The dukes of Urbino came from House of Montefeltro. Within the palace, on some of its ceilings, the family’s coat of arms is displayed. Again, looking up brings rewards. To form the coat of arms, three golden bands on a shield of azure are combined with the Holy Roman Empire’s eagle, granted when the family was made a vassel of the emperor.All of...more
“Because of the talent which the painter Raphael of Urbino possesses, he has decided to come to Florence for a time, to perfect himself in his art. His father was dear to me for his many excellent qualities, and I had not less affection for his son, who is a modest and agreeable young man, and one who will, I hope, make all possible progress.”—...more
Palazzo Albani is one of the most important in the city and currently a building in the University of Urbino. Palazzo Albani, in its present-day form, is a splendid princely residence of the 18th century. In the mid-17th century several adjoining houses were bought by Orazio Albani (1576-1653) and later by his sons Jerome and Charles. This set the...more
Born in Urbino on the 22nd of July 1649, Giovanni Francesco Albani was sent to Rome at the age of 11 to study at the Roman College. He was a brilliant intellectual, with high morals and very pious; these qualities caused him to rise rapidly at the papal court. On 13.February.1690, he was created a cardinal-deacon and later Cardinal-Priest and was...more
The interior of the Church of the Holy Spirit is a single room, rectangular in shape. The treasure of this little church is the barrel-vaulted ceiling, divided into 15 squares depicting the four prophets, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and scenes from the Old Testament, including the Judgment of Solomon (see photo #5).On the walls are fourteen...more
The small Church of Santo Spirito is located along the Via Bramante within the district of Saint Lucia. Documents give the church’s origin as 1554; but a congregation of the Holy Spirit existed as early as 1398. The extent of the façade’s decoration consists of the marble surrounding the door and the window above it.The scroll work and the...more
The church of San Domenico in Urbino is located opposite to Palazzo Ducale. Built by the Dominican community between 1362 and 1365, the church was consecrated in 1365. However, some frescoes of the apse indicate that it is likely that some parts of the building are a few decades older.The church was restored by Philip Barigioni between 1729 and...more
This red granite obelisk was first raised at the Temple of Isis in Sais, Egypt in 580 BC, and taken to Rome in AD 90. Brought to Urbino in 1737, it was placed in front of the Church of San Domenico. The 18-foot tall obelisk was donated by Urbino’s native son, Gian Francesco Cardinal Alberti, who went on to become Pope Clement XI.more
“Elisabetta’s wedding was settled to take place early in 1488. She had already seen the young Duke of Urbino, who was almost her own age, a handsome boy, of cultivated tastes, but afflicted with hereditary gout. They appeared to have been mutually attracted to each other, and there seemed to be every prospect of happiness.”— from “The Most...more
You're making your way through the Galleria Nazionale, and it's pretty darned impressive. But then you come to the Duke's Study. As my little guidebook says, "Take time to really look at the exquisite inlaid images. Note the mastery of perspective (for example, the latticed cupboard doors appear perfectly open). Let the Duke share his passions:...more
Via Bernini 6, Urbino, 61100, Italy
Good for: Solo
Corso Garibaldi, 32, Urbino, 61029, Italy
Good for: Families
While desperately trying to securing a room in Urbino, we saw many places. I have chosen two that we...more
Because the streets throughout Urbino are set on steep inclines reaching Taverna Degli Artisti on foot is equivalent to a gym workout. All the better to work off the great meal you will enjoy at this pretty little restaurant.Select from a list of 60 regional red wines; the pastas are homemade; the pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven. Among the...more
This is a famous restaurant in Urbino since 1946, closed in Winter but crowded in Summer. It is THE place to go if you want to taste the original Crescia Sfogliata: a kind of big pancake that you can eat just like a sandwich with cheese, ham or vegetable. Of course, you have other dishes you can order: pizzas, meat, pasta...***Last time I ate...more
In 1985, Gabriele Monti opened a restaurant near the city gates in the oldest section of Urbino (which is saying something, as this place goes WAY back), and called it...Old Urbino. The goal was to integrate the locally-produced meats, grains, cheeses, vegetables and wines into something gastronomically spectacular, and the various guides all agree...more
Urbino is located in the hills of the so-called Montefeltro, a region which is located in northern Marche and north eastern Umbria. It is quite easy to reach but one has to take into account that Marche region doesn’t have the excessive autostrada network as it is the case in northern Italy. One autostrada (SS73 bis or E78) leads from Fano at the...more
Urbino is an isolated setting, and the easiest way to get there is to go from PESARO and almost nowhere else. Motorway A14 Bologna-CanosaExitsCattolica-GabiccePesaroFanoMarotta-MondolfoThat's what the tourist books say. However, we did not do that. We always seem to make it more difficult. We came from Camerino, and Allan spent at least an hour...more
- One of the best things of Urbino is that it remains hidden in the mountains, impregnable, so it keeps the essence of a little town with the splendour of the Renaissance and the lively streets full of students. But in the other hand, if you're a tourist that will mean difficulty to access to the city. There used to be a train station, but nowadays...more
C'era una volta un pezzo di legno... (Once upon a time there was a piece of wood...)
We happened to find Bartolucci on the main street in Urbino, strolling down from the Duomo towards the university, and it was a real find. (I have since learned that there are other stores in Roma and Firenze and someone even reported one in Berlin, but I missed all of those.) My eye was immediately drawn to the nearly life-sized Pinocchio, surrounded by smaller replicas of this beloved Italian marionette -- who hails from Todi, not too far away -- but the shop is crammed with clocks and wooden toys of various sizes, from a giant, beautifully-fashioned motorcycle to spiffy little bi-planes flying from the ceiling. Bartolucci family members began fabricating hand-made wooden objects in 1936, and the craftsmanship shows.
What to buy: Pinocchio is the major draw, and you can buy him in every guise from a key-ring (a euro or two) upwards. I bought some of the long-nosed, fixed-legs-and-arms (jointed only at the torso, ten euros each) size, painted in bright red, blue and yellow, for several lawyer friends -- lawyers are always hearing lies! -- and a larger, natural wood version with all flexible joints and not so much nose (30 euros) to sit in my office, at least until the holidays when I may give him to my grand-daughter.
Personally, I didn't like the little clocks, but they might make a good addition to some nursuries.
The larger wooden toys are quite expensive, as you'd expect from something made by hand.
Not just in Urbino...many (perhaps most) Italian museums are closed on Mondays. This can be a spirit-killer if you're only in a city or town for a single day and the museums are unavailable, which is why the Spirit moves me to suggest that much of Italy's great art is found in its churches, virtually all of which are open every day of the week (and...more
I must have led a charmed life up to this particular venture to Italy, because in all the other countries I visited, English was either one of the standard languages or, in the case of France, I spoke the ambient tongue. I suppose I expected that many, if not most, of the hoteliers and shop keepers and transport personnel in Italy would speak at...more
When you are seated at an Italian restaurant, you should anticipate paying "coperto" or a cover charge, assessed on a per person basis. This ranges from something minimal to several euros, presumably depending upon the restaurant although I never analyzed this during our trip. Since the cover charge is intended to compensate the restaurant for the...more
I just want to warn you that there is an extremely steep climb to reach Piazza della Repubblica and the heart of the city.
Duke Federico had Francesco di Giorgio Martini link Piazzale Mercatale directly to the center of town with a "semi-cylindrical bastion containing the Rampa Elicoidale, a great winding, stepped ramp (restructured in 1976)".
I really don't know if that is the ramp we used or not. I do know that we parked our car (pay parking) below and beside the walls, and walked and walked and walked....up, up, up, up for what seemed like forever. The key is to keep your back straight or else it will really hurt.
You would certainly stay in shape if you walked this each day. Allan and I are both phycially in good shape and have no back or knee problems. I just wonder about those who are overweight or in bad shape...a real challenge, indeed.
Although things tend to cool off at night, if you're an American and used to air conditioning, you may find that it is well worth your while to bring a small battery-powered fan with you, or to purchase a slightly larger fan which has the appropriate plug for Italian current. I brought two of the former and we never did get around to buying the...more
Our inn in Urbino included bath towels and hand towels, but not what we Americans call "wash cloths" (a small towel used to wash one's face). Luckily, my friend had brought a supply which could be left behind in each city, and I brought Olay's excellent cleansing tissues because that's what I use back in Rhode Island. But if you're younger than...more
37 Reviews and Opinions
This, 15th century, very simple church stands on a hill just outside of the Urbino city walls (to south-east). Also known as the ''Mausoleum of the Dukes'' as both Federico II. and his son Guidobaldo with his wife Elisabetta are buried here.
Federico da Montefeltro is a rather illustrious figure. He was born illegitimate but the actual duke of early 15th century, Guidantonio da Montefeltro, who had no legitimate kids, declared him his son and thus heir, even with official approval of the pope. When he was a kid he was sent to several places including Venezia for better and especially...more
During Urbinos heydays many important people (scientists, artists...) came to live here, some were even born here. To memorialize those persons that contributed to the glory of Urbino, memorial tablets were placed on the houses where they lived. You can find them all over Urbino. Specially a lot of them you can find in Via Barocci, where nearly...more
Remiders of the year when a house was built are built in the walls of many buildings in Urbino. Most of them date back to second half of 15th century when the town bloomed ubder Federico II. But the numbers are old-fashioned and differ from modern ones. This one on the picture 1S92 actually means 1492. That S is a half 8, equals to modern 4.more