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MARCHE (Italian pronunciation: ), or the MARCHES /ˈmɑːrtʃᵻz/ , is one of the twenty regions of Italy
Italy
. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca , originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona
Ancona
and nearby marches of Camerino
Camerino
and Fermo . Marche
Marche
is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with the finest and most luxurious Italian footwear being manufactured in this region.

The region is located in the Central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna
and the republic of San Marino
San Marino
to the north, Tuscany
Tuscany
to the west, Umbria
Umbria
to the southwest, Abruzzo
Abruzzo
and Lazio
Lazio
to the south and the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
to the east. Except for river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. A railway from Bologna to Brindisi
Brindisi
, built in the 19th century, runs along the coast of the entire territory. Inland, the mountainous nature of the region, even today, allows relatively little travel north and south, except by twisting roads over the passes. The Umbrian enclave of Monte Ruperto (a subdivision of the Comune
Comune
of Città di Castello ) is entirely surrounded by the Province of Pesaro and Urbino , which constitutes the northern part of the region.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 History * 3 Economy * 4 Demographics * 5 Government and politics * 6 Administrative divisions * 7 References * 8 External links

GEOGRAPHY

View of Marche
Marche
countryside A view of Monte Conero

Marche
Marche
extends over an area of 9,694 square kilometres (3,743 sq mi) of the central Adriatic
Adriatic
slope between Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna
to the north, Tuscany
Tuscany
and Umbria
Umbria
to the west, and Lazio
Lazio
and Abruzzo
Abruzzo
to the south, the entire eastern boundary being formed by the Adriatic
Adriatic
. Most of the region is mountainous or hilly, the main features being the Apennine chain along the internal boundary and an extensive system of hills descending towards the Adriatic
Adriatic
. With the sole exception of Monte Vettore , 2,476 metres (8,123 ft) high, the mountains do not exceed 2,400 metres (7,900 ft). The hilly area covers two-thirds of the region and is interrupted by wide gullies with numerous – albeit short – rivers and by alluvial plains perpendicular to the principal chain. The parallel mountain chains contain deep river gorges, the best known being those of the Furlo , the Rossa and the Frasassi .

The coastal area is 173 kilometres (107 mi) long and is relatively flat and straight except for the hilly area between Gabicce and Pesaro in the north, and the eastern slopes of Monte Conero near Ancona
Ancona
.

Climate is temperate. Inland, in the mountainous areas, is more continental with cold and often snowy winters; by the sea is more mediterranean. Precipitation varies from 1000-1500 mm. per year inland and 600-800 mm. per year on the Adriatic
Adriatic
coast.

HISTORY

Marche
Marche
was known in ancient times as the Picenum territory. The Picens or Picentes ( Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
: Πίκεντες) were the Italic tribe who lived in Picenum during the Iron Age
Iron Age
. In the fourth century BC the northern area was occupied by the Senones
Senones
, a tribe of Gauls . In Marche
Marche
was fought the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC; after it, the Romans founded numerous colonies in the areas, connecting them to Rome by the Via Flaminia and the Via Salaria . Ascoli was a seat of Italic resistance during the Social War (91–88 BC)
Social War (91–88 BC)
. Roman Amphitheatre in the Archaeological Park of Urbs Salvia

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
, the region was invaded by the Goths
Goths
. After the Gothic War , it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna ( Ancona
Ancona
, Fano
Fano
, Pesaro
Pesaro
, Rimini
Rimini
, and Senigallia forming the so-called Pentapolis ). After the fall of the Exarchate it was briefly in the possession of the Lombards
Lombards
, but was conquered by Charlemagne
Charlemagne
in the late eighth century. In the ninth to eleventh centuries the marches of Camerino
Camerino
, Fermo and Ancona
Ancona
were created, hence the modern name.

Marche
Marche
was nominally part of the Papal States
Papal States
, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes. In the twelfth century, the commune of Ancona
Ancona
resisted both the imperial authority of Frederick Barbarossa and the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
, and was a maritime republic on its own. An attempt to restore Papal suzerainty by Gil de Albornoz in the fourteenth century was short-lived. The Renaissance
Renaissance
town of Urbino
Urbino

During the Renaissance
Renaissance
, the region was fought over by rival aristocratic families, such as the Malatesta of Rimini, Pesaro
Pesaro
, Fano and the house of Montefeltro of Urbino
Urbino
. The last independent entity, the Duchy of Urbino
Urbino
, was dissolved in 1631, and from then on, Marche was firmly part of the Papal States
Papal States
except during the Napoleonic period. This saw the short lived Republic of Ancona
Ancona
, in 1797–98, the merging of the region with the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
, in 1798–99 and with the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
from 1808 to 1813, and the short occupation by Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
in 1815. After Napoleon's defeat, Marche
Marche
returned to Papal rule until 4 November 1860, when it was annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy
Italy
by a plebiscite .

After the referendum of 2006, 7 municipalities of Montefeltro were detached from the Province of Pesaro and Urbino to join the one of Rimini
Rimini
( Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna
) on 15 August 2009. The municipalities are Casteldelci , Maiolo , Novafeltria , Pennabilli
Pennabilli
, San Leo
San Leo
, Sant\'Agata Feltria and Talamello .

Towns in Marche
Marche
were devastated by the 2016 Central Italy
Italy
earthquake which occurred on 24 August 2016.

ECONOMY

Indesit Headquarters in Fabriano
Fabriano
, Province of Ancona
Ancona
. The home appliance sector represents the core of the regional industry

Prior to the 1980s, Marche
Marche
was considered a rather poor region, although economically stable in some sectors, thanks particularly to its agricultural output and to the contribution of traditional crafts.

Today the contribution of agriculture to the economy of the region is less significant and the gross value generated by this sector remains slightly above the national average. Marche
Marche
has never suffered from the extremes of fragmented land ownership or 'latifondo'. Greatly diffused in the past, the sharecropping never produced an extreme land fragmentation. The main products are cereals, vegetables, animal products and grapes. Truffle hunting is popular; although it has often led to 'truffle wars' between hunters due to the imposition of quotas. Olives are also produced and managed by various harvesters. In spite of the marine impoverishment, the sea has always furnished a plentiful supply of fish, the main fishing centres being Ancona
Ancona
, San Benedetto del Tronto , Fano
Fano
and Civitanova Marche
Civitanova Marche
.

Since the 1980s the economy of the region has been radically transformed, without however repudiating its rural past. Many of the small craft workshops scattered throughout the rural settlements have modernised and become small businesses, some of which have become major brands known all over the world ( Indesit , Tod\'s , Guzzini, Teuco). This evolution led to the emergence of 'specialised' industrial areas, which are still profitable: footwear and leather goods in a large area straddling the provinces of Macerata
Macerata
and Fermo ; furniture in the Pesaro
Pesaro
area in particular; household appliances and textile industry in the province of Ancona
Ancona
, in which the main engineering companies are also to be found (including ship building, petrochemicals and paper, as well as consumer durables). The city of Castelfidardo remains an important centre for the production of musical instruments, the accordion in particular. The region continues to draw tourists, whose increasing numbers have been attracted by the rich and broadly distributed heritage of history and monuments, as well as by the traditional seaside resorts.

DEMOGRAPHICS

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1861 909,000 —

1871 958,000 +5.4%

1881 972,000 +1.5%

1901 1,089,000 +12.0%

1911 1,145,000 +5.1%

1921 1,201,000 +4.9%

1931 1,240,000 +3.2%

1936 1,278,000 +3.1%

1951 1,364,000 +6.7%

1961 1,347,000 −1.2%

1971 1,360,000 +1.0%

1981 1,412,000 +3.8%

1991 1,429,000 +1.2%

2001 1,471,000 +2.9%

2011 1,565,000 +6.4%

2017 1,538,055 −1.7%

Source: ISTAT 2001

The population density in the region is below the national average. In 2008, it was 161.5 inhabitants per km2, compared to the national figure of 198.8. It is highest in the province of Ancona
Ancona
(244.6 inhabitants per km2), and lowest in the province of Macerata
Macerata
(116.1 inhabitants per km2). Between 1952 and 1967 the population of the region decreased by 1.7% as a result of a negative migration balance, well above the national average, with a rate varying between 4.9 and 10.0 per 1,000 inhabitants. The Average fund of this region is worth about a few million or maybe higher. In the same period the natural balance of the population was positive, but lower than the national average and insufficient to counterbalance the net emigration. The population continued to decline until 1971, but in 1968 began growing again. In 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics (ISTAT) estimated that 115,299 foreign-born immigrants live in Marche, 7.4% of the total regional population.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Marche
Marche
forms, along with Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany
Tuscany
and Umbria, the Italian "Red Quadrilateral", a strongly left-wing area. In the 2014 European elections , the people of Marche
Marche
gave 45% of their votes to Matteo Renzi
Matteo Renzi
's Democratic Party .

It is one of the very few regions in Italy
Italy
where the right wing coalition guided by Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
has never been able to have a majority, either in a national election or at the regional level.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

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

PROVINCE ABBREVIATION AREA (KM²) POPULATION DENSITY (INH./KM²)

Province of Ancona
Ancona
AN 1,940 474,630 244.6

Province of Ascoli Piceno
Ascoli Piceno
AP 1,228 212,846 186.2

Province of Fermo FM 859 177,578 206,6

Province of Macerata
Macerata
MC 2,774 321,973 116.1

Province of Pesaro and Urbino PU 2,564 364,896 141.9

REFERENCES

* ^ Regional gross domestic product (million EUR), by NUTS 2 regions (Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table) * ^ EUROPA – Press Releases – Regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London Archived 12 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Fodor's (13 March 2012). Fodor\'s Italy
Italy
2012. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 1132. ISBN 978-0-87637-143-5 . Retrieved 24 April 2012. * ^ Facaros, Dana; Pauls, Michael (1 October 2007). Cadogan Guide Tuscany, Umbria
Umbria
& the Marches. New Holland Publishers. pp. front cover. ISBN 978-1-86011-359-8 . Retrieved 24 April 2012. * ^ Touring Club of Italy
Italy
(1999). The Marches: A Complete Guide to the Region, Its National Parks, and Over a Hundred of Its Towns, Including Urbino. Touring Club of Italy. pp. front cover. ISBN 978-88-365-1467-0 . Retrieved 24 April 2012. * ^ (in Italian) Article about the legislation Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ (in Italian) Article on "il Resto del Carlino " * ^ Powerful Earthquakes in Italy. * ^ A B C "Eurostat". Circa.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010. * ^ "Eurostat". Circa.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons

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