Le Marche

Those of you who are interested in this beautiful area, between the Appennines and the Adriatic coast, will already have read the guide books. Our intention ist not to duplicate the information in tourist guides, but to highlight the particular characteristics of the area and its culture which make life in Le Marche special.

Many people had not heard of Le Marche as recently as two years ago. The preconceptions attached to Adriatic "resorts" are based on towns in Emilia Romagna, such as Rimini.Slightly further south in Le Marche, the style and flavour of the tourism changes, and is less commercial, putting more emphasis on local history, customs and products, and less on package holidays for the masses. Le Marche is still recognisably Italy, at its best, and long may it remain so.

The Adriatic coastline in Le Marche has surprisingly good water quality, and some beautiful coastline with some splendid bays, especially round the area of the Monte Conero Nature Park. The region is bordered in the west by the Appennine mountain range, which even boasts a winter sport centre at Monte Sibillini, in the south of the region. Between the Appennines and the Adriatic coast is the beautiful hilly landscape with traditional farming concentrating on vineyards, olive groves, sunflowers and cereals. The hills surrounding Jesi produce the well known Verdicchio, and some excellent red wines such as Lacrima di Morro d'Alba and Rosso Conero are also produced in the area.

The country houses which make up our portfolio lie in this beautiful landscape, which compares very favourably with Tuscany and Umbria, as apart from the soft rolling hills, the coast is never far away. Another clear advantage is that it's still possible to find excellent quality and value in restaurants only slightly inland.

Cultural highlights are found primarily in cities like Urbino, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata, Loreto, Jesi and Ancona, the provincial capital, from where ferries run to Greece and Croatia. The Frasassi caves are the largest accessible complex in the whole of Europe.

Social changes and demographic shifts have meant that many farmhouses have become available, as most youngsters are choosing urban life and employment over country life. This gives us the possibility of finding lovely country properties at quite reasonable prices, especially compared with the long popular and prohibitively expensive Tuscany and Umbria.

Ancona has an international airport (Falconara), which benefits from low cost flights to London, and the area is fast growing in popularity among discerning investors, as one of the last areas where it is possible to invest in property with a realistic value growth potential.

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