Decision made--Le Marche

Aug 14th, 2012, 01:00 PM
  #1  
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Decision made--Le Marche

Since we really wanted to see San Marino, we've decided to leave the Veneto for another trip and focus on Le Marche. (As an aside, I'd appreciate anyone who has the CORRECT pronunciation for that. I know what the Italian should sound like but I've yet to hear anyone say it that way. Rhymes with......)

So I'm thinking drive from Venice to Ravenna for the night. Would like to see that Basilica. Then San Marino for 2 nights, Urbino for 2 nights and then on to Florence. The days between could be used in the town or driving the countryside. Any suggestions welcome.
Lady is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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You can hear it "le marche" pronounced on this link, if though it is directed at French speakers:

http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=le%20marche

Before you leave Ravenna in your car, take time to drive 10km south to Classe to see the mosaics in the basilica of Sant'Apollinare.

You might consider visiting San Leo while you are in San Marino (nice way to escape all the tourists in San Marino).

What you see in between Urbino and Florence should be dictated by your interests. A lovely small town in the region is Sant'Angelo in Vado (which also has truffles if you will be there in autumn). There are important stops along the way for art (della Francesca) or for religion (st. Francis) or for shopping (in Tuscany).

The website Marche Voyager has very good information on all the towns long that route in Le Marche.

http://www.le-marche.com/
matera2019 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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i have done that drive. how long do you have? are you commited to staying in Fiereze (Florence)?
Marche pronounced marke , e is pronounced like the a in pay.
UmoDiViaggio is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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Great choice. Urbino is fantastic!

We had a lovely stay at La Tavola Marche a couple of years ago. http://www.latavolamarche.com/
txtree is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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We made a very similar journey to yours two years ago, except we also had time in Bologna, spent time in Florence first, and stayed in Macerata then Rome after Urbino.

We spent the night in Bologna, rather than Ravenna, as we prefer the food in Bologna. We picked up our rental car on leaving Bologna, and spent most of the day in Ravenna. The mosaics are just superb!

Then we drove along the coast, and made the easy drive to San Marino. Stupid me. I planned the trip, and you would think I would have realized how high up the mountain/hill the city of San Marino is. I have a fear of heights, and had a panic attack on the way up that has become a much-beloved family story. But we made it up, hubby finishing the drive and me with my eyes closed. So if you're planning to stay in San Marino and do day trips from there, be aware you'll be making that drive twice! San Marino is small and doesn't have much to see, but the towers are interesting and the views from the city of San Marino are amazing. We spent only one night there.

On the way from there to Urbino, we stopped in San Leo, another delightful little city, plus some other towns. These you could easily visit as a day trip from San Marino.

Urbino was great. Just the right size, lots of nightlife and people out and about, due to the university. Gorgeous little city. The Ducal Palace, especially the studiolo, was one of my reasons for going to Urbino. We also found Raphael's home interesting, more as an example of a middle-class house of the times than because it was his. We made several day trips in the area before heading south to Macerata. We visited Macerata Feltria, Sant'Agata Feltria, Novafeltria, Sassocorvaro, the Furlo Gorge (and the tunnel made by the Romans), Cagli, Urbania, Pennabilli (loved the towers), Montefiorentino (the former convent was closed when we stopped by), and on our way to Macerata, the much-reconstructed castle in the town of Gradara.

Be aware, if you're not already, that there are not a lot of large roads in Le Marche, so you'll be mostly driving on scenic but narrow and winding smaller roads.
Lexma90 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 02:03 PM
  #6  
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Thanks UDV. That's exactly how I thought, but haven't heard

Firenze is a must. Have an "adopted daughter" there who is going through a rough time. Wish we had more exploration time, but someday down the road (when DH gets to retire) we plan to spend extensive time in Italy so really getting overviews right now on options of where to settle when that day comes.

Thanks, Matera. I will check those towns out.

Good info, Lexma. DH would like to do Bologna again(for the food), but I'm not it's hugest fan and I'd like to do something different. DH is the one with acrophobia. I'll let him know about that San Marino drive. We've seen the pictures, but it really didn't sink in that we have to GET up there He might want to spend only one night there--but I'm trying to limit moving every day as much as possible.
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