La Regione: Le Marche
La città: Urbino
Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region of Italy. It is a 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. The town, nestled on a high sloping hillside, retains much of its picturesque medieval aspect. It hosts the University of Urbino, founded in 1506, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Urbino. Its best-known architectural piece is the Palazzo Ducale,.
The Palazzo Ducale is a magnificent Renaissance architectural masterpiece. It has twin towers (the Torricini) and a fabulous courtyard (il Cortile), and it now houses the National Gallery of the Marche, that exhibits important works of Renaissance art. The most important artists on display at the Gallery are Raffaello, Van Wassenhove, Tiziano, Piero della Francesca and Paolo Uccello.
The most famous member of the Montefeltro family, Federico da Montefeltro, ruled as Duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482. A very successful condottiere (professional military leader), a skillful diplomat, and an enthusiastic patron of art and literature, he took over in 1444 as the son of Guidantonio, after a conspiracy and the murder of the legitimate Oddantonio, hated for his "unbridled lust" and for the excessive taxation exercised during his seventeen months in office.