The beautiful Palazzo Ducale stands in front of the Duomo, in the upper part of the city, and is the only example of Renaissance architecture in Gubbio, retaining a mostly medieval layout.
The palazzo was built in a very short time in the second half of the 15th century and was commissioned by Federico di Montefeltro but the works probably ended after the latter’s death, under the direction of his son Guidobaldo. The architectural and decorative design stands out for its elegance and magnificence and it created by the native of Siena Francesco di Giorgio Martini who perhaps took up a model previously developed by Laurana.
Construction of the noble residence by the Montefeltro family required modification of some pre-existing medieval buildings, whose vestiges are still visible on the external walls of the building next to the large central courtyard, which once housed the town square.
The splendour and importance of the palazzo was illustrated by the presence, inside, of the ‘studiolo di Federico’ (a private study belonging to Federico), made with beautiful inlaid panels and painted tablets on the model of the famous ‘studiolo’ in Urbino. Unfortunately these works of art were later dismantled and sold, ending up at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1939, where they are still held today.
A beautiful replica of the original studio has been on display in Gubbio since 2009. It can be visited and admired together with original furnishings that are still preserved in the internal rooms and a valuable collection of Gubbio paintings created between the 13th and 18th centuries.