Str. Pigno Monte Martello 103, Cagli (PU)
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The Roman city of Urvinum Metaurense became an important center during the Gothic Wars in the 6th century. It was then taken in 538 by the Byzantine Belisarius, removing it from the Goths, and was frequently named by the Byzantine historian Procopio. It then passed into the dominion of the Lombards and then of the Franks. Although the king of the Franks Pippin offered Urbino to the Church Statethe independent and autonomous traditions were still represented by the Municipality. Around 1200, Urbino fell under the dominion of the nobles who were fighting against each other in nearby Montefeltro..

The most famous exponent of the Montefeltro was Federico, lord of Urbino from 1444 to 1482successful leader, skilled diplomat and enthusiastic patron of arts and literature. In 1444 he took power as Guidantonio's natural son, after the conspiracy and assassination of the legitimate Oddantonio, unpopular for the "immoderate lust" and excessive taxation exercised during his seventeen months of government. Federico put his hand to the pressing political problems and began a reorganization of the state, which also included a restructuring of the city according to a modern, comfortable, rational and beautiful imprint. All his efforts, in the almost forty years of government, were aimed at this purpose which, thanks to his extraordinary skills combined with a remarkable fortune, came in a whisker from full realization.

At his court, Piero della Francesca wrote his Science of Perspective, Francesco di Giorgio Martini wrote his treatise on architecture (concluding the renovation works of the Doge's Palace started by Luciano Laurana), and Raphael's father RaffaelloGiovanni Santi, wrote his poetic account of the main artists of the period. Federico's brilliant court, through the descriptions of Baldassarre Castiglione in Il Cortegiano, introduced the characters of the so-called "gentleman" in Europe, which remained fully in vogue until the twentieth century. 

Palazzo Ducale, today houses Marche National Gallery Marche where, among othersis exhibitedLa città ideale"La Città Ideale" (legend has it that once he found himself in front of this painting, Picasso asked for a chair and sat there enraptured for the next 24 hours) and two important works by Piero della Francesca: "The flagellation of Christ" and "The Madonna of Senigallia".

Upon reservation you can visit the Casa di RaffelloVia Raffaello 57, 61029 Urbino (PU)
ph. +39.0722.320105 / e-mail: