The Museo d’Arte Palazzo Ducale is located in the highest terracing of the Town of Gubbio, in front of the Cathedral of the Santi Giacomo e Mariano.
This palace was built by Federico da Montefeltro (1422-1482), the Duke of Urbino, whose family dominated Gubbio between 1480 and 1508.
The palace undoubtedly deserves a visit for its elegant Renaissance forms, which characterize it and reminds one of Palazzo Ducale of Urbino.
In its construction, the main features of medieval buildings and space, including the famous Longobard “Court” and a vast room pertinent to the ancient Communal palace, were transformed into Renaissance forms. Probably conceived of by Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, the complex was terminated in 1480, the year in which it was solemnly donated from the town to the Duke. The Floor Plan shows two different building bodies connected by a central court—contained on three sides by an elegant portico in sandstone and bricks. The interior partially preserves original decorative elements, such as some doors, fireplaces of fine taste and caisson ceilings. Some rooms are dedicated to temporary exhibitions, the Main Floor—Piano Nobile—is under reorganization. Along the visit itinerary it is possible to enter the area dedicated to the archaeological section below.
The original inlaid-wood Studiolo—a room intended for meditation and study—interior was completely dismantled at the beginning of the 19th century: in fact, the 15th century Studiolo inlayed by the Workshop of Giuliano di Maiano, is now displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. However, visitors can admire a faithful reproduction of it executed by a local artisan company.