Last updated


Coat of arms of Marche.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem: Inno delle Marche
Marches in Italy.svg
Country Italy
Capital Ancona
  President Luca Ceriscioli (PD)
  Total9,366 km2 (3,616 sq mi)
  Density160/km2 (430/sq mi)
Demonym(s) English: Marches
Marchigiano (man)
Marchigiana (woman)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code IT-57
GDP (nominal) €41.2 billion (2017) [1]
GDP per capita €26,800 (2017) [2]
HDI (2017)0.891 [3]
very high · 7th of 21

Marche ( /ˈmɑːrk/ MAR-kay, [4] [5] Italian:  [ˈmarke] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) or the Marches [6] [7] [8] ( /ˈmɑːrɪz/ MAR-chiz) [4] [9] is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca , originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. Marche is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with fine and luxurious Italian footwear manufacturing facilities in the region.[ citation needed ]


The region is located in the Central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the west, Umbria to the southwest, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Except for river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. A railway from Bologna to Brindisi, built in the 19th century, runs along the coast of the entire territory. Inland, the mountainous nature of the region, even today, allows relatively little travel north and south, except by twisting roads over the passes. The Umbrian enclave of Monte Ruperto (a subdivision of the Comune of Città di Castello) is entirely surrounded by the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, which constitutes the northern part of the region. Urbino, one of the major cities of the region, was the birthplace of Raphael, as well as a major center of Renaissance history.


View of Marche countryside Cingoli BalconeDelleMarche.jpg
View of Marche countryside
A view of Monte Conero Sirolo-vista conero.jpg
A view of Monte Conero

Marche extends over an area of 9,694 square kilometres (3,743 sq mi) of the central Adriatic slope between Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany and Umbria to the west, and Lazio and Abruzzo to the south, the entire eastern boundary being formed by the Adriatic. Most of the region is mountainous or hilly, the main features being the Apennine chain along the internal boundary and an extensive system of hills descending towards the Adriatic. With the sole exception of Monte Vettore, 2,476 metres (8,123 ft) high, the mountains do not exceed 2,400 metres (7,900 ft). The hilly area covers two-thirds of the region and is interrupted by wide gullies with numerous – albeit short – rivers and by alluvial plains perpendicular to the principal chain. The parallel mountain chains contain deep river gorges, the best known being those of the Furlo, the Rossa and the Frasassi.

The coastal area is 173 kilometres (107 mi) long and is relatively flat and straight except for the hilly area between Gabicce and Pesaro in the north, and the eastern slopes of Monte Conero near Ancona.

Climate is temperate. Inland, in the mountainous areas, is more continental with cold and often snowy winters; by the sea is more mediterranean. Precipitation varies from 1,000 to 1,500 millimetres (40 to 60 inches) per year inland and 600 to 800 mm (25 to 30 in) per year on the Adriatic coast.


Marche was known in ancient times as the Picenum territory. The Picens or Picentes (Ancient Greek: Πίκεντες) were the Italic tribe who lived in Picenum during the Iron Age. Many artefacts from their time are exhibited in National Archaeological Museum of the Marche Region in Ancona. In the fourth century BC, the northern area was occupied by the Senones, a tribe of Gauls. The Battle of Sentinum was fought in Marche in 295 BC; afterwards, the Romans founded numerous colonies in the area, connected to Rome by the Via Flaminia and the Via Salaria. Ascoli was a seat of Italic resistance during the Social War (91–88 BC).

Roman Amphitheatre in the Archaeological Park of Urbs Salvia Anfiteatro Urbs Salvia.jpg
Roman Amphitheatre in the Archaeological Park of Urbs Salvia

Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was invaded by the Goths. After the Gothic War, it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna (Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini, and Senigallia forming the so-called Pentapolis). After the fall of the Exarchate, it was briefly in the possession of the Lombards, but was conquered by Charlemagne in the late eighth century. In the ninth to eleventh centuries, the marches of Camerino, Fermo and Ancona were created, hence the modern name.

Marche was nominally part of the Papal States, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes. In the twelfth century, the commune of Ancona resisted both the imperial authority of Frederick Barbarossa and the Republic of Venice, and was a maritime republic on its own. An attempt to restore Papal suzerainty by Gil de Albornoz in the fourteenth century was short-lived.

The Renaissance town of Urbino Urbino-palazzo e borgo.jpg
The Renaissance town of Urbino
Cathedral of Ancona Ancona - Duomo di San Ciriaco - veduta aerea.jpg
Cathedral of Ancona

During the Renaissance, the region was fought over by rival aristocratic families, such as the Malatesta of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano and the house of Montefeltro of Urbino. The last independent entity, the Duchy of Urbino, was dissolved in 1631, and from then on, Marche was firmly part of the Papal States except during the Napoleonic period. This saw the short lived Republic of Ancona, in 1797–98; the merging of the region with the Roman Republic in 1798–99, and with the Kingdom of Italy from 1808 to 1813; and the short occupation by Joachim Murat in 1815. After Napoleon's defeat, Marche returned to Papal rule until 4 November 1860, when it was annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy by a plebiscite.

After the referendum of 2006, 7 municipalities of Montefeltro were detached from the Province of Pesaro and Urbino to join the Province of Rimini (Emilia-Romagna) on 15 August 2009. [10] [11] The municipalities are Casteldelci, Maiolo, Novafeltria, Pennabilli, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria and Talamello.

Towns in Marche were devastated by the 2016 Central Italy earthquake which occurred on 24 August 2016. [12]


Indesit Headquarters in Fabriano, Province of Ancona. The home appliance sector represents the core of the regional industry Indesit Headquarter.jpg
Indesit Headquarters in Fabriano, Province of Ancona. The home appliance sector represents the core of the regional industry

Prior to the 1980s, Marche was considered a rather poor region, although economically stable in some sectors, thanks particularly to its agricultural output and to the contribution of traditional crafts. [13]

Today the contribution of agriculture to the economy of the region is less significant and the gross value generated by this sector remains slightly above the national average. Marche has never suffered from the extremes of fragmented land ownership or 'latifondo'. Greatly diffused in the past, the sharecropping never produced an extreme land fragmentation. The main products are cereals, vegetables, animal products and grapes. Truffle hunting is popular; although it has often led to 'truffle wars' between hunters due to the imposition of quotas. Olives are also produced and managed by various harvesters. In spite of the marine impoverishment, the sea has always furnished a plentiful supply of fish, the main fishing centres being Ancona, San Benedetto del Tronto, Fano and Civitanova Marche. [13]

Since the 1980s the economy of the region has been radically transformed, without however repudiating its rural past. Many of the small craft workshops scattered throughout the rural settlements have modernised and become small businesses, some of which have become major brands known all over the world (Indesit, Tod's, Guzzini, Teuco). This evolution led to the emergence of 'specialised' industrial areas, which are still profitable: footwear and leather goods in a large area straddling the provinces of Macerata and Fermo; furniture in the Pesaro area in particular; household appliances and textile industry in the province of Ancona, in which the main engineering companies are also to be found (including ship building, petrochemicals and paper, as well as consumer durables). The city of Castelfidardo remains an important centre for the production of musical instruments, the accordion in particular. The region continues to draw tourists, whose increasing numbers have been attracted by the rich and broadly distributed heritage of history and monuments, as well as by the traditional seaside resorts. [13]

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 43.3 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 2.5% of Italy's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 28,200 euros or 94% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 96% of the EU average. [14]


Historical population
1861 909,000    
1871 958,000+5.4%
1881 972,000+1.5%
1901 1,089,000+12.0%
1911 1,145,000+5.1%
1921 1,201,000+4.9%
1931 1,240,000+3.2%
1936 1,278,000+3.1%
1951 1,364,000+6.7%
1961 1,347,000−1.2%
1971 1,360,000+1.0%
1981 1,412,000+3.8%
1991 1,429,000+1.2%
2001 1,471,000+2.9%
2011 1,565,000+6.4%
2017 1,538,055−1.7%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The population density in the region is below the national average. In 2008, it was 161.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (418/sq mi), compared to the national figure of 198.8/km2 (515/sq mi). It is highest in the province of Ancona (244.6/km2 or 634/sq mi inhabitants per km2), and lowest in the province of Macerata (116.1/km2 or 301/sq mi). Between 1952 and 1967 the population of the region decreased by 1.7% as a result of a negative migration balance, well above the national average, with a rate varying between 4.9 and 10.0 per 1,000 inhabitants. The Average fund of this region is worth about a few million or maybe higher. In the same period the natural balance of the population was positive, but lower than the national average and insufficient to counterbalance the net emigration. The population continued to decline until 1971, but in 1968 began growing again. [15] In 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics (ISTAT) estimated that 115,299 foreign-born immigrants live in Marche, 7.4% of the total regional population.

Government and politics

Marche forms, along with Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, the Italian "Red Quadrilateral", a strongly left-wing area. In the 2014 European elections, the people of Marche gave 45% of their votes to Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party.

It is one of the very few regions in Italy where the right-wing coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi has never been able to have a majority, either in a national election or at the regional level.

Administrative divisions

The region is divided into five provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, Pesaro e Urbino.

ProvinceAbbreviationArea (km2)PopulationDensity (inhabitants/km2)
Province of Ancona AN1,940474,630244.6
Province of Ascoli Piceno AP1,228212,846186.2
Province of Fermo FM859177,578206,6
Province of Macerata MC2,774321,973116.1
Province of Pesaro and Urbino PU2,564364,896141.9

Related Research Articles

Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy

Emilia-Romagna is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, situated in the northeast section of the country, comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. Its capital is Bologna. It has an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq mi), and about 4.4 million inhabitants.

Province of Rimini Province of Italy

The province of Rimini is a province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The provincial capital is the eponymous city of Rimini. The province borders the independent Republic of San Marino. As of 2019, the province has a population of 339,437 inhabitants over an area of 864.88 square kilometres (333.93 sq mi), giving it a population density of 387.57 inhabitants per square kilometre. The built-up urban area of Rimini had a population of 147,578 inhabitants within city limits. There are 26 comuni in the province.

Province of Pesaro and Urbino Province of Italy

The Province of Pesaro and Urbino is a province in the Marche region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Pesaro. It also borders the state of San Marino. The province is surrounded by San Marino and Emilia Romagna in the north, Umbria and Tuscany in the west, Ancona in the south and the Adriatic Sea on the east. The province has an enclave of the Umbrian commune of Citta' di Castello named Monte Ruperto. The province is also known as "Riviera of Hills". It is mostly covered by hills and is popular for its beaches.

Roman Umbria

Roman Umbria is a modern name for one of the 11 administrative regions into which the emperor Augustus divided Italy. The main source for the regions is the Historia Naturalis of Pliny the Elder, who informs his readers he is basing the geography of Italy on the discriptio Italiae, "division of Italy," made by Augustus. The Sexta Regio is called Umbria complexa agrumque Gallicam citra Ariminium, "Umbria including the Gallic country this side of Rimini."

Province of Fermo Province of Italy

The province of Fermo is a province in the Marche region of central Italy. It was established in 2004 and became operational in 2009. Its administrative centre and provincial capital is the city of Fermo. Other major cities include Porto Sant'Elpidio, Porto San Giorgio, Sant'Elpidio a Mare, and Montegranaro. As of 2017, the province has a population of 174,358 inhabitants and spans an area of 862.77 square kilometres (333.12 sq mi). It contains 40 comuni.

Central Italy Place in Italy

Central Italy is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), a first-level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency.

The music of the Marche, a region of Italy, has been shaped by the fact that the entire region is a collection of small centers of population. There is no cultural giant to be found—no Florence or Naples—that might have shaped the cultural and musical expressions of the entire region. There is not a town in the region with more than 100,000 population, but there are 246 total towns, and they support no fewer than 113 theaters, a cultural building boom that started in the late 18th century. Historically, the entire area was home to a great number of monasteries and abbeys in the Middle Ages, institutions that had choirs and were active in the musical lives of the inhabitants. That period is still obscure and is currently the subject of musicological research. In the modern age, the region has a vibrant musical life.

March of Ancona

The March of Ancona was a frontier march centred on the city of Ancona and later Macerata in the Middle Ages. Its name is preserved as an Italian region today, the Marche, and it corresponds to almost the entire modern region and not just the Province of Ancona.

Coop (Italy) Italian supermarket chain

Coop is a system of Italian consumers' cooperatives which operates the largest supermarket chain in Italy. Its headquarters are located in Casalecchio di Reno, Province of Bologna.

Malatesta II Malatesta, best known as Guastafamiglia was an Italian condottiero and lord of Rimini.

Galeotto I Malatesta (1299–1385) was an Italian condottiero, who was lord of Rimini, Fano, Ascoli Piceno, Cesena and Fossombrone.

il Resto del Carlino is an Italian newspaper based in Bologna, and is one of the oldest newspapers in Italy. Its rather evocative name means "the change you get from a Carlino," the smallest part of the Papal baiocco, which was legal tender at the time, when a sheet of local news was given out in shops to make up for any change owing after buying a cigar.

Biancame is a white Italian wine grape variety that is grown in the Marche and Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy. Here it is an important component in the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines of Bianchello del Metauro and Colli di Rimini.

Ancona railway station

Ancona railway station, sometimes called Ancona Centrale, is the main railway station of Ancona, Region of Marché. It is the most important station of the region and is owned by the Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), Italy's state-owned railway company.

Pesaro railway station

Pesaro railway station serves the city and comune of Pesaro, in the region of Marche, central Italy. Opened in 1861, it forms part of the Bologna–Ancona railway.

Colle Salario is a frazione of the Municipality of Rome (Italy), located in the zone Z. II Castel Giubileo, within the territory of the urban zone 4E Serpentara of the Municipio Roma III.

Coop Alleanza 3.0 Italian supermarket chain

Coop Alleanza 3.0 is the biggest European consumers' cooperative with 2,700,000 members. Coop Alleanza 3.0 was formed by the merger of the three big cooperatives of the Adriatic Sea area, Coop Adriatica, Coop Consumatori Nordest and Coop Estense on 1 January 2016 and it is part of Coop.

Cassa di Risparmio di Fermo S.p.A. (Carifermo) is an Italian savings bank based in Fermo, Marche region.


  1. "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table".
  2. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 31% to 626% of the EU average in 2017" (Press release). Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  3. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Marche 2". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt . Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. "Marche" (US) and "Marche". Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press . Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  6. Fodor's (13 March 2012). Fodor's Italy 2012. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 1132. ISBN   978-0-87637-143-5 . Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  7. Facaros, Dana; Pauls, Michael (1 October 2007). Cadogan Guide Tuscany, Umbria & the Marches. New Holland Publishers. pp. front cover. ISBN   978-1-86011-359-8 . Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  8. Touring Club of Italy (1999). The Marches: A Complete Guide to the Region, Its National Parks, and Over a Hundred of Its Towns, Including Urbino. Touring Club of Italy. pp. front cover. ISBN   978-88-365-1467-0.
  9. "Marches". Collins English Dictionary . HarperCollins . Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  10. "Article about the legislation". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
  11. (in Italian) Article on "il Resto del Carlino"
  12. Powerful Earthquakes in Italy.
  13. 1 2 3 "Eurostat". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  14. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  15. "Eurostat". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010.

Coordinates: 43°37′00″N13°31′00″E / 43.61667°N 13.51667°E / 43.61667; 13.51667