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Urbino

Group meets in Piazzale Roma in Riccione at 8.20 hours; departure by de luxe coach at 8.30. The journey to Urbino lasts about 1 hour. You’ll drive along the 423 main road Urbinate which crosses several picturesque villages of the Marches’ inland. Arrival at Piazzale Mercatale around 9.30; you’ll be immediately immersed in the Renaissance atmosphere when admiring the “Façade of the Turretes”, symbol of Urbino, which towers above the Piazzale.

Then you’ll walk along the steep via Mazzini up to Piazza della Reppublica, the heart of city life from where the main streets depart. Not far from here stands the imposing neo-classic Cathedral, almost completely rebuilt by the architect Giuseppe Valadier between 1789 and 1801. Inside you’ll admire valuable works of art, among which “The Last Super” by Barocci. The second visit of your sightseeing is dedicated to the Ducal Palace, the most outstanding residence of the Renaissance, wanted by the Duke Federico II di Montefeltro.

The palace, first commissioned to the architect Maso di Bartolomeo in 1444, was enlarged by Luciano Laurana in 1465 and completed by Franceso di Giorgio Martini. Your visit will start from the splendid Courtyard of Honor and it will proceed through the various apartment the following a chronological order. The most significant room is certainly the precious Study of Duke. The Palace is also the seat of the National Gallery of the Marches, which houses precious and rare works of art by Piero della Francesca, Raffaello, Giusto di Grand, Tiziano, Paolo Uccello and many others. Lunch.

The first visit in the afternoon is the Church of San Francesco flanked by a remarkable portico of the 14th century and the elegant brick bell tower. Afterwards you’ll visit Raphael’s house which preserves a magnificent “Madonna and Child” and other valuable works of art. Following via Raffaello you arrive at Piazzale Roma, a green area dominated by the monument dedicated to Raffaello Sanzio, which, as a balcony, overlooks the enchanting view of the “New City” and of the luxuriant countryside surrounded by gentle hills and severe mountains in the distance. Your next destination is the nearby Albornoz Fortress, erected by order of cardinal Grimoard in the 14th century. From here you enjoy a splendid panoramic view of the “Ancient Urbino”, of faraway imposing tops of the Appennines and Mount Nerone.

The last visit is dedicated to the 14th century Oratory of San Giovanni Battista which houses a cycle of late Gothic frescoes by the brothers Lorenzo and Jacopo Salimbeni, not far stands the 16th century Oratory of San Giuseppe which holds a suggestive nativity in stucco by Federico Brandani of the same period. Ehen leaving Urbino, on your right, you can admire the majestic Duke’s Mausoleum, a masterwork by Bramante, where the Dukes Federico and Guidobaldo are buried….

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