August 14, 2013
pesaro e urbino25th entry – le marche 2013
Across from il pomodoro we got on a tour-bus to go to Villa Imperiale. It’s my first Renaissance palace. The villa’s grandeur is certainly a faded dream. It’s claim to fame these days are the frescoed rooms.
The image on the right is taken from the second floor terrace of the new villa. The original fortress is the building on the right. Francesco Maria’s wife Leonora build a second villa and attached it to the original. The second villa is about open spaces – courtyards and enclosed gardens.
The tour guide did a running commentary in both Italian and English. The Italian had all the juicy pieces, the English version was the bare facts. In Italian he talked about how Francesco Maria, from the family that ruled Urbino, moved the duchy seat from the Renaissance city on the hill in the middle of Le Marche to the coastal city of Pesaro. And ever since there has been a rivalry between these two towns. (The guide being from Pesaro was pre-disposed to his side of the clashes.) The two cities are certainly the cultural centers for this region of Italy. The other large cities of the region are industrial power-houses with little memory of a time when noble families held sovereign control. (One of Francesco Maria’s brothers, didn’t like the fact that a faction in Urbino rioted against him because he raised taxes, after all he had to keep his court in the style it had become accustomed to. So he arrested the leaders of the group brought them to Pesaro and killed them. It’s a good thing the Tea Party ideologues don’t read history.)