Pesaro-Urbino Travel Guide

This is an excerpt from the book “Central Italy Marche and Abruzzo

Pesaro Castle – Photo © Tink *
Pesaro Castle – Photo © Tink *

Pesaro-Urbino district is wetting by the Adriatic sea: it is known for its “maioliche”, the parks, the castles and its artistic treasures as well as adequate receptive structures and amusements for the seaside, religious, “green” and eno-gastronomic tourism.


Visiting this part of the Adriatic means enjoying the spectacle of two of the very few headlands on the entire coastline, San Bartolo and Ardizio, taking advantage of the tranquility of small isolated coves or experiencing the more frequented yet just as inviting sandy beaches.

Forty kilometers of soft sand stretching from Gabicce to Marotta, with an abundance of hotels, updated and reclassified over the years, and numerous campsites between Pesaro and Fano, where the beach is even wider and where the rocky shore creates safe havens for children, country houses and holiday farms for those who prefer to enjoy the sea while immersed in the green of the countryside.

Pesaro beach – Photo © gazzur
Pesaro beach – Photo © gazzur

To the north and Romagna lies the more popular resort of Gabicce Mare, where the splendors of the “Riviera” of the sixties still survives.

Pesaro, instead, located at the mouth of the river Foglia, with its approximately eight kilometers of fine sandy shore between the natural park of San Bartolo and Ardizio, offers a more relaxed lifestyle.

An ideal place for a family holiday or for those who prefer to take it easy far from the maddening crowd, though without renouncing the pleasures and fun that a holiday resort can offer. In summer, in fact, the entire area is alive with music, markets, food fairs, etc.

Further south, Fano has two beaches, the sandy Lido and the longer pebbled Sassonia that stretches as far as the mouth of the river Metauro.

Halfway along the Lido and Sassonia beaches lies Fano’s picturesque fishing port, teeming with boats and the aroma of cooked fish (arrostite di pesce and brodetti alla marinara). Finally, at the southernmost end of the province and completing the “Pesaro and Urbino Riviera” stand the welcoming resorts of Torrette and Marotta.

Sports such as sailing, windsurfing and beach volley are possible along the entire coastline, which also has specially equipped play areas for children.

Marches Appennini
Marches Appennini – Photo by Marcel Oosterwijk


Bordering Romagna, Umbria and Tuscany, the province of Pesaro and Urbino boats an incomparable multicolored hilly countryside stretching as far as the peaks of the Apennines: an uncontaminated sea of green in which it is possible to immerse oneself and observe the wonders of the changing seasons while enjoying the numerous pastimes available in the area. Cycling at Gabicce Mare, where an international cycling event provides the opportunity for tourists and amateur cyclists from all around the world to enjoy nature.

The event has an itinerary that passes through various settings and provides an abundance of wonderful views: from the blue of the Adriatic to the green hillsides and virgin woods of the Apennines. The area also offers many locations where it is possible to hire mountain bikes. Walking from the woods of the “Alpe della Luna” to those of monte Carpegna, just a step away.

The itineraries of the Apennine backbone of the province are marked red and blue to indicate the path through nature and the way to inner peace. The wide selection of paths for those who love trekking and who, complete with backpack, can cross this part of the province entirely on foot, meeting squirrels, deer, foxes and many of the other animals that populate these woods.

Here and there, small corners of paradise appear as if forming a living picture: from the woods of Tecchie, with its crystal clear waterfall, to the mountain streams of monte Catria and Nerone. And for those looking for a more educational and challenging itinerary, there is a detailed Spring and Summer calendar of excursions with a guide and overnight stops at mountain refuges.

Monte San Bartolo - Photo © batintherain
Monte San Bartolo – Photo © batintherain

The Parks: monte S. Bartolo, one of the very few headlands on the Adriatic with its yellow broom shrubs and green pastures that overlook the blue Adriatic offering breathtaking views. The winding roads pass through small hamlets and villages that were once inhabited by local fishermen, and which still retain their original character.

A perfect example is Fiorenzuola di Focara, home of the maritime museum, as is Castel di Mezzo, with its speciality fish dishes and craft workshops. From monte Bartolo, narrow country lanes lead down to the beaches below, appearing as corners of paradise and blue seas.

On the Apennine ridge instead, stands the park of Sasso Simone e Simoncello, where centuries-old pine, oak and spruce trees lead up to the ruins of medieval fortifications.

The park authority provides information and advice on how to enjoy this uncontaminated corner to the full, which leads into Val Marecchia where the beech woods provide a hiding place for churches and castles, real jewels of history and architecture.

The walls of a number of rocky outcrops provide the opportunity for mountain climbing, while only eagles dare in the Furlo gorge nature reserve, where there are equipped family picnic areas and canoe hiring to explore the crystal clear waters of the river Candigliano.

Where to stay in Pesaro

Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and villas: search and make reservations here.

Where to stay in Urbino

Hotels, B&Bs, country houses and villas: search and make reservations here.