DISCOVER THE MARCHES
1. Ancona: the capital of Le Marche is a harbour city split into two parts. On Monte Guasco you can visit the historical centre and on the coast the recent area. Walk up to Corso Mazzini, where you will find the Calamo Fountain. If you drink a bit of water from each of its 13 streams, your wish will come true. The rose and white marble facades of the Cathedral of San Ciriaco are enchanting. Another recommendation would be to try the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, an exceptional white wine from the Ancona province.
2. Cingoli: this hilltop town has been nicknamed the "Balcony of Le Marche" because of the stunning views it offers, especially from behind the church of San Francesco. Cingoli was briefly famous in 1829, when Pius VIII, born in this town, became Pope.
3. Urbino: in the 15th century, artists and scholars from Italy and many other countries made their way to the pretty town of Urbino. They turned the city into a place of art, which went on to impact culture in the whole of Europe. Urbino is also the birthplace of Renaissance painter Raphael and architect Bramante.
4. Pesaro: overlooked by the restored Palazzo Ducale, Pesaro offers wonderful beaches. Rossini was born here in 1792 and the town hosts every August an Opera Festival in honour of the famous composer.
5. Treia: the town was allegedly founded by the Sabines in Roman times and offers a mixture of Renaissance and neo-classical architecture. Treia is known for its Disfida del Bracciale, an annual ball game already played during the Renaissance. To enjoy a truly magnificent panorama, head to the Piazza della Repubblica.
6. Tolentino: this beautiful town is a place of pilgrimage due to the presence of the shrine of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino. Some amazing 14th century frescoes can be admired in the gothic Cappellone di San Nicola. When you reach the Piazza della Liberta, see if you can figure out the mystery of the numerous faces present on the medieval clock tower. Also to be noted is Tolentino's International Museum of Caricature and Humour in Art and its yearly corresponding festival.