Urbino, Italy, is a wonderful city for art lovers. The town is noted for its sublime Renaissance Palazzo Ducale, which contains the National Gallery of the Marches, featuring important works by Raphael, Santi, Piero della Francesca and Barocci.

Also worth seeing is the Oratorio di San Giovanni Battista (with frescoes by the Salimbeni brothers) and Raphael's home (the artist was born in Urbino and lived there as a boy).

Get a great view from atop the city's ramparts. Like many of the small towns in Tuscany and Umbria, Urbino is quite isolated—it's just inland from the Adriatic coast (in the Marches region, south of Rimini and Ravenna) and 70 mi/110 km east of Florence.

Allow extra time for the drive there along winding roads. Once there, plan at least a half-day visit.

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