Day 37: Urbino day trip

The flooding made our day trip to Urbino precarious as many roads were closed and flooding in the fields obvious.

A 1.5 hour trip turned into 3 hours but we made it.

Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site notable for a remarkable historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture, especially under the patronage of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482. He restructured the city along modern concepts of efficiency and beauty.

It is located in the foothills of the Apennines, subject to earthquakes, and a population around 15,000. In the early 16th century, it became part of the Papal States.

It’s very hilly.

With limited time, we viewed the Gothic frescoes 1416 (Lorenzo Salimbeni) in the Oratorio di San Giovanni which features scenes from the life of John the Baptist.

The main reason to go to Urbino was to see the Palazzo Ducale, a masterpiece of architecture which grew over 30 years into the perfect Renaissance secular environment.

The Ducal Palace featured several rooms that reflect Federico’s devotion to Classical and humanistic studies and served his daily routine, which included visiting the palace’s lararium (guardian deities in ancient Roman religion) and reading Greek literature.

The studiolo of Federico Montefeltro features intarsia (wood inlay) of trompe-l’œil shelves, benches, and half-open latticework doors displaying symbolic objects representing the Liberal Arts, iconic representations of several persons, both contemporary and historical.

The Palazzo houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche which holds a picture collection:

Piero della Francesca: Flagellation

Piero’s Madonna di Senigallia

The Ideal City which Dr. D-S does not think is by Piero

Titian: Last Supper, Resurrection;


We left the Ducal Palace going down these steps intended for horses.

Federico’s only son died without issue and the dynasty ended. They are buried in a chapel on a lonely hilltop.

On our return, we could see damage to the main east west highway.

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