A Street for Italy’s “Beating Heart”

The story of Via Giuseppe Mazzini

Walking long roads on steep hills can be tiring, and Urbino’s elegant landscape is filled with these kinds of byways. Knowing the history of some of the streets you hike will give you something to focus on other than your shaking legs.

Take, for example, Via Giuseppe Mazzini.

This is the main street that leads from the Borgo Mercatale to the Piazza della Repubblica. Walking up this hill, you pass through one of the most vital parts of the city, with everything from pizza restaurants to shoe and bag boutiques and even hardware stores. Maybe that’s why the street was named after the “Beating Heart of Italy,” as Giuseppe Mazzini was called. Mazzini (1805 to 1872) was a journalist and Italian politician, and a leader of the Risorgimento movement that helped unite the various states along the Italian peninsula into one country. Mazzini’s dream had been to create a democratic republic; however, the country was unified in 1861 as a monarchy. It wasn’t until 1946, long after his death, that Italy became a republic. So it’s fitting that Via Mazzini leads to the square that commemorates that event, Piazza della Repubblica.

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.