Lying east of Umbria along the Adriatic, Marche is a varied region. Much of its coastline is studded with modern resorts with sun umbrellas filling the beaches.
Large areas of Marche are unspoiled, however, with crumbling hill villages and the stunning Monti Sibillini mountains. The area also has a fair amount of industry.
Pesaro is the largest of Marche's old-fashioned, slightly forgotten seaside resorts. Its Renaissance center is quietly hidden behind the package-tour seafront.
Farther south, from Ancona to the Cnero Riviera, is a spectacular stretch of coast, with small beaches nestling beneath the dramatic cliffs of Monte Conero.
San Benedetto del Tronto has several miles of beach, five thousand palm trees, and numerous discos. Inland, the best known of Marche's sights are the small hilltop town of Urbino, with its spectacular Renaissance palace, and the fortress of San Leo, just across the border from San Marino.
Macerata is a sleepy university town surrounded by lovely countryside and, on the regional border, Ascoli Piceno is a worthy stop-off on the way into Abruzzo.