Beside the Seaside
The Marche region has 180 kilometres of Adriatic coastline and a host of inviting seaside resorts if you
want to spend a week or two al mare.
There are basically two types of beach resort in the Marche. First there are the bigger centres with a lively atmosphere, busy nightlife, plenty of visitors from abroad and
nose-to-tail hotels along the prom. Good examples include (from north to south) Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Senigallia, and San Benedetto del Tronto.
Then there are the many more smaller resorts with less spectacular beaches and more rented villa/apartment accommodation rather than hotels. These places are often filled for the
short summer season by Italian families, often inland marchigiani, who return each year. The adults will always sigh that they're doing it for the bambini but secretly love it. And there's always the mobile telefonino so they can pretend to be in the office.
A couple of places that don't fit into either category are the resorts nestling under the rocky peninsular of Monte Conero. Here you'll find rocky coves and white limestone
cliffs totally unlike any other stretch of the Adriatic from Trieste in the north to Italy's "spur" at Gargano in the south.
All the resorts in the region have a very short season; basically they're only crowded from mid-July to the third week of August. Come in mid-June or right at the end of
August/early September and you'll have plenty of room with reasonably reliable weather. Most places are pretty well closed up from mid-September through to mid-May.
Although all resorts have a stretch or two of free public beach (spiaggia libera), it's often at the least attractive end of the strand and is rarely as clean as the bits
where you pay. Anyway, if you want the real Italian beach experience choose from one of the many pay sections with their ranks of umbrellas and sun beds. They're usually not that expensive, have all the
facilities you could want and are the best place to see Italians up close. If you're staying at a hotel, free access to one of the beach concessions is usually included in the price.
Le Marche can boast one of the highest number of Blue Flag beaches of any region in Italy. The prestigious Blue Flag is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education
to environmentally well-kept beaches across Europe. The important "eco-label" is given to sites that meet strict criteria including water quality, environmental management, safety and other services.
The main resorts from north to south: