Introducing Umbria & Le Marche
Rolling hills, jagged mountains, swathes of olive orchards and ancient stone buildings… Umbria and Le Marche make up the less famous two-thirds of Central Italy, but offer a landscape that rivals the more popular Tuscany.
There are few cities in either Umbria or Le Marche, and this is what gives the area its charm. Both regions are quite proud of their agricultural traditions and have transitioned easily into ‘Slow Food’ destinations. Don’t be surprised if you spend two to three hours at one meal, served by six members of the same family.
Most towns in the two regions are steeped in histories that have continued for thousands of years. Many locales like Perugia, Ascoli Piceno and Orvieto still bear the ancient markings of Etruscan, Umbri or Piceni tribes. Rome conquered its way through the regions and left the pockmarks of Roman culture – roads, amphitheatres and city walls. Labyrinthine medieval villages such as Todi, Gubbio and Assisi inspire visitors to want to pick up a paint brush and capture the light, or cower in the ominous shadow of the papal fortresses.
Modern-day Umbria and Le Marche astound visitors for a span of reasons. Spoleto’s festival brings together some of the finest dance and music performances in Italy each year. Myriad sun-seekers flock to Pesaro and the coast of Le Marche to bronze under the Italian sun. Still others head to Ancona to take a ferry to ever more exotic lands. Often missed are the regions’ natural destinations – Monti Sibillini’s mystical peaks or Monte Cònero’s subtle charms. But no matter what visitors come here for, they will almost certainly slow down their pace of life.