Urbino, Province of Pesaro-Urbino, Marche

Urbino is a World Heritage Site for its great cultural history, especially during the Renaissance as the seat of Federico da Montefeltro, and one of the most ancient Universities, founded here in 1564.

Situated like a precious gem amid the gentle Marche hills, near the border with Emilia-Romagna, it was the hometown of painter Raphael Sanzio (Raffaello Santi) and was celebrated as the Renaissance ideal city of art and culture. It is today a famous university center where students and scholars from all over the world follow high specialized curricula. It is also the town of motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi.


  • Altitude: 485 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 15,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 61029
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0772
  • Patron Saint: St. Crescentino, celebrated on June 1
  • GPS Coordinates: 43°43'0"N - 12°38'0"E

Administrative Division

The comune includes the following Frazioni and Localities: Ca' Mazzasette, Canavaccio, Castelboccione, Cavallino, Cavaticci, Cerquetobono, Coldelce, Colonna, Crocicchia, Forquini, Fornace, Gadana, Ghiaiolo, Girfalco, Maciolla, Marcella, Mazzaferro, Miniera, Monteavorio, Montecalende, Monteolivo, Monte Polo, Montesoffio, Paganico, Palazzo del Piano, Pallino, Pantiere, Pieve di Cagna, Pozzuolo, Rancitella, Repuglia, Santissima Annunziata, Santa Maria delle Selve, San Donato, Sasso, Schieti, Scotaneto, San Marino, Torre, Tortorina, Trasanni, Tufo, Viapiana, Villa Croce.


A modest Roman town as Urvinum Mataurense ("the little city on the river Mataurus") became an important strategic stronghold in the Gothic wars of the 6th century AD; around 1200 AD it came into the possession of the nearby Montefeltro countdom. In the struggles between Guelph and Ghibelline factions, the 13th and 14th century Montefeltro lords of Urbino were leaders of the Ghibellines of the Marches and Romagna.

The most famous member of the Montefeltro dynasty was Federico, lord of Urbino from 1444 to 1482, a great condottiere, diplomat and patron of art and literature. At his court Piero della Francesca wrote on the science of perspective, Francesco di Giorgio Martini his Treaties on Architecture and Raphael's father Giovanni Santi described the chief artists of the time. Federico's brilliant court was the example in Baldassare Castiglione's book Il Cortegiano of what characterized a "gentleman" in early modern Europe.

What to see

  • The Palazzo Ducale, one of the most beautiful Renaissance residences hosting the "Galleria Nazionale delle Marche", a collection in 27 rooms of masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Titian, and others, a Museo Archeologico and a Museo della Ceramica, and the Sotterranei with stables, kitchens, laundry and other rooms.
  • The native house of Raphael, situated in Via Raffaello 57, which contains a juvenile fresco made by the painter.
  • The Cathedral, designed in the neo-classical style by Giuseppe Valadier, which preserves paintings by Federico Barocci.

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Where to stay