Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Tuscan Coast vs. Eastern coast of Italy in mid-June

Tuscan Coast vs. Eastern coast of Italy in mid-June

Old Feb 14th, 2015, 10:49 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tuscan Coast vs. Eastern coast of Italy in mid-June

We two adults have about 5 days in mid-June to auto tour hill towns and coast heading south from Florence and wondering if there is a valid reason that so few guide books pay much attention to the eastern side of the Apennines, specifically, Le Marche and Umbria.

The Tuscan towns and coast look inviting, but I'm thinking the Adriatic side might be less touristy. Or is it less interesting/attractive?

The best descriptions so far are in the Michelin Green Guide, but compared to Tuscan counterparts, much shorter shrift.
Phyllis_Orrick is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2015, 02:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,423
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I live in Le Marche, and I can assure you it's one of the most beautiful regions in Le Marche. It's not as well served by highways as Tuscany is, and the only direct rail connection to Rome is single track for a fair part of the way. It doesn't get many foreign tourists, except for some of the seaside towns, which see an influx of northern Europeans in the summer months.

Le Marche is, however, quite popular with Italian tourists. Consequently, you will sometimes find that material for tourists isn't available in English, or is very badly translated. In hotels and restaurants, there are usually some people who speak hotel-and-restaurant English.

The landscape in Le Marche consists of the Apennine chain on its western border, with the Sibilline Mountains in the southern part of the region. Between the mountains and the sea is a region of ridges and river valleys, interspersed with rolling hills. Historically, this was a border region (The English name of the region, The Marches, means "borderlands".) Nearly every hill was fortified in medieval times, and most of the towns saw sieges and battles in the wars between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Many, maybe most, of the towns still have a good part of their medieval walls, and some towns have intact walls. Corinaldo, for example, is still completely surrounded by its 14th century walls, with guard towers and soldiers' shelters, and the original town gates.

Urbino, in the north, was a ducal seat, and its ducal palace is one of the most beautiful in Italy. It also is the seat of a medieval university. A much less known town in the center of the region, Camerino, also has a ducal palace and an ancient university. There are also many castles. You can often stand on a hill and see several at one time. Some are tiny, like Loretello, a little jewel, while some are larger, like the Pallota castle in Caldarola. None of the castles is huge, because the lords of these castles ruled small areas.

The sea coast of Italy is mostly flat and sandy, without the spectacular cliffs typical of Liguria and the Amalfi coast. One exception is the Riviera del Conero, where there are little bays at the foot of Mount Conero, and small pebbly beaches. Some beaches can be reached only by boat, or by hiking in. North of Mount Conero, there are some nice sandy beaches, with gentle slopes into the water, ideal for small children.

Senigallia has one of the nicest beaches, and it also has an attractive and lively medieval town center, with lots of little artisanal stores sprinkled among the chains. Senigallia also has two restaurants that have two Michelin stars each. There are lots of other good restaurants in the area whose prices are not stratospheric.

Le Marche is known in Italy for its cuisine, both seafood along the coast, and hearty meat dishes in the interior. Italians say, "Nelle Marche si mangia bene." (One eats well in Le Marche.) There are many excellent cheeses produced here, and some excellent wines as well. Umbria is more famous than Le Marche for its sausages and cured meats, but Le Marche is in the same class.

Umbria is also a beautiful region, but it's not as far off the tourist track as Le Marche is, because it borders Tuscany, and because it's mostly west of the Apennines. It's also got a better highway network than Le Marche does. Another much-overlooked region is Abruzzo, which has some charming hill towns in its interior.

The Blue Guide has a guide specifically for Le Marche and San Marino. There is a new edition coming out, which I've pre-ordered. I never saw the first edition. They are one of my favorite guide series. Their guide to Rome is a classic.

http://www.blueguides.com/reviews/al...marino-1st-ed/

They also have a guide to Umbria.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2015, 02:15 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,423
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I meant, of course, that Le Marche was one of the most beautiful regions in Italy.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2015, 02:45 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I found this to be a very helpful guide to le Marche.

http://www.le-marche.com

But if you are heading south from Florence and need to be at Civitavecchia, you will find it rather time consuming to get from the Adriatic side of Italy to the Mediterranean side, even with a car. If you look at this map of the autostrade (major high-speed highways) of Italy, you can see why

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostr...e_italiana.svg

The densely mountainous topography of the Marche forms a natural internal border within Italy -- a line of demarcation -- what at various times has been very useful for military defense but makes for a lot of driving if you are a visitor. Umbria, which has a very large agricultural plain at its center, is much easier to zip around.

If you would like to get off the beaten track but still not be stuck with a lot of driving to get to your cruise ship, think about exploring the Maremma area of Tuscany and northwest Lazio.

http://www.maremmaguide.com/maremma-tuscany.html

http://therunawayitalian.com/2015/01...lake-district/

http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Plann..._Hills/109.php

http://www.go-today.com/blog/travel-...uscany-series/

http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/allt...an-coast-food/
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2015, 02:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just realized I am mixing you up with another poster who is heading south from Milan but ultimately needs to get on a ship in Civitavecchia.

But some of those links might still work for you if you have a car!

Coming from Florence, if you don't have a car, but would like to head east and get off the beaten track, consider the train like that goes northeast from Florence through the Ruffina chianti country, over the mountains through Marradi, and then terminates in Faenza. From there you have options north and south by train along the Adriatic. Still, a car would be better.
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2015, 03:00 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, if you look at the "Discover Umbria" menu of this website, you'll get a lot of information.

http://www.bellaumbria.net/en/

Re-reading your first post, I do see that you mention this is an auto tour, so le Marche is not that far from Florence if you prefer. The typical route from Florence to Urbino has many interesting towns and points of interest.
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2015, 03:30 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,926
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bookmarking
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Feb 15th, 2015, 06:54 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7,434
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The long sandy stretch along the Adriatic Sea is nothing to write home about (even the Riviera del Conero can't cope with the southern Tuscan coastline), but some coastal towns and above all the small hill towns in the hinterland are phantastic, in le Marche and Eastern Umbria!
Google for San Marino, San Leo, Urbino, Pesaro, Frasassi Caves, Ancona (old city), Loreto, Macerata.....
neckervd is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2015, 07:50 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
... to which I would add Sant'Angelo in Vado, Mercatello sul Metauro, Urbania, Mondavio, Corinaldo, Montefabbri...

http://www.miomyitaly.com/mondavio.html

http://www.bestsmalltownsitaly.com

http://www.borghitalia.it/pg.base.ph...&cod_borgo=683
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2015, 07:55 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 517
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BKMG
Ralstonlan is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2015, 09:38 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We spent two weeks in Umbria in 2011, and one day did a drive through Norcia to the Adriatic coast, visiting a beach at San Bernadetta del Tonto. It was a nice beach, and the town kind of reminded us of places in Florida. Sometimes, I just feel that beach towns are beach towns, the world over.

https://dianestevespreadtheirwings.s...com/pictures/8 Should link to some pics that include various day trips. The beach trip is toward the end (click on "All photos" to see all at once and then on the individual photos that interest you) But it is nothing like the Ligurian Coast and Cinque Terre. (Which we visited later).
uhoh_busted is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
auerjac
Europe
4
Aug 2nd, 2010 12:57 PM
NoleNomad
Europe
10
Nov 25th, 2007 05:01 AM
angelfire
Europe
5
Jun 1st, 2007 12:51 PM
buongiorno
Europe
23
Dec 10th, 2004 09:28 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information