(45 minute drive)
Urbino has recently been honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Its history is rich especially in its influence in art not only in Italy but around the world. Most known for its famous residents of Raphael & the Duke of Montefeltro there are many museums & a fantastic botanical garden & beautiful palaces & cathedrals to take you back in time to the 15th century.
Enjoy a caffe or aperativo in an outdoor cafe in the main square- Piazza della Republica & people watch! There is a large university in Urbino so there are always tons of students out & about. For dinner try Taverna degli Artisti (Via Bramante, 52) - many many years ago it used to house art students & still has the remnants on the ceilings of their work! A wonderful dinner, romantic & lively - very reasonably priced. After dinner, wander your way through town making your way back to the Piazza della Republica for gelati - try the spot on the corner - Romana!
The weekly market passes through Urbino every Saturday - eat your way through the streets. Head for Parco della Resistenza for incredible views of Urbino, the Metauro Valley, Monte Nerone & even the Adriatic Sea! Just relax & breath it in - don't forget your bottle of wine! Thursdays in Urbino is the craft market - find handmade goods from shoes & handspun yarn to paper & many other artisanal oddbits - perfect for gifts to take home from your holiday.
(5 minutes by car)
Seen as one of the top 21 most beautiful towns in Italy, Mondavio is the closest place offering food and drink. Sit in the little square with the locals and enjoy a drink and the friendly atmosphere, not to mention the delicious complimentary aperitifs.
There are many fascinating historical attractions in Mondavio. The fortress as you come into the centre is one of the finest examples of a well-preserved fortification from the 14th century. The information centre in Mondavio has leaflets on events in the area (opposite side of road to bar in main square).
(20 minutes by car)
Corinaldo's charm lies in its old and distinct style buildings and religious monuments with beautiful frescoes and interesting architecture. Corinaldo has managed to preserve some of the rare collections of art works, and is known for some of its neoclassical and Renaissance style buildings. It is also in that prestigious list of the top 21 most beautiful towns in Italy.
Enjoy an ice cream with stunning views as you enter the town and wander around the beautiful atmospheric streets discovering little Osterias. There is a full recommended restaurant list in the farmhouse.
(50 minutes by car)
Beautiful hill top monastery with a lovely wine bar. Make it part of a day trip to the caves of Frasassi
Close by are the caves of Frasassi. The Temple of Valadier built inside a cave is close by.
(about an hour by car)
Gubbio is a typical medieval city with houses and palazzi still intact, and can be reached by car in 60 minutes. The ‘Persebe Permanente’ in the church has wonderful Italian kitch! There is a very interesting trip from the town up to the monastery via an open ‘funicular’ in which two people per cage travel together. If you have vertigo close your eyes! The monastery at the top is worth visiting.
(30 minute drive)
The Via Flaminia leads all the way from Rome to Fossombrone, whose churches are filled with works of art, the monumental Library, museums, Ducal Palace, and the Renaissance High Court. Drive on through to visit the Furlo Gorge.
Out and about
Monte Catria is the prominent mountain that can be seen from the terrace of the house. It is 1,701 metres high and there is a Cross on the summit. There are truly excellent views and a very interesting drive on mountain roads. This is a full day out as the drive there is about 2 hours and remember to take walking shoes and a picnic as there are many trails. There is a walk of about 750m to the peak.
Best way to get there is to take the road to Pergola and take direction Cagli. You will be looking on the map for Chiaserna where you will then turn right to Monte Catria.
There are fantastic 360 degree views. Your return can be via a town called Frontone which is worth a visit.
The Furlo Gorge is now a nature reserve, but for many centuries it was a strategically important trade route along the Via Flaminia linking Rome to Rimini.
You'll need to park and walk/cycle through the gorge as it's now closed to cars for the foreseeable future.
The small village of Furlo at the mouth of the gorge is a good place to eat truffles in season. Or you might hunt out a picnic spot by taking the strada panoramica from the village and climb up to the top of the gorge. But be warned - it's a longish and twisting drive. Head onto the SS73 from Mondavio, and turn left towards Furlo (30 minutes)
The Cascata del Sasso
The Marche region is full of surprises. The Cascata del Sasso, on the Metauro river is one of the 10 largest waterfalls in Italy and is a favourite spot for fishermen, too. Just 10 minutes upstream to the west, on the edge of the medieval village of Mercatello sul Metauro, a stunning river bends under a high cliff; here you will find small waterfalls and two pools for wild swimming, among flaked rocks that seem to fall apart in the sun. It’s perfect for picnics, as large trees and small clefts in the rock provide shade. Nearby there is a pleasant park with tables and a barbecue. Just over an hour by car, heading away from the coast towards the mountains, it is well worth a visit for a magical day out.
Grotte di Frasassi (caves and hiking) roughly an hour’s drive
The largest of the Grotte di Frasassi, or Frasassi caves, was discovered only in 1971, and just over a kilometre of its caverns and tunnels is now open to the public on tours that last seventy minutes – note that the average temperature inside is 14°C.
Inevitably, the most remarkable stalactite and stalagmite formations have been named: there’s a petrified Niagara Falls, a giant’s head with a wonderfully Roman profile, a cave whose floor is covered with candles complete with holders, and a set of organ pipes. The vast Cave of the Great Wind, at 240m high, is one of the biggest in Europe – large enough to contain Milan Cathedral – and over the years has been used for a series of experiments, ranging from sensory deprivation (as a possible treatment for drug addicts) to a subterranean version of Big Brother.
You can stop off on the way back at Genga. A beautiful hill top monastery with a lovely wine bar.
Parco del Conero (South of Ancona)
45 minute drive
A natural park and an area of outstanding natural beauty which is characterised by panoramic views and loads of history, as well as an abundance of different flora and fauna. There is park/coastal walking, and beautifully secluded beaches and coves (some only accessible by boat). It does get busy in the height of the summer but it is well worth a visit for a day on the beach or to explore the small towns dotted on the peninsula.
The closest and largest beach is Senigallia (roughly 20 minutes drive). In Senigallia there is 12 km of beach resorts in which you can stay for the day, rent a chair and umbrella and use the changing rooms, without being a guest of an hotel! Some of the beach resorts have a deal with some hotels, but you can stay there even if you don't stay in the hotel! Unfortunately, there is not a list of these, but you can find them along the Senigallia shore, from North to South. There is parking both free and paying (you will see blue lines for the latter). Best to get there before 10.30am in the summer and especially at weekends. Visit the centre of old Senigallia for it's clothes market on Thursday mornings. Beautiful Italian linens at wonderful prices.
For more information on the other beaches close by please visit:
Click here to find out more
Out and about
There is a rich diversity of routes available to the cyclist in the region. Please go to the following links below for more information:
Click here to find out more about Cycling Tours In Le-Marche
We have a hiking book in the house, but for more walking trails and more information go to:
You might also like to try these two particular favourites:
Fossombrone De Monte Cesane. Located just above Fossombrone there are a wide range of diverse and well-signposted walks. Several routes can be created with the best distances to suit you. There is a card is available at the Town Hall, at the end of the lively 'Corso'. Along the route to the top of Monte Cesane you will also find a small bar, La Baita. A little further you will find the Furlo Gorge overlooked by Monte Paganuccio. There are beautiful walks here and you can also drive up and start the tour there. Tip, pick a day with beautiful clear weather, the views are truly spectacular!
Ancon, South of Ancona crosses the Monte Conero sea. At the visitor center at Sirolo you can get a good map showing all the features of the park and trail programmes are indicated. A useful starting point is Fonte d’Olio, Ca 1 km vanfa Sirolo towards Ancona. During the walk you will walk along the edge of the mountain, over 200m above the sea. Truly beautiful and spectacular.