Italian Rural Living: Le Marche’s Countryside
One of the highlights on a trip to Italy is that away from the coast, there is just as much beauty in the countryside as you can find near the sea.
Deep valleys, miles of crop fields, sunflowers in the summer, huge freshwater lakes and mighty mountain ranges fill the land and stretch as far as the eye can see, offering visitors the chance to escape from the world and experience nature up close.
Farming is still a big part of life in Le Marche, with many fruits and vegetables grown organically (Italy is one of the few countries in the world not to produce Genetically Modified crops – although some are imported – so when in Italy, buy Italian!) and a rise in popularity of the Agriturismo. An Agriturismo is a guest house that provides meals to its clients sourced from the fresh food grown on its own land. These eco-friendly havens offer tourists the chance for clean eating while enjoying a countryside setting at the same time. Many have small holdings attached where animals roam freely, and plenty have outdoor pools to swim and relax in before a hearty organic meal.
As mountains and hilltops are home to the Borgo, the countryside is home to independent villas, farmhouses and rustic stone brick homes with plenty of land. There are few main roads in Le Marche’s inland (the motorway, or autostrada runs along the coast) with the exception of the A24 which provides direct access to Rome, so a stay in a rural dwelling guarantees you peace and quiet… aside from the occasional late night chorus of cicadas, dogs and chickens!
At the heart of Italy’s centre, the Monti Sibillini National Park is a vast area encompassing 269 square miles of protected parkland that is an essential stop for hikers, skiers, walkers, and birdwatchers. At its highest, the Sibillini mountain range peaks at 2,476 metres above sea level, where golden eagles, peregrines, wolves, roe deer, porcupine, wild cat, rare marten, snow vole, and more than 50 endemic mammals roam freely in their natural habitat alongside 150 different types of bird and 20 kinds of reptiles, all surrounded by over 1,800 species of flora.
READ MORE: LIFE IN THE ITALIAN BORGO
Pine forests, freshwater lakes, vast mountain ranges and the occasional lunar-type landscape blend seamlessly with remote Medieval villages to create a region where time has stood still.
Edging closer to the coast, Le Marche’s hilly interior provides patchwork-quilt settings of crop fields in yellows, browns and greens, sunflower lined valleys add a dash of yellow, and miles of vineyards bring a vibrant green to the landscape. All of this set against the backdrop of the azure Adriatic, which is never more than a short drive away.
Living in Le Marche’s Countryside
Buying a farmhouse or country villa ensures the owner of a tranquil life, where farming and agriculture are the only industries to be found in the paesaggio (countryside), with the added bonus of a neighbour, tiny hilltop town, Osteria (restaurant serving local specialities) or a shop never being too far away.
Whether it’s a vacation home with a pool, a bed and breakfast, guest house or agriturismo business, life in Le Marche’s countryside can be enriching and offers a new way of living.