Marche ( MAR-kay, Italian: [ˈmarke] (listen)) also called "Le Marche" is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name derives from the plural of the medieval word marca or march, originally referring to a borderland territory of the Holy Roman Empire, such as the March of Ancona and others pertaining to the ancient region. In English, the region is referred to as The Marches ( MAR-chiz)The region is located in the Central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the west, Umbria to the southwest, 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. A railway from Bologna to 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. Urbino, one of the major cities of the region, was the birthplace of Raphael, as well as a major center of Renaissance history. Wikipedia ->
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