Urbino is historically famous for the Università
Libera (Free University), founded in 1506. It is the seat
of a renowned Academy of Beautiful Arts and an Institute for
the Decoration and Illustration of Books. The City, for its
historical, artistic and cultural importance, is associated
with Pesaro regarding the domination of the province; situated
high up on a hilly ridge, culminating in two heights and longitudinally
orientated with steep lanes, all enclosed by ancient City
It is the native land of Raffaello Sanzio, Baroccio and Brandanti.
Included in the Exarchate of Ravenna, after a short period
of Longobard domination (752-756), it passed hands to the
Church (8th Century) and in 1155, became the seat of the Imperial
vicarship. A county from 1213, its standing was then raised
when the Church changed it to a Duchy (1443). The Montefeltro
Family gave the City a notable economic impulse, but above
all, it was embellished with splendid works of art and gifted
with a University and an import library. Passed over to the
Della Rovere in 1508, it was once again brought under the
direct administration of the apostolic main seat in 1631.
After French occupation in 1797, it was annexed to the Roman
Republic (1798) and then to the Italian Reign (1808). In 1860,
it was part of the insurrectional revolts in the region.
Just like the City of Pesaro, Urbino also has scarce evidence
of ancient times and in this case, it also includes little
Roman testimony, whilst dating back to the Gothic age, there
are the churches of San Domenico (preceding 1365), with their
Renaissance doorways (the interior though, was completely
redone by Luigi Vanvitelli between 1727 and 1732) and that
of San Francesco, from the second half of the 14th Century,
the interior of which was also transformed by Vanvitelli (1740).
There is another Gothic testimony in the form of The Oratory
of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), in which
you can find preserved frescoes (1416) by the Salimbeni brothers.