Abruzzo and have 1-3 days to spend in Marche. Can anyone suggest what we can do in that time in Marche and where to stay. We love agriturismo's and B&B's and love to meet the people. We have a car and will drive anywhere. We are also big on the little mom and pop restaurants, the smaller the better. We both speak Italian and are in love with Italy.

Thanks in advance.

Renato7

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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1. Re: Passing through Marche

Most people traveling from north to south in Le Marche stick to the autostrada. The interior is a series of ridges and valleys that run perpendicular to the coast, making travel a bit complicated. Recently, I proposed a south to north route to someone, passing in the interior. You might want to read it, and convert it to the other direction:

trovalinea.atac.roma.it/zoom_in.asp…

In general, people in Le Marche don't eat out very often, and there isn't enough tourism to sustain a restaurant, except on the coast. I've lived in Le Marche for 13 years now, and I've seen countless small restaurants fold. Those that survive rely on big events, like weddings and confirmations, which means they have to have some large rooms to hold these events. Some of the restaurants I mention below are not small, although they are definitely family-run.

Urbino is a definite "must" (although I don't believe in musts); it was one of Italy's important Renaissance towns, and has a lovely ducal palace and a 500-year-old university.

The countryside south of Urbino is very nice. The Gola di Furlo is in a very pretty spot. There's a restaurant there called La Ginestra which is supposed to be very good, although I've never eaten there.

The area near Fratterosa is a center of traditional pottery making. Some of the potteries will give you a little tour.

Mondavio and Corinaldo are two of the prettiest little towns further south. There's a little restaurant called il Giardino in Mondavio and I also like i Tigli in Corinaldo.

An even smaller restaurant on a hill south of Corinaldo is called Colverde. In the summer they often have dancing in the evenings, and one night a week they have a menu of traditional local dishes. I don't know the particulars for this year, nor do I know whether these things continue into late September. This is definitely a small mom-and-pop place, where the whole family helps run it and the children of the family are playing around the tables. The tagliatelle are rolled out by hand by one of the area's renowned specialists.

In the town of San Costanzo, sort of between Mondavio and Corinaldo, the Grotta di Tufo is one of my favorite restaurants. If you're interested in fine dining, the town of Senigallia on the coast, has one of Italy's best seafood restaurants, Uliassi. It's expensive, but not at all pretentious. We once went there on a whim, dressed in our normal weekend clothes, when passing by on our anniversary, and they treated us like royalty.

Fabriano has some nice small restaurants, but I don't remember the names.

I love the upper Potenza valley in the vicinity of Fiuminata and Pioraco. A little bit inland from Fiuminata, there is a very nice agriturismo called La Castagna. We try to eat there whenever we're in the area.

http://www.agriturismolacastagna.com/

I have to warn you, though, that the access road could use a little improvement.

The little town of Torre di Palme, on a cliff overlooking the sea, just south of Fermo, has a beautiful view and a pretty good restaurant.

I highly recommend the town of Offida.

Ascoli Piceno is also worth a visit, with its medieval towers. There is a real genuine old-fashioned Italian bar on the main piazza.

Trumbull...
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2. Re: Passing through Marche

Thanks so much for the info. If we spend 3-4 days in Marche, is there a central location we should stay near to see the area or should we stay 2 days in the north and 2 days in the south part.

Renato7

Urbino, Italy
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3. Re: Passing through Marche

I'd split the stay between two locations: one North and one South (travelling in Le Marche from North to South takes long unless you stay along the coast) or even better choose one area, visit what is interesting there and leave the rest of the region for your next trip to the area!! :)

Le Marche, Italy
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4. Re: Passing through Marche

I agree that one place in the north and one place in the south makes the most sense. In the north, the area around Urbino, or even as far south as Corinaldo would be convenient. In the south, I would suggest somewhere near Ascoli Piceno, or perhaps in the little town of Torre di Palme.

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5. Re: Passing through Marche

You should definately consider the surrounding hill-top towns in Macerata. From Sarnarno, to San Ginesio, there are so many small quaint towns each unfolding like a rich medieval tapestry. The area is stunning with a great selection of good restauruants, fantastic walks and historical buildings. The other plus is you will meet some of the friendliest folk in italy! Have a wonderful trip and feel free to contact me if you need any more info on the area!

Trumbull...
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6. Re: Passing through Marche

Ciao Bella or should I say BellaVallone

Boy is my head spinning now. I started out planning to spend a couple of days passing through Marche on my way to Abruzzo but now after doing some research and hearing from all of you, I am looking at 3-4 nights or more. Maybe you can comment on my itinerary and make suggestions because I don't know how long it will take to get to places. We will start from Bolzano.

Day 1 Bolzano to San Marino 4hr drive. Afternoon in San Marino then drive to

an agriturismo or B&B near Urbino.

Day 2 Morning in Urbino then on to Gola del Furio. Back to B&B for the night.

Day 3 From Urbino on to Gubbio to Fabriano to Macerata or

Urbino to Corinaldo to Jesi to Cingoli to Macerata.

Day 4 Macerata to San Ginesio to Sarnarno to Amandola to Montefortino to

Montemonaco to an agriturismo near Ascoli Piceno.

Day 5 The day in Ascoli Piceno then on to Teramo Abruzzo for the night.

Sounds like I have to eliminate something and I even wanted to see the Frasassi Caves and the town of Offida.

We have a car of course, and don't have any reservations for sleeping. We would like to spend 2 nights in the same B&B if possible. And we love the little hill towns and love our fellow Italians. We avoid the tourists and both of us speak the Italian language.

Thanks in advance for your help

Renato7

Le Marche, Italy
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7. Re: Passing through Marche

I would suggest for day three:

Urbino to Corinaldo, then to Pergola, Sassoferrato, Fabriano and Genga.

This is just to indicate the route. There's not much reason to stop in Sassoferrato; in Pergola there's a small museum with some exceptional Roman gilded bronze statues, but if that doesn't interest you, go straight on to Fabriano. You could probably have lunch there and then go on to Genga to see the caves at Frasassi. It would be a rather long day, but it would get you to Frasassi before you go on to Macerata. Gubbio is a lovely city, but a bit out of the way.

Trumbull...
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8. Re: Passing through Marche

Ciao bvlenci

I have adjusted my itinerary and would like your suggestions as well as to answer a few questions.

1st We decided to spend the night in San Marino. It will be a long drive from Bolzano and it looks like a great place to visit.

Day 1 San Marino to Urbino by 10:00. Spend the morning and early afternoon in Urbino. 15:00 drive to Gola di Furlo and sleep near Acqualagna.

Day 2 Drive to Corinaldo for the morning. 12:00 head to Genga and the Cave di Frasassi. Sleep near Fabriano.

Day 3 Early start to Camerino, San Ginesio, Sarnano, Amandola, Montefortino, and sleep near Ascoli Piceno.

Day 4 The day in Ascoli Piceno and a possible 2 hour trip to Offida.

sleep near Ascoli Piceno.

Day 5 Head to Abruzzo.

Questions;

Do we need a full day in Urbino.

Are the caves worth the whole afternoon or should we see other towns.

Day 3 Which towns should we stop at.

Do we need a whole day in Ascoli.

Is there anything you would change, add, or are there any mistakes made.

Thanks for you help

Renato7

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: Passing through Marche

As far as the caves, the setup is you drive to Genga where there is one of those touristy areas full of souvenir stalls and food. (My favourite porchetta sandwiches!)

After buying tickets you catch the shuttle to the caves where you take a guided tour. The tour was in Italian and no one seemed to know anything about English audioguides but the guide did his best and we were happy just to look. After the tour you wait for the next shuttle and take it back.

The shuttles are fairly regular although I think there was a bit of a break at lunchtime.

We`d driven from Urbino which was an appealing little town. Amazing palace and a good place to wander round a bit.Parking was easy outside the walls but the town itself was pretty steep.

Le Marche, Italy
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10. Re: Passing through Marche

I would allow four to six hours for Urbino. The ducal palace is now a museum, which you probably want to visit. Part of it is an art museum, which has some important works along with a lot of minor works. The rest is mostly interesting as a Renaissance ducal residence, although not furnished any longer in Renaissance style. The cellars are interesting, with a staircase designed to be used by horses. In the cellar, you can see the stables, the kitchen (awfully near the stables) and the laundry.

The House of Raphael is not really terribly interesting.

If you don't visit the museum, you could see most of the town in three hours. You should really drive to the park above the town, where there is a fantastic view of the countryside and the towers of the palace.

Near Acqualagna, you might want to stay right in the town of Furlo, at La Ginestra, which is a hotel/restaurant right in the gorge. I've heard the restaurant is good, although I've never eaten there, and the hotel is reasonably priced.

The visit to the caverns takes about an hour, plus the ride back and forth on the shuttle, which you sometimes have to wait for (maybe ten minutes). I would encourage you to walk in one direction; there is a good sidewalk along the road, with several spots where you can walk down to the river. The parking lot for the caverns is just outside the little spa town of San Vittore Terme. You might want to walk into this town (about 5 minutes). There is a beautiful Romanesque church there (San Vittore), which has been turned into a speleological museum. Your ticket to the caverns gives you admission also to this museum. There is also a little medieval gate and a bridge which rests on ancient Roman foundations.

I'm not sure of a good place to stay when visiting Ascoli Piceno. We stayed in a lovely little town on a cliff overlooking the sea, Torre di Palme, and visited both Ascoli and Offida in one day from there.