We advise reading as much as possible about Le Marche before making a visit, as the region is full of unexpected treasures and is criss-crossed with ancient and medieval paths.
The Marchigiani really care about remembering the great composer Rossini born in Pesaro. Apart from his music he was also famous for being a real gourmet. That's why many recipes in Marche are in his honour. 'Tournedos alla Rossini' is one of the most popular.
4 thick slices of beef fillet, 4 round slices of bread high as the beef fillets, 4 slices of patê de fois, butter, salt, pepper, half glass of Marsala wine.
This typical biscuit recipe is very popular all around the Italian regions albeit with slightly different ingredients such as wine or chocolate. Deliciously unforgettable! In Le Marche this version with aniseed originates from Mount Sibillini and it uses the local aniseed liqueur called Mistrà.
1 kg flour, 10 whisked eggs, 350gr. sugar, 120ml. olive oil, 60gr. aniseed, a drop or two of aniseed liqueur such as ‘Mistrà’ from Le Marche.
The history of Marche is as rich as anywhere in Italy and in the footnotes of many guidebooks are wonderful nuggets of information. For example, the lost towns of Urbs Salvia, Helvia Recina, Suasa and Sentinum off the ancient Via Flaminia and Via Salaria roads are worth exploring, as is the mysterious Furlo tunnel.
Portonovo lies on one side of the majestic 576m high Monte Conero, the huge headland spur which juts into the Adriatic coast in Le Marche as if it had arrived there by mistake.
There seems to be no good reason for its existence when you consider the rest of the flat coast from north to south.
Don't get confused between Urbs Salvia and Urbisaglia.
URBS SALVIA was the city of the V Regio Augustea (Picenum) Roman colony and was located at the meeting point of two important ancient roads which linked present day Fermo, San Severino Marche, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno.
The 'Via del Gotico' is a tourist route which takes the visitor to San Severino Marche, Urbino, Fabriano, Fermo and Loreto.Not to be confused with the Gothic Line which was one of the defenses built by the German Forces to impede the allied advance in the Second World War. It did, however, cross into Le Marche from Tuscany ending in Pesaro.
The famous 'formaggio di fossa' cheese of Le Marche is produced in S. Agata Feltria and Talamello along the Valmarecchia. Known as 'ambra' in the latter locality, both are pecorino cheeses aged in pits which were once use for food conservation. This process has rendered formaggio di fossa famous across the world.
The 'Herbaria' country fair is held in May in the fine Abbey of Fiastra in the province of Macerata. It is more than a presentation local food and drink, but a rediscovery of a traditional way of life based on the land and sustainable living.