Le Marche's Cultural Heritage
Unrivaled Cultural Heritage, Then and Now
Over Three Thousand Years of History and Civilisation
Archeology has revealed human settlements in Le Marche which date from atleast 400,000 years ago. Le Marche is also an important archaeological region as the former home of the Piceni, a pre-Roman population that traded goods (including metal, terracotta and amber). The Piceni were eventually conquered by the Romans, although their agricultural and environmental contributions live on in the form of properties containing their own wheat fields, orchards, vineyards and kitchen gardens.
A Rich Architectural Heritage
Throughout the five provinces that make up Le Marche, there are more than 500 well-preserved piazzas, more than 1,000 important monuments, approximately one hundred cities of art, 113 theatres, 200 churches, 90 abbeys, 106 castles, 170 towers, 37 fortresses and 15 strongholds. Le Marche also has one of the finest examples of early Renaissance architecture in Italy namely, the Ducal palace of Urbino).
Deep-rooted Faith and Spirituality
Le Marche is a region of deep-rooted faith and spirituality heritage containing 200 churches of mainly Romanesque architecture, monasteries, abbeys and 183 shrines spread all over the region.
Ten popes, from Pope John XVIII (1003-1009) to Pius IX (1846-1848), were born in Le Marche, and the region is also home to Italy’s second most important pilgrimage site after Rome – the basilica in Loreto that contains the house where the Virgin Mary is said to have conceived and raised the young Jesus.
The basilica in Loreto has been a Catholic pilgrimage site since the 13th century. Each year it attracts more than four million pilgrims from all over the world.
Key Regional Information
No. of Provinces: 5
Provinces: Pesaro Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Fermo & Ascoli Piceno
Capital City of the region: Ancona
No. of Municipalities: 236
Domonym(s): Marchigiano, Marchigiani
Area Size: 9,614 Km2 (3,743 sq. mi)
Density: 160.0 Km2 (430/sq. mi)
Coast Line: 180 Km (111.8 mi)
Max Altitude: 2,476 m. (8,123 ft.)