Urbino, art in total privacy: a university campus rich in history
The cradle of the Italian Renaissance, central Italy is full of charming towns. A land of art, history and gastronomy, the region is relatively close to Monaco and the Côte d’Azur. It only takes a few hours by car to reach this paradise Italian Chamber of Commerce enabled us to discover.
When planning your vacation in Italy, you think of many cities, but not Urbino. Located in the Marche region, just a stone’s throw from Tuscany, Urbino shares the same mountainous landscapes typical of its neighboring region.
A center of the Italian Renaissance, like Arezzo, the city gradually fell asleep before becoming a wonderful place of study, home to one of Italy’s most famous universities. So much so that the number of students, which was 16,000, is now more than 14,000.
A visitor immersed in a little-known city soon finds himself immersed in a real Italian city devoid of any mass tourism. The charm takes effect as soon as you see Urbino perched atop a hill. As you get closer, the city reveals more of the facade of its jewel: the Ducal Palace.
The palace, the foundation of the whole city
The city owes its development to the Montefeltros family. Like Florence and the Medici, the Montefeltros and especially Federico developed Urbino and built this enormous Ducal Palace of 440,000 m² spread over six floors. Despite their warrior profession, Montefeltros was sensitive to art and patronized artists, so much so that the city became a huge flourishing center of art from the 15th century.
Starting with the extraordinary palace, there is no shortage of remains from this period studio, a small room surrounded by remarkable marquetry. Decorations are not the only jewels of the palace.
Today, it has become the National Gallery, which contains many pictorial masterpieces An ideal city, Flagellation of Christ By Piero della Francesca The vision of Santa Francesca Romana by Orazio Gentileschi and of course Silent by the famous artist Raphael. The country boy cut his teeth in Urbino before conquering the Italian peninsula. It is still possible to visit his house.
In addition to the palace and under the cathedral, there is quite a lot of interest. Oratorio della Grotta represents the life of Christ through a succession of underground churches. An experience when believers imagine discovering the wonders of the cave in the faint light of a candle.
In Urbino, students, artists and stereotypical Italians rub shoulders to create a very special cachet for the city. Original and charming by day, Urbino becomes magical and unique at night. A soft light fills the picturesque alleys and offers a beautiful spectacle of tranquility to the strollers at night.
In front of the main hill and in the continuity of the city, in the middle of the revision, there is the Parc de la Resistance, a favorite place of artists and students. It is not surprising, because the presented panorama is breathtaking and worthy of a painting by a great master.
A city with so many students is an open-air university. Many buildings in Urbino belong to the university, a major player in the city’s economy. The Library of San Girolamo is one of them. Originally a monastery, then a prison, the building has recently been transformed into a magnificent library where students can study in the monks’ former cells. Don’t hesitate to take a look when you are in Urbino to admire the surrounding hills.
Where to sleep and eat?
Being a student town, it’s easy to eat cheaply in Urbino. However, it is also possible to treat yourself to small pleasures by visiting the delicious restaurants of Antica Osteria da la Stella and Angolo Divino.
You couldn’t be a better place to explore the city and walk around in the evening, Hotel San Domenico is perfect to recharge your batteries in front of the Ducal Palace and the cathedral.
To accompany you on your visits to Urbino, in French or English, the guide Flavio Orazi will know how to guide you and inform you perfectly like a true lover of his city: GuideUrbino
For more information about the city and its activities: Come to Urbino
Explore other Italian cities: