rock climbing and skiing to golf and horse riding, pretty well any sport
you can imagine is possible in the Marche. And whatever activity you
enjoy, the region's ever-changing landscape is bound to provide the
perfect backdrop, whether it's windsurfing on the blue Adriatic or
snowboarding in the high Sibillini Mountains.
On and in the water
As well as boasting 180 kms of Adriatic coastline, the Marche offers myriad
rivers and lakes that are ideal for a host of sporting activity on, in and
under the water. Along with swimming, windsurfing and water-skiing are
available at most of the main seaside resorts and some of the larger inland
lakes such as Fiastra.
Sub enthusiasts are also well provided for
off the rocky stretches of the Marche coast and diving centres include the
Baia di Vallugola near Pesaro, the Conero Peninsula and Pedaso in the south.
The fast flowing torrents running down from
the mountains also provide great possibilities for all levels of canoeists
and there are a number of clubs happy to give you a guiding hand.
Perhaps one of the region's most popular
sports is fishing. From the River Foglia in the north to the River Tronto in
the south, the region's many waterways and lakes are rich in trout, carp and
other freshwater fish. Even the smallest towns usually have a fishing tackle
shop where you can buy local fishing licences and find out about nearby
facilities for fishermen. Needless to say, the coast also provides plenty of
possibilities for sea and sub fishing.
On the move
For those who like their sport on the move the Marche is a paradise.
Whether you want to ride, trek or cycle you'll have some of the most
beautiful countryside in Italy to accompany you.
Horse riders are particularly well catered
for with many "agriturismi" or farm holiday centres offering
accompanied rides. Most towns also have a maneggio, or stable where
riding lessons, accompanied rides and hire of a horse for experienced riders
are all available.
If you'd rather put on a pair of hiking boots
than a pair of stirrups, the Marche will spoil you for its choice of walks.
You can choose between nature watching in one of the many nature parks,
gentle walks in the foothills of the Apennines, hearty treks up in the
highest peaks or just a long stroll along sandy beaches down by the sea.
around the country lanes of the region at the weekend and you'll easily
guess that the marchigiani have a passion for cycling. And it's easy
to join them. Whether you want some fast racing, some leisurely cycle
touring or some rough stuff mountain biking, there are plenty of cycle
stores and bike repairmen in every corner of the region.
On the green
While a relatively new sport to the region, golf is catching on fast. The
biggest and most beautiful course is the Conero Golf Course at Sirolo on the
magnificent Conero Peninsula.
On the top
The limestone mountains of the Apennines provide great opportunities for
every level of rock climbing and some of the world's most spectacular
potholing. The well organised Club Alpino Italiano co-ordinates much of the
activities and have branches across the region. For caving, whether as a
beginner or expert make for the Frasassi Caves which include the largest
single cavern in Europe.
On the spot
If your favourite sporting activity just runs to a swim, a tennis match or
some working out, you'll find excellent facilities on you doorstep pretty
well wherever you are in the region. Local swimming pools, including summer
open-air ones, tennis courts and sports fields can be found in even the
smallest places and the Italian appreciation of physical beauty means you
don't have to look far for a well-equipped gym.
If you are more of a couch potato, then you might prefer just to watch.
Here, too, the Marche won't disappoint. You can cheer on your hometown
football team in every town in the Marche - Ancona's top class team is the
best, but we would say that wouldn't we - or you can watch some of Italy's
finest basketball when Scavolini are playing at home at Pesaro. Other
popular spectator sports in the region include volleyball and tennis. For
the really degenerate you could just drag yourself to your friendly local
bar on big match nights and cheer along with the others with a glass of grappa
in hand. And nobody really seems to mind if you support the wrong team.
© 2001 Liberation Ventures Ltd.