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Marche Panorama The Marche (plural, originally from le marche de Ancona, referring to the March of Ancona) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. It is located in the Central area of the country, bordering Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany and the republic of San Marino to the north-west, Umbria to west, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south, and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Except for 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.

The Marche is divided into five provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata, Pesaro e Urbino.

Marche ViewMarche was known in the ancient time as the Picenum territory. The coastal area was occupied by the Senones, a Gaul tribe. It was conquered by the Romans in the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. They founded numerous colonies in the areas, connectiong them to Rome through the Via Flaminia and the Via Salaria. During the Social War Ascoli was a seat of the Italic resistance.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was invaded by the Goths. After the Gothic War, it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna (Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini, and Senigallia formed the so-called Pentapolis). After the fall of the Exarchate it was briefly a Lombard possession, but was conquered by Charlemagne in the late 8th century. In the 9th-11th centuries the marches of Camerino, Fermo and Ancona were created, whence the modern name.

The Marche were thenceforth nominally part of the Papal States, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes. In the 12th century the commune of Ancona resisted both to the imperial authority of Frederick Barbarossa and to those of the Republic of Venice. An effective attempt of restoring the Papal suzerainty by the legate Gil de Albornoz in the 14th century, was not long-lived.

During the Renaissance the region was mostly characterized by the struggle between rival aristocratic families, such as the houses of Malatesta of Rimini and Fano, and Montefeltro of Urbino. From the 16th century the Marche were again firmly part of the Papal States: the last independent entity, Duchy of Urbino, was dissolved in 1631. In the Napoleonic period a Republic of Ancona (1797) was briefly created, after which the region was merged with the Roman Republic and the Kingdom of Italy (1808-1813), to which followed a short occupation by Joachim Murat. Thenceforth the Marche remained under Papal rule until November 4, 1860, when they were annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy by a plebiscite.

Part of the information regarding the history, the art, the traditions and the events about the city of Marche on this page is drawn from respecting the GNU Free Documentation License.