Pesaro Culture
You are here: Home > What to see > Historic buildings and monuments > Villa Imperiale

Villa Imperiale

Interno Villa Imperiale
Interno Villa Imperiale
Villa Imperiale - ph, Ente Parco Naturale Monte San Bartolo
Villa Imperiale - ph, Ente Parco Naturale Monte San Bartolo
Villa Imperiale - ph, Ente Parco Naturale Monte San Bartolo

Villa Imperiale is one of the most interesting examples of Mannerist architecture in Italy. The foundation stone was laid in 1468 by the Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg while a   guest of Alessandro Sforza in Pesaro; it took two centuries to complete the villa.

In 1521, after regaining the Duchy usurped by the Medici, Francesco Maria I Della Rovere commissioned the architect Girolomo Genga to add another building, thereby transforming the whole into a holiday residence (1523-’38). His wife Eleonora Gonzaga oversaw the work and entrusted the writer Pietro Bembo with the texts for the inscriptions on the façade and in the main courtyard.

The Della Rovere wing was conceived as a walled organism also enclosing the three gardens on the hill, where aromatic herbs typical of Classical and Renaissance cultures were grown. Genga was also responsible for coordinating the decoration of the interior, on which, among others, worked Dosso and Battista Dossi, Raffaellino del Colle, Bronzino and Francesco Menzocchi. The themes represented in the frescoes are nature, antiquity, love and the feats of Francesco Maria I.

In 1635, on the marriage of Ferdinando II, the last Della Rovere heir, to Vittoria, the villa became the property of the Medici and then passed to the House of Lorraine. It was sold to the Apostolic Chamber and granted in perpetual emphyteusis by Pius VI to the Albani family, who are the present owners.


Based on: Federica Tesini, Pesaro. Itinerari di una città d’arte, Pesaro, Arti Grafiche Pesaresi Editore, 2009, p. 65



via dei Cipressi
owned and managed privately
opening hours June-September every Wednesday guided tours leave by coach from piazzale della Libertà at 4 p.m.; Wednesday 9, 16, 23 August also at 10 a.m; booking obligatory

entry ticket € 13

no access for disabled


0721 69341 Centro Iat Pesaro

338 2629372 Cooperativa Isairon