A Guide to Exploring Urbino Italy: Itinerary and Must-Do Activities in a Day

One Day In Urbino Italy, Itinerary & Things To Do

# One Day in Urbino Italy: Itinerary & Things to Do

This comprehensive one day itinerary in Urbino, Italy, will guide you through the best things to do in this beautiful city. Urbino, known for its stunning Renaissance architecture and rich history, offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for travelers. From exploring the Ducal Palace to visiting historical churches and enjoying the lively atmosphere of Piazza della Repubblica, Urbino has something for everyone. Let’s dive into this exciting itinerary and discover the wonders of Urbino.

## A Short History of Montefeltro & Urbino

Urbino’s Renaissance fame can be attributed to one man, the Duke of Montefeltro. Federico, a famous mercenary general, transformed Urbino into a cultural center rivaling Florence. The duke attracted renowned artists such as Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, and Raphael’s father, Giovanni Santi. Despite the salacious claim of seizing power by killing his half-brother, there is no solid evidence to support it. Federico married twice and had six daughters and a son, Guidobaldo. Although Guidobaldo’s health was poor, his court continued to attract influential figures even after his death. Baldassare Castiglione, a member of Guidobaldo’s entourage, authored the Renaissance classic “The Book of the Courtier.”

## Urbino Today

Today, Urbino is a small town with a population of around 24,000 residents, mostly consisting of students from the local university. Unlike other tourist-heavy cities, Urbino offers a unique and less crowded experience, making it a haven for those seeking an authentic Italian adventure. With its medieval walls, steep streets, and beautiful squares, Urbino is a visual delight.

## Ducal Palace: The Top Attraction

The Ducal Palace is the centerpiece of Urbino and a must-visit attraction. This UNESCO World Heritage Site houses a remarkable collection of artworks commissioned by Federico. Paintings by renowned artists such as Raphael, Giovanni Santi, Titian, Paolo Uccello, and Piero della Francesca can be admired here. The architectural genius behind this masterpiece is Luciano Laurana, who drew inspiration from Florence’s Medici-Ricardi palace. The palace’s western facade, adorned with delicate twin towers and a triumphal loggia, is a sight to behold.

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The palace was once home to around 200 individuals and served as a proper royal residence. As you explore the palace, you’ll be captivated by its Renaissance courtyards, elegant stone rosettes, and intricate architectural details. The National Museum of the Marche, located within the palace, houses significant artworks, including Raphael’s “Portrait of a Gentlewoman” and Piero della Francesca’s “Flagellation of Christ.”

## Piazza della Repubblica: The Heart of Urbino

Begin your one day in Urbino at Piazza della Repubblica, the city’s main square. Surrounded by Renaissance buildings, this square showcases the architectural elegance of the period. Enjoy a coffee or pastry at one of the cafes, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of Urbino.

## Urbino Cathedral: A Neo-Classical Gem

Urbino Cathedral, located on one side of Piazza della Repubblica, is a mammoth Neo-Classical church. Although it may seem out of place next to the Renaissance architecture, it is a testament to the city’s diverse architectural styles. Explore the church’s beautiful interior, featuring sculptures by Camillo Rusconi and paintings by Urbino artists.

## Church of San Bernardino: A Hidden Gem

Visit the Church of San Bernardino, a hidden gem in Urbino. This small church boasts stunning frescoes by renowned artists, providing a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of the city. Admire the intricate details and vibrant colors of these masterpieces.

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## Oratory of St. John: A Spiritual Retreat

For a peaceful retreat, head to the Oratory of St. John. This small chapel is known for its beautiful ceiling frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist. Take a moment to reflect and appreciate the serene atmosphere of this hidden gem.

## Raphael’s Birthplace: A Pilgrimage for Art Enthusiasts

Raphael, one of the most celebrated artists of the Renaissance, was born in Urbino. Visit his birthplace, now a museum dedicated to his life and works, and gain insights into the artist’s early years. Discover the influences that shaped his artistic journey and admire some of his early works.

## Albornoz Fortress: A View of Urbino

End your day with a visit to Albornoz Fortress. This medieval fortress offers panoramic views of Urbino and its surrounding countryside. Take in the breathtaking vistas and revel in the beauty of this historic city from above.

## Final Thoughts

One day in Urbino is not nearly enough to fully explore this captivating city. However, this itinerary provides a glimpse into Urbino’s rich history, art, and culture. Whether you are an art enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking for an authentic Italian experience, Urbino offers a unique and rewarding adventure. Immerse yourself in the Renaissance charm of Urbino, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


**Q: Is Urbino crowded with tourists?**
A: No, Urbino offers a unique and less crowded experience compared to other popular Italian cities. You can enjoy the beauty of Urbino without the overwhelming crowds.

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**Q: What are some other attractions in Urbino?**
A: In addition to the Ducal Palace, Urbino offers several other attractions worth visiting, such as the Botanical Garden, Raphael’s Tomb, and the University of Urbino.

**Q: Can I visit Urbino on a day trip from nearby cities?**
A: Yes, Urbino is easily accessible from cities like Florence, Bologna, and Rimini. It is recommended to plan a full day to explore Urbino and fully immerse yourself in its beauty and charm.

**Q: Are there any local specialties or traditional dishes to try in Urbino?**
A: Yes, Urbino is known for its delicious cuisine. Traditional dishes include Crescentine, Passatelli, and Caciotta di Urbino, a local cheese. Don’t miss the opportunity to try these authentic flavors during your visit.

**Q: Can I book a guided tour of Urbino?**
A: Yes, guided tours are available for those who prefer a more in-depth exploration of Urbino. A guided tour can enhance your experience and provide valuable insights into the city’s history and culture.

**Q: Is Urbino suitable for families with children?**
A: Yes, Urbino is a family-friendly destination. Children can enjoy exploring the winding streets, visiting historical sites, and experiencing the unique atmosphere of this Renaissance gem.

So, embark on your one day journey through Urbino, Italy, and immerse yourself in the beauty of its Renaissance architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. A visit to Urbino is a true feast for the senses and a memorable experience that will leave a lasting impression.

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