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Marche (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarke]), or the Marches, is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo.
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 north-west, Umbria to the 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. 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.