There’s no ‘Under the Marche Sun’ film, but my greatest impression is that it’s a region on the brink. Its towns and cities are, of course, well-known and well visited by tourists, but its countryside is yet to get that Tuscany stamp of luxury rural living. I went to a village of 37 inhabitants (of which 10 were under 50) without a single restaurant, ate sitting beside a wood-burning stove in a restaurant that felt like a home, and stayed in what could be described as a luxury countryside retreat but at the nightly cost of a small apartment in Tuscany. Le Marche is quietly but assuredly entering the world of international tourism.
Affordable Luxury Accommodation
Scanning through sites like Airbnb, it’s clear that in Le Marche staying in an old monastery or elegant farmhouse is not only for the well-off traveller. My accommodation for the weekend was a B&B in a stone country house with a vast garden and a view of the Apennines, and let’s say it left plenty of the holiday budget for buying souvenirs like several cases of wine.
Vania’s restored family home is my ideal style of interior design – a mix of antique furniture from markets or donated by friends, unassuming modern pieces, and elegant home-made decorations. Our suite of rooms was composed of an enormous white bedroom, a little sitting room with a wardrobe, and a majestic bathroom with a bath.
Breakfast is in a low, wooden-beamed room with a view out to the hills, and a terrace for summer. The kitchen could be from a Country Life magazine. Vania prepared us a feast for breakfast with croissants, warm bread and her home-made jams, cake and lots of coffee. I tried her home-made ‘mele cotogne’ jam, a fruit I’d never heard of before, which I found so delicious that Vania insisted I take a jar home!
Plus, Vania knows how to host. She’s attentive – she switched on our electric blankets in the evening, turned up the heating when we were cold, tidied our room, booked a restaurant for us – and friendly, giving her time to chat and give recommendations for the area. In fact, in all the restaurants and shops we visited people seemed to have time, time to chat to their customers, to explain the history of their establishment or information about the region. Is this what Le Marche is all about? They’re not selling themselves like Tuscany, they haven’t torn down 60s buildings to beautify the landscape, they give you tasters of everything. For now, at least, rural travel in Le Marche seems to be characterised by generosity, of time, prices, food, and free things.
Perhaps this was just my experience, perhaps I was lucky! Have you ever visited Le Marche? What did you think?
Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post, I loved the accommodation and it was thanks for Vania that we had our best meal so far in Le Marche!
Le Bumbarelle is located 15 minutes from Urbino and about 30 minutes from Gradara Castle.