Before I went to Marche I knew the history of Urbino and that I knew I definitely wanted to visit it. Watching a portrait of the famous duke of Urbino – Duca Federico – and his wife in Galleria Uffizi, made me wondering how this city really looks like. Although Galleria Uffizi was a disappointment I was enthusiastic about my visit in Urbino. After all, not every day you visit the city pictured over five hundred years ago by a famous painter! I was aware of impressive cultural heritage of this city, especially works of Piero della Francesca, but what I saw in Urbino exceeded my expectations. So I went to Urbino twice. And I would do it again. With great pleasure!
I saw Urbino for the first time in a golden hour of sunset. It made amazing impression on me: a perfect city located on Marche hills with stunning architecture and unmistakeable landmarks. When I entered the city it was still warm, just a perfect moment to enjoy italian summer when rocks and city walls give back the heat of the day. Even passing by city walls warm you up and I sincerely love this feeling.
Funny thing: I lived only about 15 km from Urbino, in Casale degli Ulivi, but due to very hilly landscape I didn’t see the city before I literally entered it. In fact, the road to Urbino is not only full of ups and downs but also numerous turns and it all makes it a huge surprise: when you finally see the city you’re almost in!
From the very first moment you get the impression that Urbino is a university city. Downtown is filled with students having their aperitivo, meeting with friends or chilling out after a day spent inside the ancient walls. And this impression is both: true and pleasant. Visiting a city after sunset and finding it crowded, vibrant and loud makes me think this city is alive. Despite ancient architecture and a long history it is still attractive to young people. I even have a second thought of regret that I didn’t chose Urbino to study in Italy. It is charming!
Once I visited my friend in Switzerland and we went together to Lausanne. She told me that in Lausanne girls have most beautiful legs because they need to walk up and down everyday due to hills where Lausanne is located. After 10 years of visiting numerous cities around the world I can tell you it’s not only in Lausanne. On the contrary, cities constructed on hills are popular, especially in Europe. A good example is Urbino: so many hills, tiny little streets and breathtaking views it would be hard to find a similar one!
What Urbino is all about is Renaissance. City center was enlisted a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for good reason: it is a perfect example of a renaissance architecture and until today it kept its original structure and character. Precious! Walking around allows you to imagine how life in Renaissance was. I love the way it is kept and its public spaces are used today. And – as majority of places visited by me – there is no hordes of tourists. Only crowd is made by students and locals which I especially like.
I had icecream in early evening and ate it while hanging around the city. The best way to meet locals if you don’t have friends in a city is to enter a bar and have aperitivo. It worked well elsewhere so I thought I’ll try to listen to some local stories. I entered a bar that was as typical as possible: no fancy interior design, only simple chairs and friendly staff. When I ordered prosecco he thought I am an Italian from the north but I clarified my circumstances quickly. There was a mixed bunch of man and woman in this bar, in their late 60s, very friendly folks. We started to talk about sardines from Sardegna and ended up with talking about how good italian life is. I ordered another glass of prosecco and spent that evening with them. At some point a warm pizza arrived and so we all stayed until late. Got back home late but totally relaxed and chilled out.
Urbino was so beautiful that I’ve shared best pictures of Urbino few days ago. Watch it here!
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