Nearest airports: A car is essential and all the main hire companies operate from these airports.
|Ancona||60 miles, 70 mins||
Ryanair flies daily from London Stansted (and now from Liverpool too) to Ancona, with fares ranging from £20 to £200+ return, depending on the season and the available deals (our cheapest flights so far were just 1 penny – plus taxes). Flight time is just over 2 hours. Best days to travel are mid week and (of course) outside school holidays.
Ancona has been a busy route ever since we started using it, and Ryanair has finally started increasing its margins. So you may want to shop around on price or flight times.
|Pescara|| Going south down the coast there is Pescara, in the Abbruzzo. That adds 15 minutes to the flight from Stansted and around 50 miles to the car journey.
|Perugia||70 miles, 1 hr 50 mins||Perugia is a couple of hour's drive across the mountains - this should get much better when they finish extending the SS-77 superstrada from Tolentino for Foligno by late summer 2016. Currently Ryanair is flying from Stansted to Perugia|
|Rimini||Rimini is about 60 miles north of Ancona, so less than 2 hours drive to Casa Fontanelle. But Easyjet's service has been dropped so now there are no flights to Rimini from the UK|
|Bologna||185 miles, 3 hrs||The A1 / A14 makes Bologna easy to reach - consider staying in this attractive historic city for a couple of nights on the way to or from Le Marche|
|Rome||190 miles, 3 hr 10 mins||We should all see Rome and die – so international visitors in particular may prefer to pick up a car at Rome-Fiumicino or Rome-Ciampino airports. The quickest route is via the autostrada to L’Aquila and down towards the A14; or take a more leisurely 4 hour drive across the mountains, up the Via Flaminia and across the mountains from Fologno, near Assisi and Perugia.|
|Venice/Treviso||290 miles, 4 hr 30||We’ve even flown from Venice/Treviso – it’s about 400km up the coast, but worth considering if you want to see Venice or the Veneto. This airport is very small, but (like all the others) being extended thanks to all the tourists that Ryanair brings in. And there are three flights a day each way (2006).|
Other travel options
Whatever you choose, it pays to book early!
- Drive yourself from the channel ports – about 1000 miles depending on your route, this is a long day’s mad drive (it has been done, but we wouldn’t recommend it!), two days for the more careful driver (we stopped over on Lake Luzern coming down, and near Mulhouse in France going back) or perhaps you’d prefer a longer and more leisurely trip one way at least. Stop at Rheims for the Champagne, perhaps?
- Take a train – you can get to Ancona or Civitanova on a fast train from Milan or Rome, and to Macerata on a slower train; see Trenitalia’s website. But you’ll still need to pick up a car eventually…
- Use a Motorail service – but every time we hear of one, it seems to get closed down. Currently (2016) AutoslaapTrein is operating a weekly service Dusseldorf to Verona (out Friday night, back Saturday night).
- Catch a ferry into Ancona from Croatia or Greece
Ancona (and all other airports) offer car hire from Hertz (who also have a deal with Ryanair), Avis, plus Maggiore and Europcar (and of course if you are brave enough you can get deals from Holiday Autos and other booking agencies). When you arrive at Ancona’s new terminal, go straight out of the baggage hall and turn right to find the car hire desks. It’s not too expensive to get one-way car hire so you can arrive at Ancona and depart from Venice, Rome or Bologna – or vice-versa.