The region of Marche is located in central Italy. It borders with Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the northwest, Umbria to the west, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. This region is mostly hilly and mountainous with some flat plains along the coastline. The region is divided into five provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, and Pesaro e Urbino. Ancona is the capital city of the region.
There are many medieval towns and villages throughout the region, including Ascoli Piceno with its old Piazza del Popolo and Urbino, which is known for its 15th century Palazzo Ducale. To the north of the region is hill town of San Marino, Europe’s oldest republic. The Medieval town of San Leo has a dramatic fortress that towers over the village. Marche is a popular destination for its sandy beaches and unspoiled interior.
There are a number of seaside towns along the coast, including Pesaro, Fano and Senigallia. The rugged mountain areas have narrow valleys, deep gorges and numerous rivers and streams. The spectacular Gorge of Furlo is on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman road that runs through Marche on its route from Rome to Rimini. The Monti Sibillini National Park is located in the western part of the region in the Sibillini Mountains. The Grotte di Frasassi, an amazing system of caves, is located southwest of Jesi.