Roman Remnants Revealed

Where to find ancient leftovers in Urbino

Roman marble column

On Via S. Girolamo in Urbino, a brick building sits atop the remains of a Roman marble column.
(photo by Megan Northcote)

Most people regard Urbino as a quaint Renaissance walled city, overflowing with 15th century Raphael masterpieces and grandiose Ducale Palace architecture. But few realize traces of even more ancient architecture, including curved Roman arches and triangular Medieval arches, can still be found incorporated into modern-day buildings.

Inside the courtyard of the University of Urbino economic department off Via A. Saffi, for example, you can marvel at part of an original city boundary wall from Medieval times composed of bricks and chunks of marble. Across the street, at Via S. Girolamo, take a look at a brick building constructed atop a footing of marble column. In Roman times, a row of full-sized columns stood here, signifying to a horse and buggy approaching the city to begin making the turn through the city entrance arch, a few yards beyond the columns.

This article is from Urbino Now magazine’s Go Native section, a collection of tips and info to help you feel like a local. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.