Set in a natural amphitheatre in the mountainous northern reaches of the region, the charming old town of Pennabilli makes a great base to explore this wild countryside. Strictly
speaking it's no longer part of the Marche, having voted, along with six other towns, to become part of neighbouring Romagna. But it's still worth a visit...
In recent years it has also acquired fashionable status as a summer resort with many newcomers buying and doing up town apartments and local farmhouses.
Its name comes from the union of the two castles that top the town's two peaks - Penna and Billi. You can still see the ruins today. Although a lot of the town has been
heavily restored (the price for its fashionable status) it has all been done in the best possible taste and you can happily spend a couple of hours exploring its winding up-and-down streets.
Its other great plus, standing at 630 metres above sea level, is its cool climate - a great break in high summer from the heat of the coastal plain.
For most of July it hosts a celebrated antiques fair with exhibitors from across Italy and abroad. There are also a host of other events organised throughout the summer
including a festival of street theatre in mid-June.