Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region in Italy, south-west of Pesaro, 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, only slightly marred by the large car parks below the town.

The University of Urbino dates back to 1506 when Duke Guidobaldo I founded the "Collegio dei Dottori", and from its inception, it continued to grow and develop.

While the student body and faculties gradually increased and developed over time, it was under the long and fruitful presidency of Senator for Life, Carlo Bo, that the University enjoyed unprecedented growth in size and prestige, prompting the former President of the European Community Commission, Roy Jenkins, to state that "the University of Urbino is an incisive presence in contemporary thought, contributing in original ways to the cultural and intellectual life of Europe".

The University of Urbino now has around 20,000 students and is known for the quality of its teaching and research.

The art of Maiolica in Urbino

Fine Crafts...

The clay earth of Urbino, which still supports industrial brickworks, supplied a cluster of earthenware manufactories (botteghe) making the tin-glazed pottery known as maiolica.

Simple local wares were being made in the 15th century at Urbino, but after 1520 the Della Rovere dukes, Francesco Maria I della Rovere and his successor Guidobaldo II, encouraged the industry, which exported wares throughout Italy.

First in a manner called istoriato using engravings after Mannerist painters, then in a style of light arabesques and grottesche, after the manner of Raphael's stanzi at the Vatican.

The great name in Urbino majolica was that of Nicolo Pillipario's son Guido Fontana.

Main sights in Urbino

Art and History...

The main attraction of Urbino is the Ducal Palace, begun in the second half of the 15th century by Federico II da Montefeltro. It houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in the world.

This picture is meant to represent the famous mathematician Euclid of Alexandria, who was, in medieval times, wrongly identified with Euclid of Megara, the disciple of Socrates. Author: Justus of Ghent (National Gallery of Marche - Ducal Palace of Urbino)

The Duomo (Cathedral) of Urbino is the main church of the city.

Remained of similar magnitude to the previous Renaissance cathedral, demolished by an earthquake in 1789 and rebuilt in neoclassical style, measuring 64.5 m. in length, 36,8 m. in width and 50 m. in height. It is dedicated to St. Mary of the Assumption.

The church of San Giovanni Battista, the most important monument after the Ducal Palace for its fifteenth-century paintings of the Salimbeni.

The construction was completed in the last decade of the century XIV, but the facade, of Gothic imitation, was rebuilt at the beginning of the century XX.

Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Urbino with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.