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Umbria and the Marches Sights

Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace)

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 12/05/2013

Fodor's Review

The Palazzo Ducale holds a place of honor in the city. If the Renaissance was, ideally, a celebration of the nobility of man and his works, of the light and purity of the soul, then there's no place in Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, where these tenets are better illustrated. From the moment you enter the peaceful courtyard, you know you're in a place of grace and beauty, the harmony of the building reflecting the high ideals of the time. Today the palace houses

the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche (National Museum of the Marches), with a superb collection of paintings, sculpture, and other objets d'art. Some works were originally the possessions of the Montefeltro family; others were brought here from churches and palaces throughout the region. Masterworks in the collection include Paolo Uccello's Profanation of the Host, Titian's Resurrection and Last Supper, and Piero della Francesca's Madonna of Senigallia. But the gallery's highlight is Piero's enigmatic work long known as The Flagellation of Christ. Much has been written about this painting, and few experts agree on its meaning. Legend had it that the figures in the foreground represent a murdered member of the Montefeltro family (the barefoot young man) and his two killers. However, Sir John Pope-Hennessy—the preeminent scholar of Italian Renaissance art—argues that they represent the arcane subject of the vision of Saint Lawrence. Academic debates notwithstanding, the experts agree that the work is one of the painter's masterpieces. Piero himself thought so: it's one of the few works he signed (on the lowest step supporting the throne).

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Sight Information


Piazza Duca Federico, Urbino, 61029, Italy



Sight Details:

  • €5
  • Mon. 8:30–2, Tues.–Sun. 8:30–7:15; ticket office closes at 6

Updated 12/05/2013


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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Lexma90

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Nov 3, 2009

Palazzo Ducale Review

The artwork in the Palazzo Ducale is memorable and interesting. But the palace itself is beautiful and more interesting. The highlight of the Palazzo Ducale, for me, was the Duke's studiolo, a small study lined entirely with a three-dimensional recreation of a study, in inlaid wood. There's everything you'd expect to see in the study of an educated Renaissance nobleman, including globes, measuring devices, books (including their bookmarks), weaponry,

as well as items you wouldn't expect, including a squirrel.

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