Here we travel southwards along the Marche
region's 180 kilometres of Adriatic coastline. It's not so much a route for you to follow,
more a guide to the area's inviting seaside resorts.
There are basically two types of beach resort in the Marche. First there are the
bigger places with a lively atmosphere, busy night-life, plenty of visitors from abroad
and a string of hotels along the prom. Good examples include (from north to south)
Mare, Pesaro, Senigallia, and San Benedetto del Tronto.
Then there are the many smaller resorts with less spectacular
beaches and more rented villa and apartment accommodation rather than hotels. These places
are often filled for the short summer season by Italian families who return each year. The
adults will always sigh that they're only there for the sakes of the bambini but
secretly love it. And there's always the mobile telefonino so they can pretend to
be in the office. Although these beaches have less obvious charms than the bigger resorts,
they are often friendly places with a certain old-fashioned feel to them.
A couple of places that don't fit into either category are the handful of resorts
nestling under the lone peak 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 - a much more Mediterranean
All the resorts in the region have a short season; basically they only feel
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 October through to early 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 pay beaches. 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
expensive, have all the facilities you could want and are the best place to see Italians
up close. If you're staying at a resort hotel, free access to one of these beach
concessions is usually included in the price.
All the places described can be easily reached off the A14 Bologna-Pescara toll
motorway. They also all lie on or near the well-served main Milan-Bari railway line.