From Fano to Urbino ... along the Metauro river valley:
Leaving behind us the sea of Fano and driving along some stretches of the old Flaminia Road in Rome direction, we begin to glimpse the small villages on the hills of Fano’s inland.
A route of 140 km will allow us to visit as a first step Cartoceto realm of excellent quality olive oil
which also won the recognition of the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).
Montemaggiore al Metauro, Sant 'Ippolito, Fratterosa, Piagge and Orciano di Pesaro, old villages sayings of the "Potters".
The medieval town of Mondavio, unique in its kind, closed in the city walls and defended by a mighty fortress, its palaces and churches miraculously preserved over time.
Pergola, thirteenth-century city that hosts in its museum, a gilded bronze equestrian group of the Julio-Claudian era unearthed in 1946.
The hermitage of Fonte Avellana with its Romanesque-Gothic church, the ancient library which houses about 7.000 volumes, the refectory and the monks' cells.
The bust of Dante and a plaque indicating the poet's stay.
Cagli, which retains a portion of the Mallio bridge along the ancient Via Flaminia 220 BC and the famous "Tower of Cagli" what remains of the mighty fortress commissioned by the Montefeltro family.
Following the route you will come to Acqualagna, famous for the Festival of the White Truffle, then take the Furlo Gorge, where the charm of the landscape is combined with a prodigious natural treasure.
Fossombrone, important economic and commercial centre of the Valley of the Metauro river since Roman times.
The influences of the Malatesta and Montefeltro families are visible in several churches and palaces of the historic centre.
And Least but not last the visit the city of Urbino.
The oldest origins of the city are unknown, but historical evidence confirm with certainty that it was founded in 41 BC by the Romans.
Charlemagne and the Franks, donated Urbino to the papacy, subsequently it became subject of the feudal struggles and the city suffered a slow decline.
Later it became a free municipality and was given to the Montefeltros in 1155.
The dynasty continued until at the horizon of Urbino appeared the most famous character in the history of the city, Federico II da Montefeltro, with whom the town reached the pinnacle of greatness and splendor and became one of the most important courts of the Renaissance.
In a few years the economic level of the state grew to the point that the Duke was able to afford the building of a great work, the famous Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale).
Furthermore, Urbino is the birthplace of Rafafello, in the homonymous street at number 57, is located the house where he lived his early life supported by the presence of his father Giovanni Santi who was a painter too. Here you can admire a fresco of a young Raphael, as well as paintings of his father, the rooms and furnishings of the house where the famous painter lived before leaving
Urbino for Florence and Rome.
In 1508 the Duchy of Montefeltro became property of the Della Rovere.
The last Duke of Urbino was Francesco Maria II Della Rovere. At the death of the Duke in 1631, Urbino passed again under the Papal State.
One of the most decadent moments in the history of the city of Urbino was in the Napoleonic period with the suppression of churches, religious institutions, and the defacing of the heritage as well as the
deportation to Milan of the Madonna and Child by Piero della Francesca.
Since 1998, its historic centre has become UNESCO World Heritage Site.