On my way to my first visit to an excellent winery of the Urbino area – which turned out to be a unique and unforgettable place – I stopped at the Chiesa di San Bernardino yesterday morning to take some pictures of the mausoleum of Federico da Montefeltro: a most enlighted man of the Italian Renaissance!
Those of you who follow me have already read here about the Ducal Palace of Urbino and of Urbino itself, the ‘ideal Renaissance city’, World Heritage Site. It is definitely a place you want to call at during your holiday in the Marche region, while in Italy.
The church of San Bernardino, built at the end of the 15th century, lies in the Cesane wood, which I am particularly fond of as, according to my mother’s researches on our family tree, my forefathers came from that area and lived there for quite a few generations. It is just a couple of kilometres away from the centre of Urbino and it is worth the ride (or the walk).
The church, probably designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, hosts the mausoleum of Federico da Montefeltro, lord of Urbino, man of war and letters (his great library was perhaps the largest in Italy at that time after the Vatican). I stopped at the church while on my way to another destination, doubting to find it open (in Italy we are not too good at giving the right value to our beauties!). But, to my great surprise, the church is open every day (8 am – 6 pm) and the entrance is free. When I pushed the entrance door to enter the church, I found two American tourists inside.
As soon as I parked the car, my eye was caught by an awesome view on the city of Urbino and I suddenly realized I was inside of one of those magical landscapes you find in Raphael (he was born in Urbino) or in Piero della Francesca (he worked for Federico da Montefeltro: the beautiful Pala Montefeltro by Piero della Francesca was hosted in this church until 1810, before being moved to the Pinacoteca di Brera).
Here is a photogallery of the Mausoleo dei Duchi. Unfortunately the light was not at its best, plus I forgot my professional camera at home and had to take pictures with my Huawei 😉