About the Urbino Project

Students working a story in the main Piazza.

Between June 1 and June 30, 2012, 51 student journalists from around the world developed multimedia journalism stories to document the people and places of Urbino and the Marche Region of Italy. They came from schools such as Iowa State University, James Madison University, Oklahoma State University, Indiana University, Winston-Salem State University, Washington & Lee University, Ithaca College, University of South Dakota, Appalachian State University, Virginia State University and Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi. Forty students participated in a multimedia section, while 11 students worked on “Urbino Now” magazine.

The project was developed by the Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia) and was co-sponsored by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University and the School of Media Arts & Design at James Madison University.

One of the Italian translators leads students around Urbino for the first day's orientation.

Students developed skills critical for successful journalism and digital storytelling, including the basics of finding and reporting compelling stories with words and images.

They were coached by an experienced staff, including two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, in writing and photojournalism as well as online video.

Students learned how to navigate as professional journalists in a foreign culture by working with Italian interpreters and crafting ready-to-publish features and news stories. They also studied “survival” Italian to learn about the history and culture of the region.

The City

Urbino is a picturesque Renaissance hill town and the capital of the Marche region of central Italy. Although Urbino was a Roman and medieval city, its peak came during the 15th century when Duke Federico da Montefeltro established one of Europe’s most illustrious courts. Its impressive Ducal Palace houses one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in Italy. Urbino’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Piazza della Repubblica

Urbino lies in the northern part of central Italy’s Marche Region, nestled between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Many say the Renaissance started here. The Duke of Urbino’s twin-turreted palace still houses an outstanding collection of period art. Other attractions include a unique botanical garden and the boyhood home of the Renaissance artist Raphael. Lively beach towns are a bus ride away. Students lived and learned at the University of Urbino, with all meals included.

The University

The University of Urbino is situated in a Renaissance hill town in the northeastern part of central Italy. The university was founded in 1506, and currently has about 20,000 students, many of whom are from overseas. The university has no central campus as such, and instead occupies numerous buildings throughout the town and in the surrounding countryside.


The 2012 Urbino Project is an effort of The Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia). The programs are open to English-speaking college students and recent graduates from all schools. The Urbino Program includes a team of professional journalists and journalism educators, including two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists.