This gorgeous walled city nestled in the Marche hills and world heritage site is one of Italys best cultural destinations, its historical centre is vastly un-spoilt and beautifully unchanged for centuries
The walled city of Urbino is a jumble of winding streets, ancient palaces and palazzos standing proudly amongst the rolling countryside of central Marche. Set against a backdrop of mist covered mountains, this really is a most picturesque town. This one-time cultural capital of the Renaissance, and birthplace of Raphael, is a must for history and art lovers, yet still remains less crowded than its more famous counterparts.
What to do
Explore the turreted Palazzo Ducale and the National Gallery of Le Marche. The palace is a rambling pile, considered one of the great Italian buildings of the 15th century, housing first class collections from Raphael, Piero della Francesca, Uccello, Titian and Barocci.
Next door to the palace you will find the Cathedral of Urbino. It has a most impressive neo classical façade topped with seven statues of the guardian saints. Inside you will find two beautiful paintings by Federico Barocci as well as a fascinating cave area, used to protect some of Italy's finest treasures during the second world war.
A few paces up the hill is the house of Raffaello, the house where the artist was born and spent his early years. Inside you will find artefacts from the time as well as a mural by the boy, an interesting insight into life at the time.
Take a stroll around the botanical gardens. These impressive gardens are over 200 years old and were established by the university in the name of scientific research. Housing an impressive array of species these small but relaxing gardens provide a calming oasis in the centre of town.
Where to eat
For excellent local produce in a cosy setting head to Tartufi Antiche Bonta. Pass through the delicatessen, down stairs to the small restaurant area. Enjoy huge boards of local cheeses, meats, truffles and bread, all washed down with local wine. Great value and friendly service, book ahead at this popular eatery.
For fine dining head to Antica Osteria da laStella. Housed in a beautiful 15th century building you will find a charming restaurant serving innovative food using the highest quality local ingredients. Although not cheap this is often rated as one of the finest restaurants in Urbino, if not the whole region.
For a delicious traditional fare head to La Trattoria del Leone. Enjoy the excellent value fixed price menu. Friendly service and generous portions of local classics such as wild boar stew and game meat pasta all served alongside a good selection of local wines.
For some of the best gelato in town head to Officinia del Gelato - Puro & Bio. Delicious gelatos, sorbets and frozen desserts in a vast array of creative flavours. Good sized portions and service with a smile.
How to get there
The nearest airports are located at Rimini (32km) Marche/Ancona (59km) Perugia (71km) and Bologna (139km). Although there is no train station in town, it is possible to get the train to the nearest stops of Pesaro or Fano and from there get a bus into town. The easiest way to arrive is by hire car, but it's worth bearing in mind that much of the city is pedestrianised.
Browse our Le Marche collection
We have a wide range of villas and apartments in Le Marche to suit all holidays. From large villas for groups of families & friends to enjoy together, to cosy romantic hideaways for couples and honeymooners