First a word on the often confusing categories used by tourist authorities to classify accommodation - "agriturismo" describes any of the many
types of accommodation offered on farms. Terms such as "country house" and "house or apartment for holidays" can all mean a villa or apartment for rent, the only difference often being a question of bureaucratic
The big growth area at the moment is "bed & breakfast", usually a few rooms in a private house, it can also cover apartments in country properties. The
classification "affitacamera" is usually used to describe bedrooms for rent - ie. bed without the breakfast - but, again, can also mean apartments to rent.
When it comes to small, attractive hotels in inland country areas, the
Marche is fast catching up with its popular neighbours, Tuscany and Umbria, and each year sees a wider choice.
Hotels in the Marche, as in the rest of Italy, are graded by stars. One and two-star hotels are cheap but usually rather basic. Three-star hotels are good
all-rounders but without many frills; prices vary significantly depending on location and season. Four-star places have most comforts you would expect at a higher price. Five-star world-class hotels are thin on
the ground outside Italy's bigger cities - there is only three in Le Marche, two in Pesaro and one in Fermo.
The best resource to search for hotels in the region is tripadvisor using "Marche, Italy" as search terms. The Marche Region tourism department also has accommodation listings on its English site here, but you may find it's not always a very easy database to use.
One of the most popular and best-value solutions is to rent a villa
or apartment, either through searching on the web or through one of the vacation rental agencies that specialize in Italy.
Tripadvisor now has listings for vacation rentals through Flipkey, and well-known accommodation guides such as Alastair Sawday's self-catering listings are worth consulting.
Of course, you might consider staying with Peter and Richard who run Marche Voyager. Check here for details of what they can offer you at their splendid country home outside Cagli, near Urbino in the northern Marche (photo below). They offer a stunning ex-chapel for two or a magical cottage for four.
San Cristoforo, Cagli
Down by the coast campsites abound. They are usually
well equipped with shops, shady trees and beach-front locations. They do, however, charge higher prices in August, and are usually only open from late April through to the end of September.
Inland, on the other hand, campsites are thinner on the ground and tend to have more basic facilities. But prices
are lower and it's a good way to meet holiday-making Italian families. Many towns are also setting aside areas where motorised camper vans can park for the night.
For full listings you can use the accommodation database on the Marche Region's English site, as