Urbino is a major university town located about 20 miles from the Adriatic Coast, just south of Rimini. This walled town, with its rose-colored brick houses, is built on two hills overlooking the countryside bathed in golden light. This small and picturesque town dates back to the 12th century when it was ruled by the Montefeltro family, wise patrons of the arts. During the Renaissance, Urbino become one of the most splendid intellectual centers of Europe. It has preserved most of this atmosphere not only in attitude but in architecture as well. The Ducal Palace, a true masterpiece, has been called by art critics "the most beautiful dwelling of the Renaissance." It was in this palace, under the Dukes of Montefeltro, that artists and men of letter gathered and produced famous works of art. Some of these men included Raffaello, Bramante, and Barocci. Today the Palace houses one of the finest art collections in Italy, replete with many works by Raffaello and Piero della Francesca. With its city walls, narrow winding streets, spacious piazzas, beautiful buildings, cypress tress, and unique light, no wonder so many accomplished individuals found inspiration in Urbino.
The University of Urbino, founded in the 16th century, has developed into a modern university of international reputation. Urbino is an ideal town for total immersion in Italian life and language. It is sophisticated and open to foreign visitors. Though somewhat remote from tourist traffic, the city holds much to be explored and is easy to get around by foot. It is hard to believe it is only three hours away from Florence, Venice, and Bologna and still remains somewhat of a secret. Rome is about five hours away, and the beach at Pesaro is a scant 40 minutes. Urbino is a great base from which to extend out from, and there is plenty to do and see within its own walls as well. During the summer, the city is enlivened with baroque concerts in the Chiesa di San Lorenzo, folk dances in Piazza Rinascimento, and many other cultural activities. The 25,000 inhabitants of Urbino are very proud of their city and country and celebrate life in the traditional Italian spirit. These friendly people are always willing to help and enjoy talking to American students. Combining the location and the people, every day is a learning experience.
Dates: July 7 - Aug. 11, 2016