Pesaro, the ancient Roman colony known as Pisaurum, was founded in 184 A.D. along the Flaminia consular road. The birthplace of Gioachino Rossini, it boasts many medieval and Renaissance monuments, a historical centre and a modern quarter that extends towards the sea. Sites not to be missed include Palazzo Toschi Mosca, which houses the Ceramic Museum and a rich picture gallery, Costanza Fortress and Casa Rossini.

At 30 km from Pesaro, the site of an important university and birthplace of the artist Raffaello Sanzio, Urbino is one of the most important capitals of the Italian Renaissance.
Duke Federico da Montefeltro established Urbino as the political and cultural centre of an entire period, calling to his court the best artists of the time such as Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martino. The ducal palace is today home to the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Raffaello and Paolo Uccello.
The gallery also features La Città Ideale (The Ideal City), the symbol of the Renaissance.


The Gradara castle is only a few kilometres from the Adriatic, its fourteenth century walls rising up in a characteristic medieval village. The castle gravitates around the principal turret that conveys an impression of that strength and elegance typical of medieval fortresses. This tourist landmark was the renowned setting for the tragic love affair between Paolo and Francesca, as recounted by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy.

San Leo rises up on an imposing calcareous rock, originally a Roman fortification then in medieval times this impressive defensive complex for surveilling the duchy of Federico.
From the 17th Century up until 1906 the fort was a papal prison for Renaissance patriots and free thinkers, including Giuseppe Balsamo, better known as Alessandro the Count of Cagliostro, who was an alchemist, healer, heretic and some say a charlatan, until his death in 1795.