Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 20, 2020

Palazzo Ducale Urbino

Urbino’s Palazzo Ducale was the palace of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. It was built in the 15th century and was not designed as a fortress, as was often the case, but a magnificent home. It is enormous. There are over 80 rooms, which hold exquisite art and decorations. It was the last of the scheduled visits of our day in Urbino.

The most impressive view of the palace is from the outside of the historical centre.

We entered from the other side.

The internal courtyard is huge.

One of the rooms leading off the courtyard holds a model of the palace.

The room itself is impressive, with a stunning ceiling.

We walked up the wide stairs to the first floor.

The rooms are all large and elegant. I would love to have seen them as they were in Federico’s time.

In one of the first rooms was an odd room within a room. It was especially for Federico, referred to as his alcove, created in 1459 by Bartolomeo Corradini.

The door frames in each room are beautiful, some with intricate wooden doors. There are walls of inlaid wood.

The fireplaces are gorgeous.

I would be happy with these jaunty little fellows in my fireplace…if I had one.

I love the small decorations in corners, and a couple of the Della Robbia pieces would not go astray on my walls…or the odd fresco.

The floors are lovely.

I could have stared at the ceilings for hours.

Stunning art pieces are dotted through the rooms. The  Madonna and child were popular subjects for the carved, painted figures and paintings. These date from the mid 1400s.

The next 2 painted wooden sculptures are from the mid 1500s.

The painting below is considered one of art history’s masterpieces. It is not known who commissioned the work or its meaning. It is the Flagellation of Christ by Piero della Francesca dating from the mid 1400s.

The next piece was my favourite in the palace, not the big painting, but the frieze below by Paolo Uccello. It seemed alive with colour dancing across the wall.


The most famous work of art is “La Muta”, The mute, by Raffaello, painted around 1506.

On the way out I spotted another Madonna, this time in terracotta from 1500.

There is another floor above, but there is just too much to take on one visit. I think you need to devote a whole day to the palace, at least.

We walked back through this beautiful town, past a street musician, vowing to return for a longer visit.

The next morning we had intended to visit the Botanical Garden but the weather was not cooperating so we headed towards our next destination…Arezzo.

We stayed at Albergo San Domenica, which was in a perfect location in a former convent in the heart of Urbino…Piazza Rinascimento.

Phone…0722 2626


  1. Deb loved seeing Palazzo Ducale Urbino.
    The art & decorations are mind blowing.
    We are always amazed to think that all those centuries ago the artists, sculptures & builders could do such unbelievable work. The ceilings, doors, fireplaces, floors so beautiful (PS love the squirrel!!) & really love “La Muta” by Raffaello. The street musician’s instrument was interesting & he looks as though he may have had a good voice?
    Love your Post.

    • The palace was gorgeous. In some ways it seemed almost modern. The decorations were stunning. Wouldn’t it have been amazing to live there? Apart from the fact the the plumbing would have left a lot to desire.

  2. I found your site when I was vacationing in Northern Italy with my children several years ago. I live in Meulan en Yvelines and always enjoy reading your columns when I am traveling to work in the Public Transportation.
    Kind regards, Nancy

    • Thank you! It is always great to hear from someone who reads my posts.

  3. Urbino’s Ducal Palace is wonderful. There are so many things to see and admire. I love that ceiling representing the coming of the Holy Spirit!

    • We all loved Urbino! I will definitely go back. I want to spend a lot more time in the palace.

  4. So enjoyed seeing your wonderful photos of this town. It is a stunning Palazzo, with so many riches in every feature. I remember the absolutely huge fireplaces, the beautifully detailed door ways and of course, those ceilings! And Urbino is also well worth a day in itself. We’d also love to return to that Palazzo again. So many treasures and pleasures await us when we are able to return from Sydney.

    • Urbino was a delightful surprise for us. It is a charming place to visit. The Palazzo Ducale is stunning. It is a pity it was at the end of the day for us and we were a bit overwhelmed. I would like to go back and spend a much longer time there.

  5. I visited the Palazzo Ducale some years ago and it was the alcove room that I found most fascinating. I hope you’ll write about your visit to Arezzo.

    • The Palazzo is amazing. I wonder if the alcove was where Federico went to sit quietly have make plans for his city.
      Our visit to Arezzo was brief, but I will write a short post soon.

  6. […] The Ducal Palace was closed as it was a Monday, but I visited on my last visit…see here…Palazzo Ducale Urbino […]

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