From Rome to Urbino 300 km and we will go by car.
I am happy. I am in Italy, i will be in Umbria and Tuscany.
This time I will follow the trace of Piero della Francesca, favorite artist of Duke of Urbino Federica da Montefeltro.
Our first stop by the way in Gubbio. Charming medieval city with quaint streets climbed on the slope. Houses are tall, streets are narrow. Everything is closed. Stone strip like ribbon follow to the top of the mountain. City is very nice. And its also the capital of white truffle. I don’t know exactly about white, but black is in the wild forests and founded by specially trained dogs. About white I need to read internet.
We are on the main Piazza Grande with breathtaking view on mountains. In local City Palace there are wooden strange figures. They are huge. I asked what is it and received strange answer. This are medieval special candles, which every year, 15th of May, the strongest men from Gubbio will take to the top of the mountain. Each candle is 400 kg weight. This candle process collect 50000 people. Of course, its religious and sacred.
We bought tomatoes, Tartuffe salsa, bread, cheese. In local pizzeria we ate best pizza in my life ( wad made by real neapolitanian))) And bottle of prossecco, not acid, but dry!
Our overnight place is Casa Disma di Urbino.
I prefer to stay not far away from city to have an opportunity make a walk, make an entrance into the city, approach the city. Because Tuscany and Umbrian cities are more different exterior then inside.
We are tired.
In the morning its cold. In 15 minutes by foot we are near the public parking area near the Urbino city walls and Palazzo. But first – impression of skyline of the city. We ascent on the neighbor hill. And from this point the real beauty of this Ideal City appears. Palazzo is huge , with two tall strong towers, surrounded by monumental wall with arches. Numerous houses visible only by their roofs which went up.
It was symphony of the city.
Passing narrow streets we rich Piazza Ducale and entered Palazzo. Here I want see four highlights – Madonna da Sangallo (PdF), Flagellation (PdF), Ideal city (PdF possible) and Dukes Cabinet.
Flagellation is enigma of PdF. Why? Who they are? What mean artist? Bookshop full with dissertations. Nonreadible.
Madonna with heavy face and tiny eyes. There is a transparent veil with heavy ends on her head. Baby Christ with coral on his neck. This branch of coral is on another masterpiece of PdF – in Brera Gallery in Milano. Coral was the special stone ( its, of course, organic material) which protect from evil. Strange Christian symbol. Its a light in the left corner, which is shining.
In the next room was Ideal City. The presence of people marked by flowers in the windows. There are only two beings – on the second floor from right side are two pigeons.
And there was a surprise for me – portrait of Mute by Raphael. All around is dark. And only women which dress is photographically detailed present in the room. This women was the wife of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, son of magnificent Duke of Urbino Frederic.
And then I entered to the private science room of Duke. Its small. Marquetry cover walls 2 -3m up. Here are all what was interesting for Duke. And he was very curious and talented person. So, there are astronomy, traveling, hunting, animals, architecture ext. All surface covered with Marquetry
We exist from the palace for dinner. This is real Italy with thin crimple pizza, with pasta, nioki or another delight with Tartuffe salsa.
From the city walls visible monastery on another hill. Not far away. This is San. Bernardino Church and Duce memorial. In reality its 20 min by foot with super view on Urbino. I didn’t understand what mean Duce memorial. Church opened at 3pm after Death Mess, catafalque- jaguar car go away and I asked again about Duce memorial. Locals had no ideas. We entered to the church. Its poor, bad restoration. And o! From the left side Frederico and from the right Guidobaldo da Montefeltro looked at me. Of course, their busts. And grave marble stone on the floor. In such a misery!… I didn’t take photo.
We followed the road . All trees in blossom, numerous flowers, butterflies, birds sing songs… And Urbino, this charming city from right side. We get to our Casa di Disma and Mr.Bruno advised to us visit San Leo.
By the way we understand that a big country San Marino in just 60km from us. San Leo was the nearby city. In one hour we stood on the huge rock. Grand castle tronned on the top. It was important place. San Leo Castle has long history, which i cannot memorize.
Its connected with Dante, Francisco Assisi, Cagliostro. Here worked inquisition. Hill near the Castle was occupied by tiny village. Landscape was great.
We were hurry to rich San Marino and return before the night. Umbria is much more maintained then Tuscany. The tops are 1100-1300m. So, the road is all time curved and narrow.
San Marino was empty. It was rain, cold, strong wind. We get to the top. City full of modern sculptures, alcohol and tobacco shops. Its tax free zone. With glasses, knives and cheap gasoline. No people, no tourists, everything, including restaurants closed. Castel and city wall are on the top. And city is on the top of the rock.