Urbino Part One
Urbino – A little known hill town that trumps almost any other Italian town
So as you know, Rome was fantastic, it was, as it promised to be, eternal and it left me wanting more. That distinct feeling of having just a little more space in your heart for another visit is always appealing as I am not of the opinion that you have really seen a place after one visit. Some places require more investigation, like a mercury labyrinth the alleys, streets and squares seem to give way to new and exciting places every time you change direction.
One place I will never tire of is Urbino; this small city, well town really is built from honeyed stone, carved into beautiful organic shapes with a stout but elegant pride. The Palazzo Ducale, like a fairy tale castle complete with towers and turrets pierces the skyline and catches the wispy clouds as they float through the sky. The sunsets of orange, gold and red burnish against the silhouette of the double towers. Children are ever as enchanted as art historians and renaissance fanatics as they gaze upwards from the Borgo Mercatale peeping with wide eyes to see whether Rapunzel will let down her hair.
Heading through the main gate from the Borgo Mercatale you enter the town and head up the polished cobbles on a steep ascent to the Piazza della Repubblica passing bars, small food shops and boutiques along the way. Urbino is not a commercial place and rarely will you find an English speaker but you will find an opera singing pizza man who makes a margherita so divine you will struggle to leave and you will find a curious bookshop which by day sells tightly bound, crisp copies of new and ancient texts and by night, like a superhero slides glass covers over the books and belts out music for the delight of the student population of the town. Its name is Il Portico, sounding it out makes it seem even more like the name of an Italian superhero.
Just off the Piazza you have four streets that stretch out like limbs from the main fountain in the square. Whichever way you head you will find something beautiful. Come back soon to see why Urbino quite rightly deserves its place as a World Heritage Site. Singing Italian Pizza makers, a palace and the birthplace of a Renaissance coming up soon.
Blog about it? I’d write a tome about it!
Image from uniurb.it