For UNESCO, the city has the merit of having been a point of attraction for the most illustrious Renaissance and Italian scholars and artists, who have created an exceptional urban complex.
The origins of Urbino are very ancient, the Roman name Urvinum would derive from the Latin term urvus (urvum is the curved handle of the plow), but it is in the fifteenth century that the city lives its maximum splendor.
And it is mainly thanks to the contribution of Federico di Montefeltrohttp: //it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_da_Montefeltro that Urbino acquired that monumental and artistic excellence, whose influence has largely spread to the rest of Europe.
This great patron in fact knew not only to transform Urbino into a magnificent princes court, but also to attract in the duchy the best that the Italian Renaissance humanistic culture could offer: Piero della Francesca, Luciano Laurana, Leon Battista Alberti, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Girolamo Genga and Raphael’s father, Giovanni Santi.
Walking along the steep and narrow streets you will find all the buildings of the Renaissance Urbino: the former Monastery of Santa Chiara, the Church of San Domenico, the Mausoleum of the Dukes in the Church of San Bernardino, Palazzo Boghi and the majestic Palazzo Ducale, keeper of the Urbino treasure.
Some of the most important workers of the time were involved in the construction of the building, now home to the Marche National Gallery. And a visit to the Gallery is a must if you want to admire some absolute masterpieces of art history preserved here: “Flagellation of Christ” and “Madonna of Senigallia” by Piero della Francesca, “Communion of the Apostles” by Giusto di Gand; “Miracle of the Ostia Profanata” by Paolo Uccello and the sublime “Muta” by Raphael. Nearby, do not miss the Data (the ducal stables), connected to the Palace by the magnificent helical ramp.
Artistically beautiful, but also beautiful from the landscape point of view: being between two hills, Urbino offers a panorama made up of roofs and churches that are very suggestive.
Both Bramante and Raffaello took their first steps right here in Urbino. Raphael in particular was trained in his father’s workshop and made his debut with works commissioned from the nearby towns of the duchy.
In Urbino, the Kite Festival takes place every year, generally held in September. It is a real race in which the winner is the one who manages to fly their kite higher.
Urbino plays Jazz is a festival organized in August by the Urbino Jazz Club association and promoted by the Municipality of Urbino where young talents and established artists have the aim of spreading the tolerant culture of jazz music in the area.
In small workshops art has been created since the 1500s: goldsmiths, cabinet makers, potters, many craftsmen linked to the building industry (plasterers, painters, carpenters, stonemasons); in the shops of the historical center it is possible to look closely at ancient techniques and new creations.
The court of Federico da Montefeltro, as described by Baldassarre Castiglione in Il Cortegiano, introduced the characteristics of the so-called “gentleman” in Europe, which remained fully in vogue until the twentieth century.
Home to one of the oldest universities, Carlo Bo, which was founded in 1506, has more university students than native residents, boasts a famous Academy of Fine Arts, and is also known as the “book capital” because of the Institute for Decoration and illustration of the book born in the second half of the twentieth century.