The valley of Casteldurante, a territory of the Dukes of Urbino. A place wrapped in the magic and tranquility of the time of Francesco Maria II Della Rovere, the last of a powerful and enlightened member of the family of lords who chose this place for his last breath. There is a lively and industrious hub in the Alto Metauro valley today. Urbania has the characteristic of having changed its name three times in the past. Under Brancaleoni in the Middle Ages, it was known as Castel delle Ripe. It was Casteldurante after the reconstruction by Monsignor Guglielmo Durante, and was then called Urbania in honour of Pope Urban VIII, who in 1636 raised the city to the rank of diocese.
A place of art and delights throughout the Renaissance, when with the Dukes of Montefeltro and the Della Rovere family lived here the town enjoyed a boom thanks to the quality of its ceramics. The chronicles speak of 40 furnaces for baking the ceramics and 150 vine-growers.
The artistic vitality and the flourishing agricultural activities of the past were supplanted in the 1950s for the expansion of the textile garment industry. The central religious figure is the Priest Corrado Cattani, the first to have had the idea of starting the production of jeans for many of the brands on the market.
But Urbania is far more than Silicon Valley of Italian blue jeans. It is a cradle of art and treasures, It offers visitors an evocative urban pathway between streets, squares and bridges over the River Metauro. The ducal palace, restored by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Gerolamo Genga, houses a rich collection of prints, drawings, engravings, manuscripts, maps and globes. The impressive library is among the largest in the region.
Connected to the Ducal Palace via the river that the nobility enjoyed boating on, we find the magnificent Barco Ducale, once a hunting ground. The pagan worship of the dead and the Christian tradition blend perfectly into each other in the Church of the Dead, which has inside it a cemetery of mummies: a unique exhibition of 1600 bodies, preserved using a particular mould.
Culturally lively all year round, much attention is devoted to the organisation of events and activities at parties: from Christmas to Easter, through spring fairs and summer music events. To show off the skills of its inhabitants is the old popular Easter game with hard boiled eggs, where the player who manages to keep his egg intact, batting with that of other competitors in a circle, wins. A Land of precious meats, mushrooms and truffles.