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Friday, July 23, 2010

Palazzo Ducale, Urbino

(photo by Il Conte di Luna, 2007)

Since my helicopter is in the shop, I've downloaded an aerial view of Urbino and the Ducal Palace from the internet.  Duke Federigo da Montefeltro, the "Light of Italy" and still a local hero over 500 years later, built his palace in the mid-fifteenth century.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is widely considered the perfect princely dwelling in the perfect medieval hilltop fortress town.

Here is a picture of Duke Fred, a fabled patron of the arts (including that youngster Raphael) and amasser of the second largest library in Italy after the Vatican.  One of the Renaissance's most famous Condottieri and inspiration for Machiavelli's "The Prince", the Duke was both a great warrior and leader of his people.  He lost his right eye in battle and later had surgeons cut out the bridge of his nose to improve his peripheral vision (all the better to see the assassination attempt coming at you...).

The Duke's private study.  About half the paintings of famous figures that line the upper wall are sepia photographic reproductions of originals that are now housed in the Louvre.  Monsieur Louvre, give them back!

In places like this there is always an overwhelming number of things one could photograph---in this case I decided to look all just seems so perfectly Italian.