This is a varied and relatively little-known region in the east of Italy. The interior is formed along the backbone of the Appenine mountain range and to the east there is the more populated coastal region, including the biggest city in the region, Ancona.
The northern area has the rolling hills similar to Tuscany but without the huge numbers of tourists. Pretty villages such as Urbino, Gradara, are picture postcard places with steeps hills leading up to compact centres. The southern coast features several low-key beach resorts where you may wish to spend a couple of days.
5 things not to miss :
1 Food -
The region offers seafood on the coast and then in the interior based on locally grown produce. The best known wine is Verdicchio a greeny-gold wine in a strangely shaped bottle an excellent accompaniment to fish.
2 Go to the seaside -
Pesaro offers a wide selection of affordable hotels. The area south of Ancona sees the cliffs of Monte Conero plunge into the sea. This is perhaps the Adriatics most spectacular stretch of coastline, especially the area between Portonovo and Sirolo.
3 Visit an art city -
There are a number of little cities in the region that are full of history and art but dont attract the numbers of tourists that other places do. Chief among these are Urbino, Gradara and Macerata.
4 Visit San Leo -
The fortress has been attracting visitors for centuries. Dante modelled his vision of hell on it and the film the "Name of the Rose" tells the story of its history. Without a car its all but impossible to get here and in winter its difficult to access due to snowy, twisty roads. At other times of year its a must see.
5 Ferrari -
Pilgrimage to Loreto. The Madonna of Loreto is the patron saint of aviators, and millions of travellers come here every year to visit the Basillica and pilgrimage site.