The 10 Best Things to do in the Winter in the Marche

The Marche are full of treasures to be discovered, and in the winter those treasures are even easier to find. In winter you’ll find more private tours and guided hikes, personal wine tastings, opportunities to meet local artisans, and a great time to enjoy some of our best regional cuisine.

Marche winters are usually mild, driven by the Adriatic sea and the Sibillini Mountains. Temperatures range from overnight lows of 0° C (32°F) to highs of 18°C (65°). We eat lunch outside regularly in the winter! It may snow, but it does not last long at our elevation. Often morning fog rolls in the valley and clears to blue skies with fabulous views of the snow-covered mountains in the distance.

Winter Food Specialties!

Winter Food Festivals feature seasonal dishes in a fun atmosphere with roasted chestnuts, new harvest wine, polenta, wild boar, winter truffles, tortellini in brodo, and many more winter specialties. Dine in the warmth of large tents and communal tables for an unforgettable authentic and immersive meal.

Likewise, we have some area restaurants that we prefer to go to in the winter for their welcoming ambiance and hearty food. Something about a fireplace in the corner and a steaming plate of pasta or soup warms the soul. If you follow us on social media you know that to me, winter means Cappelletti in Brodo. Really, Cappelletti in Brodo is reason enough to come visit in the winter. As a special treat for our winter guests, Cappelletti in Brodo is on us at any of the restaurants that we recommend in our guest app.

Enjoy the Outdoors!

Admire the holiday decorations in every village. Festive lights adorn the piazze, as do nativity scenes—some of them with live characters! Buy handcrafted gifts or local specialties at the many Christmas markets. On Epiphany, (6 January) watch the witch Befana descend the clock tower to deliver stockings to good girls and boys.

Winter is still a great time to hike the area’s many natural parks. Fall colors still abound into December. And in the winter, you’re treated to waterfalls along your route. Local guides lead organized walks or you can set out on your own with our many suggestions in our guest app.

For winter sports, head to the nearby Sibillini mountains to snowshoe, downhill or cross-country ski, snowboard, or sled. Webcams display conditions and rentals are available at the ski centers. Sarnano and Macerata have outdoor rinks for ice skating.

Winter sales!

If you like to shop, the winter sales (saldi) start around the 5-6 of January every year. Our area in the Marche is full of outlet shops with high-quality goods made in the Marche. In fact, one-third of the shoes made in Italy are made in the Marche. The winter saldi are an incredible opportunity to save even further! We have a map of outlet shops in our guest app and I can recommend several trusted shops nearby.

Food and Wine Tastings!

Our Marche winemakers produce spectacular, under the radar wines. We have a collaboration with the best food and wine tour guide in the Marche, Marco of Marco’s Way, and winter is a fabulous opportunity to take a tour with him to meet small, family-run producers who make wines with soul. Marco will design a tour to your tastes and also introduce you to local food artisans.

Guided Tours!

Winter is a fantastic time to take a guided tour. They are usually €5-15 per person, and are more readily available in the winter. A hiking guide will explain why the tree you’re passing is special. On you own, you would likely walk past it without understanding the significance. The guide at the Abbadia di Fiastra tells you why there are two address placards on the Abbey door. The guide in Urbisaglia points out that the Romans washed blood from Gladiator fights out of an innocuous hole to drain towards the river. We have a list of recommended guides in our guest app.

Enjoy cultural events at the many museums, churches, theaters, and monuments that are open in the winter. It’s opera, exhibition, and concert season, and you’ll be amazed at the wide variety of performances available. From “Sister Act” to gospel choirs, to classical music to pop, there’s something for everyone.

Frasassi Caves
Frasassi Caves

The Frasassi Caves!

Winter is a great time to see the amazing Frasassi Caves, the largest cave system in Europe and the most-visited destination in the Marche. The temperature in the caves is constant at 14°C or 57°F, and without summer crowds, there’s no need for advanced reservations or to wait in long lines to buy tickets.

If you’d like to truly discover a hidden Italy, to feel like a local, then winter is the best time to come stay at Casa Pace e Gioia.

Author: Heather Erica von Bargen

Heather is the host of Casa Pace e Gioia, a holiday rental home with a private pool and olive groves on 8 acres in the countryside hills of Le Marche, Italy.

2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Things to do in the Winter in the Marche”

  1. Ciao! I love this email you just sent out on the Marche Region. My 26 year old daughter just claimed residency 3 months ago in Urbania, and has been living there while she was getting her citizenship. I went to school in Urbino. She just went to the festival in her town and saw the witch fly down from the tower. We have family in Ancona and my husband’s grandparents are from Pesaro. We were in Urbania in November and loved seeing Marche again after 25 years! Thank you again for your lovely newsletter! I look forward to the next one!

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