About Marche

Where is Marche? The Italian region of Le Marche is located in the eastern-central area of the country, bordering Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the north-west, Umbria to the west, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east.

There are five provinces: , Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata and Pesaro e Urbino. The region covers an area of 9,694 square kilometres with a coastal strip of 173 kilometres. Apart from a relatively narrow coastal plain, the countryside is hilly, becoming mountainous towards the west with the Sibillini mountains, forming part of the Apennine ranges that run down the centre of Italy. The highest peak in Le marche is Monte Vettore which rises to 2,476 metres.

Most of the population lives in the coastal area, near to the popular seaside resorts. Inland areas are more sparsely populated and offer rugged scenery and quaint hill towns, friendly townspeople, as well as extensive wildlife, mountain gorges, waterfalls and caves.

Languages spokenItalian and other local dialects
Currency usedEuro
Area km2)9,694
Population1.551 million

Culture and history info

Before the Roman conquest (3rd century BC) the region was inhabited by the Piceni along the coast and the Gauls in the mountains, then under the Romans it was important for trade, which developed along the Via Flaminia and Via Salaria.

At the time of the barbarians’ invasions, it was split in two, with the Southern part under the Lombards and the Northern under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. The name of the region comes from the establishment by the Franks of “Marche”, that is Marquisdoms, such as Camerino, Fermo and Ancona.

Little by little the towns and cities got more and more independent from the feudal lords, and in the 14th century the region was divided into a number of small states with the Malatesta in Fano, and the Montefeltro and later the Della Rovere in Urbino. Then the State of the Church gradually widened its influence in the region, until in the 17th century all the territory was under the rule of the Popes. In the Napoleonic period Marche was a republic, then after the Congress of Vienna returned under the State of the Church, to be finally annexed to Italy in 1860, during the Second War of Italian Independence.