Urbino is the best-known city of Marche. This is not a place for a fleeting visit, but rather a careful exploration and review. You will slow down to savor the enthralling spirit of history that haunts the magnificent buildings of this city. The splendor of Urbino cannot be portrayed in words; instead, you must spend time wandering the ancient streets to acquire a true understanding of the city's history.
With picturesque stone dwellings scattered along charming city streets and the celebrated Ducal Palace dominating its skyline, Urbino encompasses all that is classic Italy. Urbino is home to many art treasures and Renaissance monuments, including Piero della Francesca's Ideal City and Raphael's ornate house. The cultural beauty within the city walls is rivaled only by the magnificence of the region's surrounding mountains and valleys.
Start at the Piazza Duca Federico by the neo-classical style Cathedral which contains fine paintings by Federico Barocci. Discover the house of Raffaello, the church of St. Domenico, the university, and the Oratories of Santa Croce and St. Giovanni Battista. Finally, continue on to the Ducal Palace, the greatest jewel in town. Built for Federico da Montefeltro by architect Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, it is a masterpiece of Renaissance art.
Modern Urbino is above all a lively university town. The Universita' degli Studi, it is one of the largest private institutions in the country. In Urbino, the students outnumber the general population.
A traveler can also use Urbino as a base for excursions to the towns and villages throughout the northern part of Marche, towns as serene and lovely as those in Tuscany although less known.