Destination Urbino – The Renaissance Jewel – The city of Urbino is situated between the Adriatic Sea on the eastern coast of Italy and the Apennine Mountains to the west. Its proximity to other central regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Romagna make Urbino a great base to visit and explore the territories of central Italy.
Urbino is a well preserved Italian Renaissance town in the territory of Montefeltro. The city as we see it today was largely built by Duke Federico and his young wife Battista Sforza who transformed this town in the fifteenth century into a splendid example of all things Renaissance equal to Florence. Duke Federico, a condottiere, was a great warrior who commanded a huge army that fought for the popes and was paid handsomely. As well as a warrior, the Duke was a learned man, a humanist, interested in the arts and he used much of his wealth to create a centre to promote new innovations emerging at the time. During their life, Duke Federico and his wife Battista promoted a centre of learning and invited and commissioned some of the greatest architects, engineers, mathematicians, artists, sculptors and scribes of the time. The court of Urbino boasted famous architects such as the fortress builder and designer of the Ducal Palace of Urbino Luciano Luarana, Donato Bramante, appointed by Pope Julius II to build the new St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and Baldassare Castiglione, the diplomat and famous Renaissance author of ‘The Book of Coutier’, considered one of the most important works of the Italian Renaissance. Urbino was also the birthplace of the celebrated Renaissance painter and artist Raphael.
The town today is recognised by UNESCO for its importance as a genuine example of Renaissance architecture. The town also boasts an International University of twenty four thousand students from around the world. The Ducal Palace was restored in early 1900’s and has been returned to its former glory. It now houses the Galleria Nazionale Delle Marche (The National Gallery of Le Marche Region) with masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Tiziano, Paolo Uccello and Raphael, whose family home has now been transformed into a museum.
Vita Italian Tours personally guides travellers to this marvellously preserved Renaissance centre on many of their small group tours. It is always a destination that fascinates and excites.
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