Gubbio: what to see, visit the old town in a day
Guide Gubbio, what to see in the historic center, itinerary and guided tour through the monuments, from the Palazzo dei Consoli.
In the Umbria region in the province of Perugia, lies the city of Gubbio, which extends to the foot of Mount Ingino on top of which stands the Basilica of St. Ubaldo, bishop and patron saint of the city. To reach the top you can use, as well as a scenic drive, a cable car from the old town located 550 m above sea level and reaches about 900 meters where the Basilica.
The first settlements in the territory of Gubbio date back to prehistoric times, bear witness to some findings and the many caves on the sides of the mountain. Around the second millennium BC is believed to have arrived in Italy the ancient Umbrian people, who settled in these lands organizing initially in small fortified villages on top of hills and then to the X-IX century BC by joining in the city. Ikuvium or Iguvium is one of these ancient cities, the archaeological site which corresponds today to the city of Gubbio.
Testimonials unique and very important in this period are the Tables of Gubbio that were discovered around the mid-fifteenth century and purchased by the city in 1456. They consist of seven bronze tablets written in Umbrian language and in the Latin alphabet, kept in the Palazzo dei Consoli. Gubbio in Roman times was a flourishing center; was destroyed by the Goths and rebuilt by the Byzantines on the slopes of Mount Ingino, higher than the previous site where today are the remains of the Roman Theatre.
The city was a free city and across various events, then the thirteenth century until the mid-fourteenth century grew considerably under the urban aspect, economic and demographic arose important buildings such as the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Consoli, and the Palace of the Praetorian also called “Podesta”. In the fifteenth century Gubbio lost the title of a free town and came under the rule of the Montefeltro rulers of Urbino.
In this period the city benefited from a new cultural and artistic momentum, especially with the Duke Federico da Montefeltro, refined Renaissance patron, who built the Palazzo Ducale, in imitation of that greatest of Urbino. The lordship of Montefeltro followed that of the Della Rovere, then the city was devolved to the Papal States until the Kingdom of Italy.
What to see in Gubbio in a day
The most important building of Gubbio is the Palazzo dei Consoli, whose facade is facing the Piazza Grande. It was built between 1332 and 1349 and is a true architectural gem, considered the only one that can compete with the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence. From the early years of the twentieth century, the Palazzo dei Consoli houses the Civic Museum and the Municipal Art Gallery, which houses the precious Tables of Gubbio.
The imposing Cathedral of Gubbio, built on the site of an earlier Romanesque church dedicated to Saints Marian and James, dates back to centuries. XIII and XIV. The Cathedral houses inside important works by Renaissance artists. Opposite the Cathedral is the Palazzo Ducale built after 1476 in the Renaissance style, by Frederick of Montefeltro. The Palace is the result of the transformation and enlargement of a core of medieval buildings.
Currently you can visit the rooms on the ground floor, where there are fireplaces, architectural ornaments, and the copy of the study of Federico da Montefeltro, as the original work is located at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. On the slopes of Mount Ingino is the Basilica of St. Ubaldo built above the church where he had been moved, on 11 September 1194, the body of St. Ubaldo.
The church, documented by sec. XIII, was restored in the first half of the sixteenth century, when it was also built the adjoining convent, entrusted to the Canons Regular of the Lateran. In the basilica are kept the candles of the Corsa dei Ceri, which takes place on 15 May each year in honor of St. Ubaldo. Other interesting churches are the churches of Santa Maria Nuova, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. John, St. Peter and St. Augustine.
On the outskirts of town is the Roman Theatre of considerable size, was built at the end of the first century. BC and demonstrates the importance of the city reached in Roman times. The building, largely restored, preserves the arches and lower part of the upper ones.
In the summer season hosts performances of classical plays. A tradition of this city is the big Christmas tree at Christmas time you turn on a slope of Mount Ingino. This pattern of light that mimics the shape of a fir tree is over in the Guinness Book of Records and has become a symbol of the city. Do not forget that the city of Gubbio is related the famous story drawn from Little Flowers of St. Francis, which tells of the fierce wolf made docile by the Holy.