Drive-By Beauty…Le Marche – Italy

Reluctantly leaving Venice behind, we loaded our luggage into a rented mini-van and hit the road south toward Rimini.  (Exactly how we managed to cram ourselves and our luggage into the smaller-than-anticipated vehicle is a story in itself…to be told another time.  Let’s just say it’s a good thing the Italians aren’t as picky about seatbelts as are Americans!)  Our journey took us through the lesser known region of Italy called Le Marche (pronounced “lay markay”), sometimes translated into English as “The Marches.”  This area, along with Tuscany and Umbria, comprises the central part of the country and is situated between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains.  Historically agricultural, the region is still rural to a large extent with a mixture of villages and farmlands.  Our route took us along meandering roads and through hilly terrain, past idyllic hamlets where time seems to have stood still.  We wound our way through the scenic countryside—stopping to snap a photo here and there, often attempting to catch a “drive-by” shot in passing.  Even now, as I look back through the photos from that day, I am struck by the tranquility reflected in each one.  It is Italy at her unassuming finest—homey and pastoral.  Truly a region worth seeing—even if you are only passing through.