The Marche are Tuscany's counterpart on the Eastern side of the Italian boot. (We really only speak of this region in the plural. The English word for it would be "the marches", which refers to a sort of border land.) Having roughly the same latitude as Tuscany, the two regions have a lot in common, like very similar landscapes and climate patterns, and also their cultural traditions. Like Tuscany, the Marche also have a long coastline, located on Italy's Adriatic shore. The region's population is about 1.5 million, hence roughly half that of Tuscany, but in fact the two regions have a very similar population density. The obvious difference is that the Marche do not enjoy the same kind of fame as does Tuscany - and therefor its amount of tourism is much smaller. Its real estate sector is healthy, but not as well-developed as that of Tuscany.

Amongst others aspects, this means that land, houses, and apartments in the Marche are usually a lot more affordable.

The port city of Ancona is the region's capital. It pleases the eye with a typically Italian combination of the sea, beaches, and hills. With a population of just over 100 thousand, it is just on the border between a small town and a city. It has a large old town with a great number of monuments worth sightseeing, including its magnificent St. Ciriaco Cathedral, completed in 1189, and the Roman Arch of Trajan, erected in 115. Ancona is also the regional business center.

Historically, the Marches have always had a clearly agriculture-based economy. While this is still true, the region has, however, managed to modernize it economy significantly within the last 30 years.

Now it has wide manufacturing and also services, which are in remarkably good shape, despite the 2008 financial crisis. Tourism as well is a growing sector. The Marche are obviously a lot less known to foreigners than those Italian regions that belong to the top tourist destinations in the world. But with its Mediterranean climate, its idyllic hills and valleys, its long sandy beaches and its picturesque villages and towns, the region in fact has a lot to offer. The Internet has been a beneficial factor in popularizing the Marche abroad, especially due to several clever on-line advertising campaigns that have lately been concocted by the region's tourism managers.

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