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Round trips




The Marches, of Raphael, Rossini and Tod's

A passion for art, theatre and shoes

9 Days - 8 Nights

Marche is Italy's best-kept secret, pure and unadulterated, peaceful and authentic. It is a region of art and music, of Raphael and Rossini, with 71 historic theatres and at least as many pinacques.

This experience trip takes you from Unesco World Heritage Sites to the bustling seaside towns of the Conero Riviera with its spectacular white cliffs. And in between, pristine natural parks, vast vineyards and swaying wheat fields.

The region south of Ancona is also the Valhalla of Italian shoe production, with several outlets and showrooms of major brands. With a pair of new quality shoes, your discoveries are guaranteed to go like clockwork.

Day 1 : Departure to Bologna

When you arrive at the airport, you'll pick up your rental car and drive on to the Le Marche region. Here you will stay in a family-run and small hotel.

Day 2 : Urbino - Pesaro - Fano

The 'ideal' city of Urbino is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most important centres of the Italian Renaissance. The imposing 'Palazzo Ducale' dominates the city and is home to the 'Galleria Nazionale delle Marche', including the 'studiolo', Federico di Montefeltro's magnificent study with beautiful wooden inlays. You can also admire the 'Madonna di Senigallia' by Piero della Francesca and 'La Muta' by the painter Raphael, who was born in Urbino. Then continue to the seaside town of Pesaro, with the birthplace of composer Gioacchino Rossini, the central 'Piazza del Popolo' and plenty of shopping opportunities. A little further on is the seaside town of Fano, with its Corte Malatestiana, a 15th-century Renaissance complex, the 12th-century 'Palazzo della Ragione' and the Santa Maria Nuova church, with works by Il Perugino.

Day 3 : The Frasassi caves and Jesi

The entrance to these unique caves was accidentally discovered by a farmer in 1945. You will explore a unique subterranean network here. The largest is the Cave of the Wind with 7 impressive halls full of pearly white stalagmites and stalactites. You drive on to the delightful and walled town of Jesi, with its 15th-century 'Palazzo della Signoria' and its pretty courtyard. The building is by architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, a pupil of Brunelleschi. Be sure to pop into the pinacotheque with its opulent rococo gallery on the first floor and the historic 'Teatro Pergolesi'.

Day 4 : Fermo - Ascoli Piceno

Heading south, the area around Sant'Elpidio a Mare invites you to shop in the numerous outlets and showrooms of the biggest shoe and fashion brands. Here lies the Valhalla of Italian shoe production, a tradition passed down from father to son. In this region, the most exclusive Italian shoes are produced, both in small workshops and by hand, as well as in larger companies and by machine. Nearby is the cosy town of Fermo, with its beautiful views of the sea and mountains. On the central 'Piazza del Popolo' is the 15th-century 'Palazzo dei Priori' with its pinacotheque, including Rubens' 'Adoration of the Shepherds'. Also go have a look at the historic 'Teatro dell'Aquila'.

Day 5 : Ascoli Piceno

Located at an altitude of 153 metres, this beautiful town is also known as 'little Siena'. Another nickname is 'the city with a hundred towers', as Ascoli had no less than 200 towers in the Middle Ages, erected by noble families. The highlight is the particularly harmonious 'Piazza del Popolo' with the 'Palazzo dei Capitani' (13th century). Have a drink at the historic Caffè Meletti with its beautiful art deco interior. The 'Pinacoteca' in 'Piazza Arringo' features works by famous masters and the small streets are a great place to shop.

Day 6 : Conero Riviera and Loreto

You are expected on the beautiful Conero Riviera, with its white cliffs, picturesque bays and coastal towns like Sirolo and Numana. The coast is named after Monte Conero, a huge limestone rock from where you have wide views over the sea and the hilly interior. En route you visit Loreto, a place of pilgrimage with the richly decorated 'Basilica of the Holy House'. Further on is the hill town of Recanati, the city of the accordion and birthplace of the famous 18th-century poet Giacomo Leopardi.

Day 7 and 8 : Macerata - Tolentino

Well worth a visit is medieval Macerata, the second opera city after Verona, with its magnificent open-air theatre and one of Italy's oldest universities. Further away you will find cosy Tolentino with its 'Basilica di San Nicola' with beautiful 14th-century frescos. Furthermore, you can enjoy the sea and beach or take a boat trip along this breathtaking coast. Also visit the port city of Ancona, the region's capital. In the historic centre is the beautiful 'Piazza del Plebiscito', one of the city's oldest squares and the 'Cattedrale di San Ciriaco'.

Day 9 : Going home

Your trip has come to an end. You'll return your rental car at the airport and then head back home.

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