Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gubbio, Italy bits and pieces

While we were in Umbria, we stayed in Gubbio. Gubbio was a home of the Duke of Urbino, Federico di Montefeltro. Yes, you know him. You'll recognize his picture when we get to it. Moving along...Gubbio is built onto a mountainside, St. Ingino. It is truly steep when walking. Above the Relais Ducale where we stayed which is one of the Duke's Palazzos, there is the Duke's Palace in Gubbio. I'm sure it's not as grand as his Palazzo in Urbino.

Below is a piece of furniture from that period, if not from the Montefeltro Palace itself. I think the picture is actually contraband. There may have been a sign saying no photographs. But it is beautiful, isn't it?

Sidetrack: I could see this from my room. In fact all over Tuscany and Umbria, clothes were hung from lines strung from balconies and rooftops. I guess the small medieval rooms don't allow much room for a clothes dryer. I wonder if washers fit and were used. Anyway, just like at home, I think clothes on a line are charming.

This "sign" was located on the side of the street we walked down as we returned from the Duke's Palace.

Here's a snippet of the Duke's Palace...I liked the color of the stone in the courtyard. The fireplaces were enormous...

And last but not least, the fellow himself...the Duke of Montefeltro. Painted by Piero della Francesca and remarkably honestly, too, as the missing chunk of nose was not painted back in. He was a gun for hire, and made good money at it. I saw this portrait along with his wife's at the Ufizzi Gallery. Walking through the Uffizzi made my little u-feet-sies tired...ha ha ho ho ho har hee....ahem. Now back to the regularly scheduled blog.

He was unusually loyal to his men, taking care of men who might be wounded or killed, providing dowries for their daughters. He was a patron of the arts. He was nicknamed the "light of Italy".

Pretty good for a mercenary, huh?

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