Urbino. A little UNESCO heritage village immersed inside the center of Italy, also well known for the important university that the city has. I had the chance to visit the city quite often, due to the fact that I grow up in Fano (only 1h an 15m from Urbino).
If you are looking for a special place where you can go and relax inside the beauty of the Italian artistic history… that’s the right place. The village is situated on the top of a hill and around all you can see are just immense green or white (during the winter season) hills. No contamination, no pollution, no loud noise, just a full immersion inside the typical italian countryside life. The all village is a walled city, where the only thing that escapes from this walls is the immense medieval palace of the Montefeltro duke of Urbino.
Getting to Urbino
Well I won’t lie to you it takes a while. Once you land in the Italian country the first thing you have to do from wherever you are is take the train to Pesaro (I advice you to book it online before leaving)a city which is located on the west-side of Urbino, it wont cost you more than 50 EU. Once you get there wait for the “Panoramica Pesaro-Urbino” bus that cost 3EU, and then let your journey inside the countryside begin. The bus is a direct run that in a journey made by 45 minutes of views of green hills and little villages , takes you right in the middle of Urbino straight in the front of the Montefeltro palace.
Thing to do in Urbino
The right question should be what not to do. The right first thing you should do is book a visit of the Montefeltro palace, built in the 1506 , restored and now made into a Renaissance Gallery where you can find painting from Raphael, Piero della Francesca, Joos van Wassenhove, and lot more. Walking around the palace you will also get to see the beauty of the “Studiolo” a all room buil in wood and fully carved as a fake-real library, you also be able to see the chaple of absolution and the temple of the muse, two little twin chaples one christian and one pagan; and your journey inside the palace will end inside the picturesque arcaded courtyard situated in the middle of the palace, all at 5EU. After that take yourself on a walk around the little tangled and picturesque streets of the village. Don’t forget to visit the house of Raphael where you can see his first works and where the great artist grow up, only cost 3EU, or the “Oratorio San Giovanni” where inside you can find a all round cicle of frescoes made by Lorenzo and Giacomo Salimbeni in the 1400. Then rent a car, cost from 35EU to 65EU, and take a ride inside the little villages and cities around Urbino, from Gradara the nearest one (only 30 minuts) to Pesaro or Fano, some of the sea cities on the Adriatic coast near Urbino (1h and 15 minuts). Do not get yourself fooled by the distances, the journey take less than what you expected and it would leave you breathless by the beauty of the nature the surround that land.
On thursady evening, there’s the students night out, where all the university students (coming from all the world) go out and spend their evening inside typical locals or bar, reviving the evinings of the city but not disturbing the quite that the city has it self.
Urbino Food and Dining
There are an immense numbers of places where you can go and eat typical italian foods and meals like the “crescia” of Urbino, a special type of Pizza made only in this zone of Italy. Don’t forget to have a typical Italian cappuccino-breakfast at the Caffè del Corso bar. Treat yourself a lunch or a dinner in Acqualagna, the first well known village all over Italy for his stunning black truffle, that will be served to you in all the ways you can possibly imagine it. And if you are a wine lover, the all zone is surrounded by DOC quality wines, and wineries.
From the 5 stars to the bed & breakfast, Urbino allows you an extended choice of where to sleep and rest during your stay. Prices go around 60 EU per night, in a 3 stars hotel in the center, or more than 100 EU per night in the highest levels hotels of the village. Just let me give you a little advice, don’t force yourself into a 5 stars hotels that take all your money away, of course the place where you have to sleep and rest has to be up to your standards, but remember that the quality of hotels in Italy is really high, so even a simple 3 stars hotel or bed & breakfast is a comfortable and lovely place. My personal advice is to find for yourself a room that allows you to have a full view of the city; waking up in front of it is worth a thousand of money and is breathtaking!
SO WHY URBINO?
Urbino, in my own personal judgement, is a place that you have to see at least once in your life time. And if you don’t believe at my personal opinion, let me tell you that all the zone is full of tourist coming from all the world, people that comes here once, usually, gets back here two or even three other times because of the beauty and the peace of this places. Citizens of Urbino are always smiling at you, and they are really helpful if you have any problems, i remember once i got lost and an University student walked me to the point where I was supposed to arrive, and she didn’t even want anything in return.
So what else to say? If you want to embrace the peacefully life ot the picturesque italian country side, that’s the right journey for you.