Urbino: where the Renaissance is still alive

Those, who stroll through the streets and alley of Urbino with a minimum of imagination, will surely have a fair idea of this elegant little town during its period of glory in the 15th century.

Urbino is located on a hill in the north-east of the region Marche, about 40 kilometers from the Adriatic coast. Today it is known not only for its university and the archbishop’s seat, but it is considered also as one of the best-preserved Renaissance towns throughout Italy. Due to the remarkable architecture and the many art treasures Urbino makes part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage, too. So it is perfectly suitable for a holiday marked by culture and history.

Urbino’s history began as little Roman settlement named Urbinum Mataurense (that means little town by the river Mataurus). At the end of the Middle Ages the city reached its peak and the signs of this time are still visible today. Every corner in town is able to tell something about the past – and most of the stories date back to the Italian Renaissance.

At that time Urbino was under the reign of the noble Montefeltro family. In particularly duce Federico da Montefeltro, who was known as successful military leader and humanist, had a lasting influence on the development of Urbino. All his life he invested in the city and promoted art and culture. So artists and their pupils, poets and scholars came from all over Italy in order to experience the brilliant town.

During a stroll through Urbino you can still discover this splendor, because again and again you’ll pass old and art-historically interesting buildings. For example you shouldn’t miss the Piazza della Repubblica forming the city center, the impressive ducal palace and the classical dome Santa Maria Assunta. Not forgetting the birthplace of the noted artist Raphael.