The Italian region of Marche is increasingly becoming a popular destination for foreigners from all parts of the world. Most foreigners choose Marche as their second home primarily due to the region’s scenic landscape that is reminiscent of more popular regions such as Tuscany but with more affordable prices. Notably, Marche was recently awarded 17 of the coveted Blue Flag Eco label for the cleanest beaches and most beautiful seaside resorts. With 17 Blue Flags, Marche was ranked third in Italy after Tuscany and Liguria.
As Dustin Hoffman once recited in his testimonial about the Marche region, “Marche: discover the infinity!” This clearly describes the region as a much sought after location by foreigners especially since Marche provides a perfect combination of affordable prices with the coveted charm of popular but more expensive regions such as Tuscany.
The Real Estate Market on the Coast
Generally, the average cost of real estate properties is higher in the area north of Marche than in the southern part. For instance, the Province of Pesaro-Urbino has one of the highest rates with average cost of € 2,500 per square meter followed by the Province of Ancona and Ascoli Piceno with rates of around 2,000 Euros per square meter. Provinces with lower average real estate costs include Fermo with € 1,700 per square meter and Macerata with an average cost of 1,600 Euros per square meter. However, these are simply average estimates and not the actual cost of real estate in the said provinces. In fact, the cost of real estate usually drops significantly as you move inland away from the coast. This is one of the key reasons why many foreigners interested in buying a home in Marche often prefer to buy inland where they can purchase property at a lower cost and still enjoy the beauty and peaceful tranquility of the countryside.
Real estate properties in popular seaside resorts may cost up to 3,000 Euros or more while the cost for similar property a few kilometers from the coast may even be below € 1,000. For example, in the Province of Ascoli Piceno, property to be restored located away from the coast measuring approximately 150 meters square goes for a price range of between 70,000 and 120,000 Euros depending on the condition of the home. There are some owners willing to sell for as low as € 50,000! These are usually homes surrounded by ample compounds and often with vineyard and olive trees.
Also just a few kilometers from the coast, for a slightly higher budget you can find properties of similar size which are often already habitable. For example, farmhouses in the Marche countryside and rollings hills which may require just some adjustment works, are listed for sale starting from at around € 150,000 and on the same budget you can buy a detached house in one of the small and charming towns rising only some minutes from the sea (click here to read more about le Marche’s hidden treasures).
However, for € 200,000 you can buy an independent farmhouse that is already habitable and fully equipped with all the comforts you need and often with breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding hills.
If you are interested in purchasing an apartment in one of the coastal towns, it is always wise to know that it will be difficult to get one with a floor area greater than 80 meters square for a budget of € 200,000. So if you are looking for larger sizes, you will inevitably need to look for older apartments which will typically require some innovation to make them habitable.
Take a tour of the best properties for sale in le Marche!
The Amazing Coast of Le Marche and the 17 Blue Flags award
Marche has everything Italy has to offer including proximity to a turquoise sea, scenic mountains, rich historical, art, and cultural heritage, well preserved natural features, and a diverse traditional cuisine and wine among others. It has one of the most beautiful and wealthy coastlines in Italy stretching over 180 miles. It is for these reasons that Le Marche was included in the AARP‘s (American Association of Retired Persons) list of the best places in the world to relocate to after retirement.
The 17 Blue Flags award is a clear testament of the unspoiled natural quality of Marche. The Blue Flag is basically an Eco label or certification for cleanliness and sustainability given by the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) to beaches and marinas that meet its standards. The FEE is a non-profit making body made of 65 organizations in 60 countries from Europe, North America, South America, Oceania, and Asia.
The FEE has stringent standards for its Blue Flag award criteria which include factors such as a region’s water quality standards, environmental management procedures, and provision of environmental services and education. The awards are issued annually to deserving beaches and marinas in FEE member countries.
The 17 Blue Flags awarded to Marche can be attributed to the clean sea and beaches in its popular locations such as the Numana, and Ancona Portonovo in the Province of Ancona. The Riviera del Conero is considered as the flagship of the Marche coast. The beautiful southern part of the Riviera del Conero is characterized by a clean sandy coast that alternates with high rocky cliffs full of caves and inlets which can only be reached on foot, for example along the Ancona, Portonovo, and Numana coastlines. As you head towards the north of Marche, the coastline becomes even lower with white sandy beaches and wide shallow waters that are safe for children. This is where you find the best accommodation in hotels and villas as well as modern sports facilities. Popular destinations north of Marche include Ancona and Senigallia which is famous all over Europe for its fine “velvet” beach.
The natural beauty of Marche can also be experienced in the Province of Ascoli Piceno in locations such as San Benedetto del Tronto, Grottammare and Cupra Marittima. The Riviera features 7000 palm trees growing along fine white sand lapped by the shallow waters of the sea. It is an ideal summer vacation destination. There are numerous hotels, resorts, and all the facilities necessary to make your stay comfortable.
The Province of Fermo, which has coastal towns such as Pedaso, Fermo-Lido, Porto San Giorgio, and Porto Sant’Elpidio, and the coastal towns in the Province of Macerata such as Civitanova Marche and Potenza Picena-Porto Potenza Picena, have similar geographic characteristics and are famous for beautiful sandy beaches and vibrant tasty lifestyles.
A discussion of Marche would be incomplete without mentioning the attractive sights in the Province of Pesaro-Urbino, especially in the scenic towns of Mondolfo, Pesaro, Gabicce Mare, and Fano.
The Marche coastal area is amply served by the A14 motorway network which links all the seaside resorts to various towns and villages inland. There is also a network of buses that link to neighboring regions along the highway. The region is also accessible via the Raffaelo Sanzio Ancona airport, the Falconara Maritime, and the Port of Ancona from where you can sail to toher international ports in Greece, Montenegro, and Croatia. There is also a ferry to Albania and other unique boarding ports such as Brindisi, Venice, and Bari.
The Marche coastline is characterized by flat narrow strips of land bordered by the sea on one side and rising hills overlooking the sea. This flat stretch has an average width of between 300m and 1000m and is characterized by 19th and early 20th century houses. Some of the oldest villas and buildings found here include Villa Maggiori in Porto Sant’Elpido and Villa Brancadoro in San Benedetto del Tronto. You will find the oldest villas on the hills close to the sea where occupants have an unhindered 360 degrees view of the surrounding landscape. The more recent villas are usually found in the plains. There is a beautiful combination of old buildings and modern hotels that have arisen in the recent years to cope with the growing number of tourists, especially during summer holidays.