NATURAL PROTECTED AREAS
If you love nature and you just want to immerse yourself in a wild place for a couple of hours or a whole day, the Marche offer you a lot of possibilities during summer.
More than 90.000 hectares of land, most of them in the mountain, are protected: two national parks (Monti Sibillini and Gran Sasso , Monti della Laga), four regional parks (Monte Conero, Sasso Simone e Simoncello, Monte San Bartolo, Gola della Rossa e di Frasassi), six protected natural areas (Abbadia di Fiastra, Montagna di Torricchio, Ripa Bianca, Sentina, Gola del Furlo e Monte San Vicino, Monte Canfaito). There are both excursionists paths and touristic ones, that will let you discover natural and cultural beauties of the region.
The first one is quite simple and brings you to the great canyon of le Marche, called Lame Rosse, inside Monti Sibillini National Park. It’s a fascinating complex of rocks close to Fiastra Lake, that has lost its superficial layer due to erosion of natural agents; the visible part is red because of the iron and has a lot of pinnacles.
The second path in Sibillini Mountains is more difficult but will let you discover a magic place full of legends, Pilato Lake, chosen as a unique habitat in the whole world by a rare and small crustacean called Chirocefalo of Marchesoni. It’s one of the few glacial lakes inside the Appennines, located at 1941m on Monte Vettore; according to climate conditions it changes its shape: sometimes it’s an only lagoon, but when there’s a lot of water it looks like a pair of glasses.
If we move inside regional parks, you absolutely visit Frasassi Caves, a wonderful karst complex sculpted by water discover by a group of speleologists in 1948. Not far from the entrance, there is another path that goes up to a monastery where you will find a small octagonal temple digging in the rocks and made of travertine, called Valadier Temple.
DUE SORELLE BEACH
If you also like the seaside, you’ll be fascinated by two parks with breathtaking views on the Adriatic coast.
Inside Parco Naturale e Regionale del Conero, that includes most of the area of Ancona and the cities of Camerano, Numana and Sirolo, there are some pedestrian paths that go down to some amazing beaches at the slopes of Mount Conero, such as Urbani, San Michele-Sassi Neri, Mezzavalle, Portonovo. One of these paths called Passo del Lupo, it’s very dangerous and walkable only up to a panoramic point; anyway, we suggest you reach this place because of its incredible view on Due Sorelle and the entire hinterland.
MONTE SAN BARTOLO PARK
Inside Parco del MONTE SAN BARTOLO, between Pesaro and Gabicce, there are some paths that will let you reach wild areas full of brooms and with amazing views on the coast. One of these is Strada della Marina: the starting point is in Fiorenzuola di Focara and goes across vineyards and fruit trees, with a view on beautiful cliffs of sandstone and clay. You can go down till the beach and admire the ‘cogoli’, particular stones of rounded sandstone.