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A World Heritage Site, Urbino has long been a hotbed
of cultural production, a reputation it maintains to this
day. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a “revolution”
took place here that significantly altered the cultural
identity of Italy and the Western world as a whole.
The architect of this vision was Federico da
Montefeltro, who brought about the conditions for the
humanist culture of the Italian Renaissance to reach
its apex in the city, calling upon the finest minds and
artists of the era.
Among them were Piero della Francesca, Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini.
In Urbino’s Ducal Palace, a “city in the form of a
palace” (according to Baldassare Castiglione in “The
Book of the Courtier”, 1528), Federico da Montefeltro
created more than a court: he created a cultural centre
so alive, fertile, open and international that it became
the beacon of an entire civilisation.
Urbino was destined to become the temple of beauty,
har-mony, art, science and peace.
Right: Raphael, La Muta (Portrait of a Young Woman) in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche – Palazzo Ducale
It was this calling and this excellence that generated
such a unique atmosphere, an atmosphere which can
still be enjoyed today, and which still has the power
to surprise us and to move forward. With a dynamic,
thriving education sector, Urbino boasts the highest
percentage of educational institutions in the world per
capita. These institutions, whose names carry enormous
prestige thanks to the historic University founded here
in 1506, specialise in various artistic domains at an
international level. They include the Liceo Artistico
“Scuola del Libro”, ISIA (Istituto Superiore Industrie
Artistiche – the Higher Institute of Artistic Industries)
and the Accademia delle Belle Arti (Academy of Fine

“To continue to love and
live in Urbino requires the
ability to connect, beyond
the strands and webs of any
description and relationship,
with the wandering images
of the city, whether astral
or artistic, challenging the
vertigo of the stone eagle who
sits above the abyss on the tip
of the towers every time”.

Paolo Volponi to Ercole Bellucci