Urbania, Sant'Angelo in Vado, Mercatello sul Metauro and Lamoli
A land to discover nestled between Tuscany and Umbria, the inland of the province of Pesaro-Urbino with its small hamlets, appears like a jewel surrounded by the green heart of Italy.
From a geographical point of view, the north-west area of the Marche is undoubtedly connected to Umbria, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, flowing into one another to create a splendid and fecund territory, rich in art, culture and history. A great example is Urbania, an artistically prolific city that maintains most of the characteristic XV century medieval nucleus. Known since the 1200 with the name of Casteldurante, in the ‘500s Urbania became famous in the whole Europe both for its ceramics and for being the “place of delicacies” of Montefeltro-Della Rovere’s dukes. The latter, in fact, had a dedicated street built that guaranteed to reach Urbania in just three hours of litter. Among the remarkable monuments there is the Ducal Palace, a wide clay-bricks massive building erected by the Brancaleoni at the end of 1200s. Later on it became residence of the last Duke of Urbino. The building is seat of the Library, the Museum of Agriculture and History and the Civic Gallery. Of particular interest is the Deads’ Church, adorned by a fine gothic gate, safeguarding the Mummies Cemetery, famous for the curious phenomenon of the natural mummification, due to a specific natural mold. Located at 1 km on the city north-western side towards Sant’Angelo in Vado, is located the Barco Ducale (Ducal Park). Founded in 1465 by Federico da Montefeltro, the Barco was a hunting reserve and offering the Duke a chance of spiritual solace and leisure. The current architectural complex that we admire nowadays is a XVIII century vanvitellian cloister, seat of ceramic and artistic handcraft’s laboratories of the Civic Museum. The pretty town of Sant’Angelo in Vado, renowned for the beautiful mosaics of the Myth’s Domus is a vin santo (sweet white raisin wine) and truffle production area (a national exhibition is held every year between october and november). District council of the ancient province of Massa Trabaria, Sant’Angelo in Vado has the archaeological area of Tifernum Metaurense that safeguards a great number of evidences dated back to the imperial roman era and currently exhibited in the museum. Of different tipology is the “Old Crafts” Museum, located in the cellars of Mercuri Building, where have been rebuilt the handcraft laboratories present for centuries in this center. Furthermore, the Museum safeguards material evidences of other crafts highlighting the excellence and peculiarities of craftsmanship of Sant’Angelo in Vado, such as: cabinet-making, wrought iron and goldsmithing. Among the main religious architecture buildings stands out the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, owing its importance to art works such as Raffaelino del Colle’s and Francesco Mancini’s paintings. With small factories and artisanal activities (furniture, lace pillow sewing) Mercatello sul Metauro owes its name to the role of small spruce trunks market gained since the medieval era. Surrounded by a now lost city walls of the XII century, the urban fabric of Mercatello still preserves monuments of great interest. An example is Pieve Collegiata, characterized by a portion of walls from the original Romanesque structure and by gothic windows on the sides. The inside is made of three naves and contains many art works realized by various artists, among which Raffaelin del Colle and Francesco Guerrieri. The building shares Garibaldi square with the Townhall’s porticato and the solemn Gasparini building, dominated by an airy panoramic viewpoint. With an early gothic style, the Church of San Francesco has a plain surface façade with the main gate enriched by lateral pillars strips interposed by small pillars dominated by a pointed arch. The altar safeguards the painting on board “Virgin with saints” (1345) confered to Giovanni Baronzio, while in the sacristy is located the magnificent Claudio Ridolfi’s canvas, portraying the “Baptism of Jesus”. The annexed Monastry of San Francesco, as it is today, is the result of numerous transformations and significant mutilations. The monastry dating back to 1200 was seat of Capuchin monks until 1883, when became episcopal seat of Urbania’s bishop. From 2007 Church and Monastry are seat of the namesake museum. Small populated nucleus less than 10 km from the borded with the fecund Tiber hollow in the umbrian territory, Lamoli is dominated by the Abbey of S. Michele Arcangelo. Part of a benedictine abbey founded during VII-VIII centuries, the building’s cloister safeguards the fantastic Museum of Natural Colors “Delio Bischi”. The Museum retrace a journey within the history of natural colors through the man that used them since the ancient times until the first years of ‘900, when artificial colors entered the market.