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Map of Farm houses in Marche


Information on Marche


1.427.666 abitanti




In the north with Emilia Romagna and Republic of St.Marino, in the east with the Adriatic Sea, in the south with Abruzzo and Lazio, in the west with Umbria and Tuscany.


Because of the mountainous terrain and the lack of modern organisation, the region of Marche does not have a well developed agricultural economy; however it does produce wheat, vegetables (especially fennel), sugar beet, fruit, grain and olives. Vine culture for wine is fairly important but for some time now the only cattle rearing of any importance is pigbreeding. Fishing is practically the only good source of income and with the busy port of San Benedetto del Tronto and Ancona, Marche can boast of having a good 10% of national fishing industry.


This region has a very curious geogrphical aspect compared to the other region of Italy; in fact one could quite well say that Marche possesses no areas of plain, which appears to be rather strange seeingthat it is bounded by the Adriatic Sea and should therefore have at least two or three wide flat areas. The mountaniouszone is the Appenine range which in its turn is made up of various chain called "quinte" (curtains). Moving from north to south, the "quinte" became higher and higher; the most central are the Sibillini (Sibelline) Mountains which culminate in the highest peak in Marche, the Mount Vettore at 2.478 m. The hilly part (Subappenine) lies along the eastern side of the region and stretches as far as the coast; the land is predominantly of loamy ground and calcareous rock. A geographical feature in Marche is the grotto; there are several grorottoes which during the course of hundreds of years, have been formed by the circulation of the subterranean waters and the particular nature of the terrain. The most important and famous of the grottoes are those of Mount Nerone (Nero) and the Sibillini Mountains, but the most elaborate ones are the Grottoes of Acquasanta (Holy water) in the Tronto. All the rivers in Marche have short watercourses; the longest, the Chienti, is just 93 km.s; they flow in a torrent-like way. The region has a heavy rainfall throughout the year, mostly in spring and autumn. Lastly, the Marche coast has gulfs or creeks; its coastline is 170 kms long alternately with short stretches of sandy baeches and craggyrocks. Topography: Mountain 31,2% Hill 68,8%


Unlike its agriculture, Marche industry continues to grow and develop in a surprising way; this has come about though the greatimprovement in the road and rail communications. The paper-making-mill industry is very important, the firm Fabriano being famous throughout Italy; food products, boat building, footwear, metalmechanics and tobacco industries are doing very well. The chemico-pharmaceutical firms, furniture factories and petrochemicalplants are quite good too. Finally, tourism, especially in the seaside resorts, is very important economically and this services sector has developed so rapidly that it rivals that of the Romagna riviera.


The capital of the region is Ancona; it stands on the slope of the promountory of Mount Conero. The name Ancona comes from a Greek word wich means "elbow" and the city was built just where the coastline juts into the sea like an elbow. Ancona is the home of a number of plant industries, metalmechanics, chemical and building firm; agriculture is mainly centred on a cultivation of sugar beet, forage and the winegrape. The cityport is extremely busy with the transport of oil products. The most important building in the city is the Duomo of San Ciriaco; other lovely architectural works are the churches of Santa Maria della Piazza (St. Mary of the Square) and San Domenico (St. Dominic) and Trajan' s Arch which stand on the old quay in the port. The other cities of Marche are Ascoli Piceno, Pesaro-Urbino and Macerata. Ascoli Piceno lies between the edge of the Appenine Mountains and the Subappenine hills on land in the centre of the River Tronto Valley. This city has niether a well established economy nor any notable architecture; however, there do "exist" firms which make building materials and brick factories, while the chuch of Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio (Sts. Vincent and Anastasus), the Duomo and the Piazza del Popolo (People' s Square) are the onlyartistic "actractions" to admire. Pesaro-Urbino is situated near the Adriatic Coast on the plain enclosed between the highest Appenine hills and the coast; it is a centre for well developed industries such as metalmechanics, textiles, construction materials and wood pracessing. Fishing and agriculture are quite flourishing and tourism at the seaside resorts is extremely so. The artistic works of note are the stupendous Rocca Costanza (Fort Costance), the Malatesta Castle at Fano and the churches of Sant' Agostino (St. Agustinus) and San Francesco (St. Francis). The last city to visit is Macerata; it stands on the ridge or a hill which separates the parallel valleys of the rivers Potenza and Chienti. A flourishing market for cereals and zootechnics, Macerata is a busy agriculture centre growing sugar-beet, sunflowers (for oil) and vegetables but has very little in the way of industry. The church of Santa Maria della Porta (St. Mary at the Gate), the Palazzo Maggiore (Great Palace), the Duomo and the Torre Maggiore (Great Tower) are the important architectural buildings in this city. Touristic resorts: Gabbice Mare, Senigallia, Grottamare and Civitanova Marche are well known seaside resorts. Urbino and Porto Recanati have many beautifulbuildings and works of art.


The most famous personages belonging to the region are Gioacchino Rossini, Raffaello Sanzio, Annibale Caro, Donato Bramante and Giacomo Leopardi. Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) is one of the greatest Italian composer of all time. He is famous for his masterpieces "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" (The Barber of Seville), "Otello", "L' Italiana ad Algeri" and "La Gazza Ladra" (The Thieving Magpie). Rossini was very young when he wrote these operas, gradually withdrawing four musical composition during the last forty years of his life; this was because he did not agree with the newly current methods of composing which were becoming evermore fashionable. An interesting feature of Rossini' s operatic masterpiece is that they are all comic operas. The great painter and architect Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520) was a pupil of Perugino for the five years between 1500 and 1505; he then moved to Firenze (Florence) and later to Rome. His most famous works are the "Madonna del Granduca", the "Madonna del Cardellino", the "Madonna di Foligno", the "madonna Sistina", the "Madonna col Bambino" and the frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura (Signatura Room) in the Vatican and the decoration of the three Vatican rooms. Unfortunately, he was very young when he died; his tomb is in the Pantheon in Rome. Annibale Caro (1507-1566), a famous sixteenth century man of letters, spent most of his life in the service of the Farnese family. His literaly activity reached its height with the follwing works: "Apologia" which was important because the writer argued the question of language, "Gli Straccioni" (The Tramps) written with a real knowledge of the background and of the persons concerned, and the traslation of the "Eneide" (Aeneid) by the Roman poet Virgilio. Another Marche painter and architect is "Donato Bramante" (born "Donato Di Pascuccio D'Antonio", 1444-1514) who painted the fresco entitled "Uomini d' arme di Casa Panigarola" (Men-at-arms of the House of Panigarola). After working at the court of Ludovico il Moro, Bramante executed works for the Duomo at Pavia and the Duomo at Abbiategrasso, and in Milan, for the choir of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (St. Mary of the Graces). A man who must be mentioned is the famuos poet Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) who come from a very cultured family; at an extremely early age he began to study very seriously and because of this he always suffered from health problems. From being from relatively pessimistic as a young man, he became a radical pessimist when he grew older, believing that the human condition was tolive and die unhappily and to have no purpose in an incombrensible universe. His most famous poetic works are: "A Silvia" (To Sijlvia), "L' Infinito" (The Infinite), "Il passero solitario" (The lonely sparrow), "La sera del dì di festa" (The evening of the feast day), "La ginestra" (Broom), "La quiete dopo la tempesta" (The calm after the storm), "Il sabato del villaggio" (The village saturday) and "Le ricordanze" (Recollections).


About one thousand years Before Christ, the region of Marche was occupied by people of uncertain origin who were the Sabines according to Latin tradition. The area around Piceno, right in the centre of Italy, was the meeting place of the different races civilisations which come from both the north and the south. Later, the region suffered invasion by the Gauls in the north and by the Siciliots and the Greeks from the south before coming finally under Roman rule. However, Roman domination brought few benefits to the region; on the contrary, conditions come to such a pass that the "Marchigiane" rebelled against the high taxation imposed by the Romans. When Octavius Caesar trasformed the Roman republic into the Roman Empire, the Piceno' s people enjoyed a period of great prosperity, becoming the fifth region of Octavius Kingdom. When the Emperor Augustus (Octavius Caesar) died, Marche suffered a multiplicity of barbarian invasions first by the Goths and the Byzantines, then by the Longobards. In 1774 the Marche territory come under the control of the Church, which had to fight long and hard against the German Emperors to hold onto her territorial possessions. At the same time, the cities too began to rebel against Church domination and formed themselves into Comune (free cities). The most important Lords of Marche were the family Malatesta at Pesaro and the families Montefeltro and Della Rovere at Urbino. In the 17th century, Marche returned to the control of the Pontefice and, apart from a fifteen years period under Napoleonic rule, remained there for the last three centuries. In 1860, by plebiscite, Marche became a part of the Kingdom of Italy.

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