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Regione Marche
Regione Marche Italy.gif
Capital Ancona
President Gian Mario Spacca
(Democracy is Freedom - Daisy-Union)
Provinces 5
Comuni 246
Area 9,694 km²
 - Ranked 15th (3.2 %)
Population (2006 est.)
 - Total

 - Ranked
 - Density

6th (2.6 %)
Italy Regions Marche Map.png
Map highlighting the location of Marche in Italy

The Marche (plural, originally le marche di Ancona = the Marches of Ancona) are a region of central Italy, bordering Emilia-Romagna north and Tuscany and the republic of San Marino to the north-west, Umbria to the south-west, Abruzzo and Latium to the south-east and the Adriatic Sea to the east.

The regional capital is Ancona. The region is divided into five provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata all part of the ancient territory of Picenum, and Pesaro e Urbino which is composed of the traditionally separate provinces of Pesaro and Urbino, that were part of ancient Umbria. In 2004, a fifth province, the province of Fermo, was voted to come into being in 2009. The provinces of the Marche have distinct histories, largely owing to the geography of the region: except for the river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. In the 19th century a railroad from Bologna to Brindisi linked the Marche along the coast-line of the entire territory: inland, the mountainous nature of the region even today allows little communication north and south, except by rough roads over the passes.

In a traditional mezzadria system, under which products are equally divided between the owners and the cultivators of the land, the rather unproductive soil and difficult terrain was fairly highly cultivated. The port of Ancona was the only really good harbor, the other small harbors were used by fishing fleets: the Marche furnished a large contingent of sailors to the Italian navy.

External links

Regions of Italy
AbruzzoAosta ValleyApuliaBasilicataCalabriaCampaniaEmilia-RomagnaFriuli-Venezia GiuliaLazioLiguriaLombardyMarcheMolisePiedmontSardiniaSicilyTrentino-South TyrolTuscanyUmbriaVeneto