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Points of Interest

Acqualagna

Acqualagna - a town of 4,000 inhabitants near Gola del Furlo, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino - is characterized by a centuries-old tradition of search, production, and commercialization of the truffle. It is nowadays the seat of harvesters and traders working on the worldwide market. The truffle market of Acqualagna is considered as the privileged seat of the wholesale trade: here, about the 2/3 of the whole national production (about 5-600 quintals of all varieties of truffle) are produced. The countries where there is more demand are Germany (the most important European consumer), Belgium, Holland, France (which produces great quantities of black truffle in the Midi), USA, and Canada.

When you visit Acqualagna to taste the truffle, you will be surrounded by a wonderful scenery: Furlo, the territory of Comunità Montana del Catria e Nerone, Urbino, the nearby seaside. The beauty of the environment surrounding the town and the fragrance of the truffle transform Acqualagna in a very special place.


 

Fossombrone

If you go along the Metauro valley from Fano towards the hinterland, Fossombrone will suddenly appear to you lying between the plain and the hills in the point where the valley gets narrow, closed between the forgers of the Cesane and the steep slope of the hill of the Cappuccini. If you look at it from a distance, the town seems characterized by a thick sloping down of roofs from which the bell towers of the main churches, the façade of some noble palace, and the large wing of the Corte Alta dei Montefeltro with its aerial open gallery emerge. At the top of the hill of S.Aldebrando, there are the remains of the fortress of the Malatesta and Montefeltro families.
If you have a closer look, it is easy to find in the urban texture the three main development stages of the town, the result of a deep relationship between historical events and geographical features. On the high hill, under the fortress, there is the germ of the present town, "la Cittadella" which formed in the period of the Barbarian incursions and in the Middle Ages, when the elevated position was a synonym and a guarantee of safety. When the defence needs diminished, the settlement began to extend and reached the foot of the hill; the buildings were placed on roads which ran parallel to the Flaminia, and were enriched with elegant façades and porticos. It is the Fossombrone of the Malatesta and Montefeltro families, characterized by a lively cultural and economic life: the wool processing, the paper mills, and the stamped leather workings together with the flourishing agriculture transformed the town in the richest and most dynamic center of the middle basin of the Metauro. Because of the flourishing economy and the consequent demographical increase, Fossombrone gradually extended from the 17th century in the South of the Flaminia, and it covered the whole plain near the river, according to a project by Capocaccia and the will of the last Duke of Urbino. Fossombrone remained within the 17th century walls up to the recent building expansion towards the East along the Flaminia, attracted by the area of S. Martino del Piano, where in the 2nd century B.C. its history began with the name of Forum Sempronii and where the rests of the ancient Roman town are gradually being discovered.

Museums and Libraries

Further information


 

Urbino

Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale, one of the most eminent works of art of the Renaissance, represents the real treasure of Urbino and houses the National Picture Gallery of the Marches. The building has been conceived by Luciano Laurana, who christened with his name the two sharp Towers: with their sixty meters of height, they are an original invention and represent the visual symbol of the town. Other architects took part in the building of the structure and left a trace of their passage: they are Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Girolamo Genga.

The most ancient part of the palace is the long side adorned with mullioned windows, in front of the Gothic Church of S.Domenico. After admiring the compactness of the exterior, with wonderful windows and portals, we enter into the charming and harmonious ceremonial courtyard where it is necessary to stop and admire the proportions of the sides, the drawing of arches and columns, the chromatic game of the materials used, from the red of the brick to the clear color of the travertine marble, the praise in Latin dedicated to the great Federico on the double frieze surrounding the whole courtyard and giving the idea of harmony and balance which is typical of the early Renaissance. Palazzo Ducale can be visited by following an ideal itinerary around the image of Federico II of Montefeltro. Through what has been considered the first monumental staircase of the Italian civil architecture, you have access to the noble floors housing nowadays the National Picture Gallery of the Marches.

Architecture, works of art, charming places. Short itineraries throughout four centuries of history

On the left of the palace the imposing building of the Cathedral rises: it was ruined by the 1781 earthquake and rebuilt by Valadier with neoclassical forms. The most important external elements are represented by the imposing façade, a solemn entrance, and the high dome. Inside, the structure has a nave and two aisles and the ceiling is decorated with barrel vaults: you can find valuable paintings like the Martyrdom of San Sebastiano and the Establishment of Eucharist by Federico Barocci. Next to it there is Museo Albani, where works of art, paintings, majolicas, and the treasure of the Cathedral are preserved.

The Roman Theater, Santo Chiara Monastery, Santo Croce Oratory, Bonaventura Palace

Through the nearby alley, from where you can see on the left the 1943 excavations which brought back to light the rests of the Roman Theater built in the first half of the 1st century A.D., you get to Piazza Gherardi, where you can admire the Church's apse. By following via Santa Chiara, you get to the former monastery of Santa Chiara (which is currently the seat of the "Scuola di Progettazione Grafica ISIA"), with a courtyard enriched by an arcade and balconies by Francesco di Giorgio Martini: from here, you can enjoy a charming view over the Mausoleum of the Dukes. Opposite the former monastery, the Oratory of Santa Croce with the beautiful Gothic portal and, inside, the paintings by Ottaviano Nelli, Giovanni Santi (Raffaello's father) and by Picchi. In Via Saffi we find the Bonaventura Palace, where the Montefeltro family lived, as it is witnessed by the coat of arms above the portal reminding Gothic lines and currently the seat of the University established in 1506.


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