(Urbino Ducal Palace)
There are many beautiful places in Marche and, for sure, Urbino is one of the first places to visit if you travel to our region.
The walled city of Urbino is a world heritage site, world-wide known as a cradle of Renaissance culture.
Urbino is about 30km far from “Pesaro-Urbino” motorway exit and from Pesaro railway station: it can be easily reached from Pesaro by car or bus in about 30 minutes.
If you go to Urbino form Pesaro by car, we suggest to leave the faster road after “Morciola” and take the old road passing through Colbordolo and Montefabbri: it will take a bit more but road and landscapes are terrific!
One of the most amusing activities you can do in Urbino is looking for the best views of the historic centre from the hills surrounding the city!
Urbino still have much of its medieval aspect: it is a pleasure to walk in streets and sidestreets with eyes geared up toward houses, palaces and churches.
The principal tourist sight today is the Ducal Palace, undoubtedly a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, absolutely worth a visit.
The Ducal Palace was built by Federico di Montefeltro, the most famous member of Montefeltro family, who made Urbino an important centre of humanity and art during his time as regent between 1444 and 1482. Thanks to his efforts, in that “golden age”, Urbino became one of most important centers of Renaissance attracting some of most famous scholars and artists.
Magnificent rooms and courtyard with unmistakable towers form one of best examples of the Renaissance architecture. “Federicus Urbini Dux” appears everywhere in the Palace: you can see it in fireplaces, window frames and many walls. One of the most interesting rooms is ”alcove” with a wonderful example of fifteenth century bed and the “private study” (known as “studiolo”) with inlaid wooden engravings in perspective. They are an indication of the splendour which the entire ducal court enjoyed in that period.
Today the palace also houses the Marche region National Gallery with precious paintings by Luciano Laurana, Guercino, Piero della Francesca and others remarkable painters.
Another interesting museum is Raffaello Sanzio’s House: Raphael’s father, Giovanni Santi, was one of the painter at Duke Federico’s court. Raphael was born in this house and some minor artworks are exposed there together with copies of some of the most famous paintings.
The oratory of San Giovanni is a church hosting charming fresco cycle painted by Jacopo and Lorenzo Salimbeni in 1416 illustrating the life of John the Baptist.
The oratory of San Giuseppe is another church housing a beautiful “Presepio”: a nativity scene with life-size statues of the sixteen century.
Parco della Resistenza, alongside the interesting Albornoz Fortress, is a fine place to have a rest eating a snack admiring the views over Urbino and surroundings hills.
(Landscape from the park on the top of Urbino City Centre)
Tourists planning a cultural tour of Italy should not miss Urbino: one full day permits to have a look to main monuments but a couple of days would be necessary to explore the small historic center which still entirely preserves its Renaissance appearance.
As usual in Italy, visitors will also have the possibility to try local food delights in one of the restaurants of Urbino or in the surrounding towns and villages.