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Planning our week in northern Le Marche


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We leave in 2 1/2 weeks and I am working on my list of things to do and see in Northern Le Marche.

I am getting my information from the Locanda della Valle Nuova site (where we are staying), the Cadogan Guide for Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches (Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls), the Sunflower Guide for Umbria and the Marche, and Marche Voyager. There are also some good suggestions in my earlier thread Planning a Trip to Le Marche and Umbria.

This is what I have so far.

Pesaro, seaside town on the Adriatic. We are traveling with our friend Joan and will be picking her up at the Pesaro train station, so we can combine that with a visit to the town. The Cadogan guide says it has a good medieval center and interesting 19th century villas (many in Liberty style) near the seaside. It was the home of Rossini. We might visit the nearby Villa Caprile, an 18th century villa with Italian gardens and fountains. In 1817 – 19 it was the home of Princess of Wales, mother of Queen Victoria. Has anyone been to this? << edited to add that this is a school and usually only open to tourists in the summer. The Cadogan guides says it is open 3 - 7pm, mid June to mid September, but I am not sure this is correct.

Urbino. A day in Urbino.

Hill Towns. From @Valerie - Urbania, San Marino and San Leo.

Sant’Angelo in Vado - Domus del Mito (House of the Myth), remains of a 1st century BC Roman villa with polychrome mosaics (recently discovered). More about the town on Marche Voyager.

Pergola, Bronzi Dorati museum, with ancient roman bronzes.

Fortresses of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The Valle Nuova site recommends San Leo, Mondavio, Sassocorvaro (its plan resembles a tortoise), Cagli, Sant’Agata Feltria and Frontone. We won't make it to all of these. More info on Marche Voyager.

Via Flaminia. This ancient Roman road ran from Rome north to the Adriatic coast at Fano and then to Rimini. In Le Marche the main site is in the Furlo Gorge, with parts of the road and an original Roman tunnel, but Marche Voyager says there was a rock slide in May and the gorge is closed to cars and pedestrians. It looks like we can find other traces of Via Flaminia in the area - Roman arch in Fano (Google Map Street view of Roman arch in Fano), remains of forum and street in Fossombrone, Roman bridge in Cagli, Roman ruins in Pontericcioli. We will spend a day hunting out as much as we can. We will see more of Via Flaminia when we are in Umbria.
More information on Via Flaminia: Marche Voyager / Wikipedia / Bill Thayer's Gazeteer / Valle Nuova

Monastery of Fonte Avellana
. Founded in 979, important center of learning in Middle Ages. Dante visited. Nothing changed since 12th century. Scriptorium where they produced illuminated medieval manuscripts.

Cooking Class. We are taking a cooking class at Valle Nuova! Learning how to make two types of pasta and some vegetarian sauces.

Walking/Hiking. The Sunflower guide lists hikes in the area and there are maps and hiking information at Valle Nuova, so we should be able to do a few longer hikes. We can also walk from the farm on white roads.

I think we will skip the Caverns of Frasassi (recommended on the Valle Nuova website and by @Valerie ) because I can no longer get interested in caves unless they contain 20,000 year old cave art.

The Umbrian town of Gubbio is only 45 minutes away by car but since we have to pass by it when we drive to Spoleto for our second week, we will visit Gubbio on our travel day.

Other suggestions? Comments?
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100+ Posts
I love that Marche Voyager site! Back in 2002-4, when we managed to fit in 4 visits to Le Marche in just 2½ years, I was always consulting it. But the only time we did some serious hiking was when we were based in the Southern Marche (just S of Amandola: 2 super hikes in the Monti Sibillini).

Those gilded bronzes in Pergola are very special: well worth seeing. And I remember enjoying Pesaro's old town and villas, but don't really remember any details.

I've just looked on the shelves, and have 1:25,000 hiking maps of Monte Catria, Monte Nerone (and the Monti Sibillini National Park, which is probably not relevant, unless you're thinking of driving over to Norcia and beyond when you're Spoleto-based); and a 1:50,000 of the Alta Valle del Metauro. We leave on Fri morning, but if you're Waitroseing this week we could meet up?


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The apartments in Spoleto will let us check in early (1pm!!) so we will visit Gubbio from Le Marche instead of stopping on the travel day.

Giulia da Urbino

100+ Posts
Hi Pauline!
The Furlo Gorge is indeed closed to car traffic, but it's open for pedestrians, so it can easily be enjoyed (actually it's a lot nicer without the cars driving by ;)
Near Fonte Avellana Monastery, just a few steps into Umbria is the Parco del Monte Cucco with two very nice churches and some good hiking. (sorry for the links in Italian but the info is more complete, and, as far as I know, more accurate there).

North of Pesaro you can find the Parco del Monte San Bartolo with its beautiful cliffs and villages on top of them. It's the only area of the Adriatic that is worth visiting, North of the more famous Conero (near Ancona).

>> Pauline added:
Link to Monte Cucco website English page for the churches.
Link to Monte Cucco website English page for hiking.
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Giulia da Urbino

100+ Posts
p.s. Villa Caprile may not be open in September... there are guided tours a couple of days a week during the summer, I'll check
I'll call the people who are in charge of the Roman ruins in Sant' Angelo in Vado (Domus del Mito): it's usually open every weekend in October during the Truffle Fair, and whenever there's some special event in Sant'Angelo in Vado, but needs to be booked during the rest of the year.

Mike Ruggerio

New Member
Hi, My wife and I had the priviledge to live in Marche for a year and your itinerary looks awesome. If you have time for Republic of San Marino it is a must see! You can tour the entire town in about 4 hours and the castle is unreal. We have been there 4 times and each time see something more incredible than the last trip. The views are really too much, and once you see the fortress you will realize why it is still an independant country - 1000 feet up shear walls of rock. On a clear day you can see the Adriatic easily and the Apennines are very near.

I noticed you will also be near Gradara, the castle town is worth the trip and the castle is the best one we saw in all of Italy - it is still in original configuration with some original furniture, guard living quarters, draw bridges etc.

You will not be disappointed in Gubbio either, well worth the trip. Stop in and see our friend Leo Grillo, his shop is just down hill from the main piazza (about 3 levels up from parking area, Gubbio). Mr. Grillo has some incredible pieces and stories.

Picture below is from one castle tower to another in San Marino really something! Down the coast to Senigallia another favorite. Get to Morro d'Alba for some Lacrima! The Lacrima grape only grows in this 50 square mile region $2 a liter! Tour the Antica Cantina (www.anticacantinasantamico.it) Say hi to Christina and Olimpia for us. If you need an overnight around Morro d'Alba be sure to check out Solebello Country House (www.solebelloitaly.com), Cathy and Enrico will treat you like family in the cleanest most comfortable lodging we found. Buon Viaggio!

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I just realised that we were talking about villa Caprile and not Villa Imperiale that is also well worth seeing. Villa Caprile is a school, so it can't be visited during the school year.
I found Villa Caprile in the Cadogan guide (an old edition). They said it was open daily 3 – 7 from mid-June to mid-September. This info is probably out of date (I will update the original post). I think we will spend our time in Pesaro when we go there to meet Joan at the train station. We can't do the Wednesday for Villa Imperiale because we have our cooking class - and I don't want to rush that!

I went through all the itineraries on your website Giulia - they are great suggestions!


Forums Admin
Near Fonte Avellana Monastery, just a few steps into Umbria is the Parco del Monte Cucco with two very nice churches and some good hiking. (sorry for the links in Italian but the info is more complete, and, as far as I know, more accurate there).
I found pages in English on that website and added the links at the bottom of your post. The Via Flaminia goes through this area too. Thanks!!


Forums Admin
@Giulia da Urbino posted on Facebook about a new Roman site in Pesaro - Roman Domus on via dell'abbondanza

On August 24 the archaeological area of via dell'abbondanza opened. You can visit the remains of a luxurious mansion of early Roman Empire, richly decorated. The villa was discovered in 2004. It was built before the first century AD and lived in until the third century.

Opening Hours
26 August-30 September: Tuesday-Sunday and bank holidays 10.30-12.30, 17-19
1 October-31 December Tuesday-Thursday, 10.30-12.30 admission by reservation by calling the Musei Civici 387541 0721; Friday-Sunday and holidays 10.30-12.30 .15 -17.30 .30

We will visit this site when we are in Pesaro.

Here is a translation of the article.


100+ Posts
From the strange coincidence files...
I must admit Le Marche wasn't on my radar until the mayor of Pesaro followed me on Twitter yesterday. (I don't know why, but naturally I followed right back because...Italy! :D) Anyway, it prompted me to google Pesaro (looks fabulous!) And then the whole region (so many amazing places!) And now I pop on here and find this thread about Le Marche. It seems all roads lead to Le Marche...I must be fated to visit this area someday. For now, I'll follow your planning, Pauline, and look forward to hearing of your adventures!

Jim Zurer

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Sorry to be so late to this thread....Fabriano, if you have time, for the paper museum. Still a center of paper production in this modern age.

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