Coat of arms of the province of Pesaro and Urbino
Pesaro-Urbino, the beautiful province Pesaro and Urbino is the northernmost province in the Marche region, situated between the Adriatic sea and the Apennine mountains in direct contact with Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, it is the ideal base from where to visit and explore the territories of central Italy. One of the striking aspects of the area is the amazing variety of colours displayed by the changing seasons, a tuneful composition that emanates from the green of the wooded hills to the blue of the sea. As does the long coastline with its beaches nestling against a backcloth of hills surmounted by ancient hilltowns and castles. History and nature blend to become one and the same. Urbino still preserves the atmosphere of the ideal Italian renaissance town set in the territory of Montefeltro, an area rich in castles and ruins standing on impervious crags, sanctuaries and churches rising out of open fields or nestling on the edges of woods, stately homes and solemn ducal palaces.
The blue of the sea Visiting this part of the Adriatic means enjoying the spectacle of two of the very few headlands on the entire coastline, San Bartolo and Ardizio, taking advantage of the tranquillity of small isolated coves or experiencing the more frequented yet just as inviting sandy beaches. Forty kilometres of soft sand stretching from Gabicce to Marotta, between Pesaro and Fano, the beach is even wider and the rocky shore creates safe havens for those who prefer to enjoy the sea while immersed in the green of the countryside.
Walking tours in the San Bartolo Park The choice to open paths was not an easy one. On the one hand, the Park Authority felt the need to safeguard this fragile territory and to work together with the residents to identify and render viable the thick network of historical paths, the local farm and city roads which intersect the territory even though it is not always simple to understand from the maps that which has been lost or improperly used. There are five marked paths and the Park Authority is working to mark and prepare others.
A visit you can't lose… Path no. 1: Bocca del Lupo Path no. 2: Strada della Marina Path no. 3: Sentiero Vincolungo Path no. 4: Sentiero Vallugola Path no. 5: Sentiero delle Chiese
The towns The province of Pesaro-Urbino has an area of 2,892 km², and a total population of 365,249. There are 67 communes. communes As for May 31, 2005, the main communes by population are:May 312005 TownsInhabitants Pesaro91,977 Fano62,106 Urbino15,377 Mondolfo11,504 Fossombrone9,687 Cagli8,975 Fermignano8,155 Sant'Angelo in Lizzola7,709 Cartoceto7,105 Novafeltria6,978 Pergola6,828 Urbania6,780 Tavullia6,032 Montelabbate5,917 Saltara5,705 Colbordolo5,680 Gabicce Mare5,639 Lunano1,232
The Ducal Palace However, the building was mainly the work of the famous Dalmatian architect Luciano Laurana who designed the wonderful Cortile d’Onore (Courtyard of Honour) and the main stairs and who raised the linking elements with the old Castellare, designing also the wonderful façade with the Torricini (twin towers). When Laurana left Urbino in 1472, he was substituted by Francesco di Giorgio Martini who almost completed the building and designed the decoration of the façade overlooking the internal part of the city. For the portals’ and windows’ moulding he called the Milanese sculptor Ambrogio Barocci, who also made the main decorations of the big internal rooms and halls. After the death of the Duke Federico (1482), the imposing building was interrupted. Only in the first half of the 16th century the architect Girolamo Genga added the second floor, eliminating the battlements and alas, altering the original features of the whole building which is today home to the National Gallery of Marche. The Ducal Palace is a wonderful Renaissance Court, but also a fortified building if compared to the below Piano del Mercatale. It can be reached through the big helicoidal spiral stairs designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (which connected the Montefeltro Residence to the Data Stables and the exterior of the walls). The grand “building was built by the will of Federico da Montefeltro, who initially entrusted the works to Maso Di Bartolomeo from Florence (in the mid-15th century), who included in the new building the old building called Della Jole.
The castle of Gradara Situated at 142 metres above sea level, with the Republic of San Marino, Rimini and Carpegna in the background, Gradara represents an extraordinary urban and architectural combination. Legend has it that the castle was the scene of the famous and tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, caught in each other's arms and killed by Gianciotto, Francesca's husband. This love story was immortalized by Dante in his Divine Comedy.
San Leo Castle The Fortress of San Leo was built in the Middle Ages and it was here at the end of the first Millennium, that Germanic rulers gave birth to the Holy Roman Empire. The fortress of San Leo itself was enlarged in the 16th Century by the great Siena military architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini under Duke Federico II da Montefeltro. It was here, in this impregnable castle, that the famous adventurer Giuseppe Balsamo, better known as Count Cagliostro, lived his last days of imprisonment.
Sant’agata Feltria Rocca Fregoso S. Agata Feltria is the furthest outpost of the ancient Duchy of Urbino on the border with Romagna and stands beneath the bare rock on which the imposing castle of Rocca Fregoso has been built.
Sassocorvaro Its name Sassocorvaro goes back to the 13th century. It is probably due to the founder father named Corbarius or, according to other sources, to many rooks - ‘corvi’ - which used to make their home among local rocks and stones. Ottaviano of the Ubaldini wanted to build the Fortress on behalf of Federico of the Montefeltro in 1475. This building is an extraordinary historical example of military architecture. It was designed by the famous architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, and was the first Italian fortress to be able to resist the bombard.
Rocca di Mondavio The castle of Mondavio stands proud, dominating the valleys of the river Metauro and the Cesano. Still today,it is possible to breath the atmosphere of times gone by: the rooms of the castle are “alive” with waxworks of cavaliers and their ladies, complete with costumes and lighting of the era.
Furlo Gorge Shortly after Fossombrone, the Flaminia Road picks up again, almost completely renovated as far as the Umbrian border. Thus we must take the old route to venture into the deep and spectacular FURLO GORGE, named from the latin forulus, or hole, openened by the Emperor Vespasian in 76 A.C. at the point in which the Flaminia was interrupted by a boulder stuck in the gorge, at the bottom of which the Candigliano stream flows lazily. The tall, rocky walls, descending steeply towards the stream, offer a charming scenic effect all along the gorge, which is a couple of kilometers long. In the Furlo gorge nature reserve there are equipped family picnic areas and canoe hiring to explore the crystal clear waters of the river Candigliano.