Marche Real Estate
Marche real estate is found in a region of Italy that is almost dreamlike in its beauty and serenity. With fairytale castles perched on remote hilltops, vast caves soaked in myth and legend, and immense gothic cathedrals with towering arches and spires, Le Marche is a place of atmosphere, culture and awe-inspiring beauty.
Le Marche, or in English ‘The Marches’, has some of the most diverse scenery in central Italy, and a correspondingly wide selection of Marche real estate. The region borders Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north and Abruzzo and Lazio to the south. With the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Apennine Mountains forming the western borders with Umbria and Tuscany, Marche real estate can be found to suit all tastes and budgets, and in a wide choice of locations - from the bustling coastal resorts to the sparsely populated countryside inland. Much of the rural landscape consists of the gently rolling hills covered in olive groves and vineyards that are synonymous with Italy, yet near the mountains, Marche real estate can be found amid a breathtaking landscape of sheer cliffs with ancient cave systems and deep tree-lined gorges cut by the raging white-water rivers below.
As much of this almost deserted area is now part of Le Marche’s extensive network of nature parks, Marche real estate here is often a rare treat. Much more accessible for property ownership are the coastal areas, and Marche real estate is often found bordering the region’s numerous long, sandy beaches. Coastal properties can be found both in traditional fishing villages, and in the more bustling and cosmopolitan resorts, such as Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Senigallia, and San Benedetto del Tronto, all of which boast excellent facilities and nightlife. Wildly different to the sun-drenched sands of much of the coast, the Conera Peninsula offers a more dramatic and atmospheric coastline, with huge limestone cliffs teeming with bird life towering over the sea. All along the 180km of Adriatic coastline the beaches are exceptionally well maintained and boast the highest number of blue-flag beaches of any region in Italy.
In the west of the region, in the foothills of the mighty Apennine Mountains, the vast nature parks are havens both for rare species of flora and fauna, and for nature-lovers. The largest of these parks is the Parco Naturale dei Monti Sibillini; the caves are the legendary shelter of Sibyl fleeing the underworld. The park is also famed for the frightening names given to rocky outcrops, such as the ‘Devil’s Beard’, and the Piano Grande plateau, which is transformed into a vast and spectacular carpet of wildflowers in the summer months. The Torricchio Riserva Naturale contains a dramatic gorge flanked by woodland at its heart, and the rugged coastline of the Monte Conero is also a designated natural park, containing rare species of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, as well as truly spectacular views. In addition to the nature reserve near the Cistercian abbey of Fiastra, and the regional park that surrounds Genga, consisting of towering limestone gorges and breathtakingly vast caves, there are several other unspoilt areas of outstanding beauty with protected species of mountainous, sylvan and marshland flora and fauna including Golden Eagles, wild boar and deer. All of these picturesque areas allow numerous opportunities for outdoor pursuits, including hiking, mountain biking and watersports amid the spectacular scenery of the region.
Throughout Le Marche, beauty is found in more than just the natural landscapes. The Renaissance, borne of the regions of central Italy, has left a lasting mark on the area, and Marche real estate is often surrounded by breathtaking architecture, and in towns where history is crowded into the narrow streets of the old quarters. Ancient Byzantine style churches remain at the heart of traditional towns and lonely monasteries crowd the hilltops and valleys of this spectacular region. Marche is a place of light and colour that has inspired generations of artists, with the sun bouncing off the verdant landscapes and coloured light filtering in through the immense stained glass windows of the spectacular churches, bathing the frescoes and sculptures that still adorn the vast, echoing spaces.
In these beautiful towns and villages with Marche real estate, much of the ancient culture and traditional festivities remain. From the large and vibrant, such as the Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro, the Fano Jazz Festival and the Festival Internazionale Inteatro, a contemporary theatre festival, to the ancient and less well known, the many music, dance and theatre festivals of the region are not to be missed. In addition, wherever Marche real estate is purchased, almost every town and village has its own delicious speciality to be celebrated in the festivals known as ‘sagra’, ranging from wine and cheese to the more unusual wild boar of Sassoferrato, chick peas of San Severino Marche and sweet ‘cooked’ wine of Loro Piceno. Many ancient games and local pursuits are also celebrated in annual festivities ensuring fun for all the family. Some of the most unusual of these are the medieval fair of Ascoli Piceno, including a traditional joust, the ‘Wild Boar Hunt’ of Mondavio and the unusual Fermignano Palio della Rana, which is best described as a kind of wheelbarrow race with frogs!
As can be inferred from the vast range of fairs and festivals dedicated to local produce, Marche real estate is always found in an area where food and drink play an important part in daily life. Even in the most exclusive restaurants the emphasis of the menu is generally simple, but delicious, traditional fare with fresh and local ingredients that provide an assault on the tastebuds. Almost every town and village has its own signature dish, and often these include the truffles for which the region is famed. As with much of Italy, wine is of great importance in Le Marche and of particular pride to the locals is Verdicchio; particularly good with the freshly caught seafood of the region.
Each of the five provinces boast superb Marche real estate whether in Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata or Pesaro e Urbino. Each of the four largest towns in Le Marche boasts its own unique character. Ancona, the largest by population, is located on the Adriatic coast and characterised by magnificent churches and religious buildings, including the Episcopal palace. The Roman remains found both in and around this town also make its museums well worth a visit. Pesaro is also a coastal town with Roman origins, famous as the birthplace of composer Rossini, and home to the Pesaro film festival. Fano, yet another beautiful Adriatic town, is famed for its Roman ‘Arch of Augustus’. Both Pesaro and Fano boast Blue Flag beaches. Finally, Ascoli Piceno is a spectacularly located town surrounded on three sides by mountains. Arguably, this town is one of the most attractive in the region, surrounded by natural parks and with the medieval centre being entirely built of marble quarried from the mountains, and its Renaissance Square is considered the most beautiful in Italy.
Le Marche was known in ancient times as the Picenum territory, and was finally conquered by the Romans in 295BC. The Romans left many distinctive traces, and some of Marche’s biggest towns today have Roman origins. After the fall of the Roman Empire the region was invaded and conquered by many other peoples and civilisations, including the Goths, and this has lead to the rich diversity of the area, both in culture and architecture. Though it is estimated that around 5% of the population today are foreign-born immigrants, Marche has nevertheless maintained a distinctive Italian flavour with many traditions remaining to the present day.
Marche real estate for sale
Marche real estate is often popular due to the immense charm of the region, but, as ever when buying in a foreign country, care should be taken over an unfamiliar legal process. When buying Marche real estate the first step is the compromesso, a private contract which is legally binding between the buyer and seller. This contract details the particulars of the Marche real estate and this is recorded with the land registry. The deposit, typically 10-20% of the purchase price would be lost if the contract was not adhered to after this signing process, and additional charges are also often required. The compromesso also often specifies the timing of the signing of the final contract, which is performed in the presence of the local notaio, a public official who is unbiased and therefore will not highlight any irregularities or hidden surprises in the contract. It is therefore advisable to hire a local lawyer and estate agent before the signing of the final contract and paying the full balance due.
When buying Marche real estate, a passport is usually enough to allow a stay of up to three months in Italy, perfect for buying Marche real estate as a second or holiday home. Longer stays will need to be registered with the Ufficio Anagrafe, and after five years of residence, foreign nationals can obtain the soggiorno permanente allowing total parity with Italian citizens. Of course, members of EU states will find the process of integrating into the Italian legal system more straightforward than non-EU members, and all details should be checked before considering buying Marche real estate.