Urbino overview

Urbino view

Urbino is in the northern part of central Italy's Marche Region, one of the more remote and least tourist regions of Italy. Urbino is about 30km from the Adriatic coast and is a picturesque Renaissance hill town. Although Urbino was a Roman and medieval city, its peak came during the 15th century when Duke Federico da Montefeltro established one of Europe's most illustrious courts. Its impressive Ducal Palace houses one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in Italy. Urbino has a university started in 1506 and it's a center for maiolica ceramics, art, and culture. Urbino's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today Urbino is also an important University center with a student population that exceeds that of the city.

To visit
  • Ducal Palace: Urbino's huge Ducal Palace, Palazzo Ducale, is one of the most impressive (and also the first) in Italy. The Ducal Palace was built in the second half of the fifteenth century. Top sites are the impressive Courtyard of Honor, the Duke's study with stunning trompe l'oeil inlaid woodwork panels, and the vast network of kitchens, laundry rooms, cellars, and stables. It's easy to spend several hours wandering through the palace and two museums, the National Gallery and the Archaeological Museum.
  • Marche National Gallery: Inside the Ducal Palace, the National Art Gallery of the Marche, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, has one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in the world.
  • Duomo: The Duomo or cathedral was constructed on top of a sixth century religious building. Completed in 1604, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1789 and then rebuilt. The duomo now has a neoclassical appearance and houses several important art works, including a painting of the Last Supper by Federico Barocci. The Museo Diocesano has a collection of glass, ceramics, and religious items.
  • Piazza Rinascimento, Piazza della Republica, and Piazza Duca Federico: The center of Urbino is formed by these squares. Here you'll find cafes, shops, and lots of people.
  • Raphael's House: The Renaissance painter Raphael was born in Urbino in 1483 and his family's house is now a museum.
  • Oratorio di San Giuseppe: This medieval church on Via Barocci is known for its presepio, or nativity scene. Nearby is the Oratorio di San Giovanni Battista with beautiful 15th century frescoes.
  • Albornz Fortress: The small fortress at the top of Urbino is a great place for views of the town and surrounding hills. It was built in the fourteenth century and was the defensive point for the walls, built in the sixteenth century. It's now a library and public park.
  • Botanical Garden: The small orto botanico is nicely laid out with labeled plants, ponds, and pathways. Entrance is free.


Read more on the institutional website

Link on the official UNESCO page

Watch the UNESCO video about Urbino

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