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Palazzo Ducale

Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale e fontana di piazza del Popolo

Palazzo Ducale was where the life and government of the lord and his court took place. The Palazzo is a vast block, the façade of which was commissioned by Alessandro Sforza. The structure of the building is the result of work commissioned by the successive lords of Pesaro from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. The building covering the entire fifteenth century site of the houses of the Malatasti and Sforza dynasties, restructured and amplified, reached its present dimension under the Della Rovere Dukes of Urbino and Pesaro, between 1523 and 1621.

With the removal of the court from Urbino to Pesaro in 1564 the palazzo became the administrative centre of the Dukedom, then at the height of its splendour. On the death in 1631 of the last Della Rovere duke, Francesco Maria II, the dukedom was annexed to the Holy See, thus bringing the dynasty to an end. It took only a few months to strip the palazzo of its inestimable treasures, many of which went to Florence with Claudia de’ Medici, Federico Ubaldo’s widow, and her daughter Vittoria Farnese the last Della Rovere heir. In the old rooms had hung paintings by Raphael, Bronzino, Titian, Bassano and, Barocci.

It first became the seat of the cardinals, legates a latere, governing the city from 1631 to 1797, followed on the Unification of Italy by the Prefecture: from then on the furnishings were lost and the areas totally transformed. During the first half of the last century numerous modifications to the façade profoundly altered the original fifteenth century structure.

The most imposing room in the palazzo is the ‘salone Metaurense’ on the upper floor, built by Alessandro Sforza in the mid-fifteenth century; the floor and panelled ceiling were designed by the architect Giovanni Cortese in about 1620 for Francesco Maria II Della Rovere.

The Sala Laurana on the ground floor can be used for exhibitions on request.

Text based on: Giovanna Patrignani, Pesaro. La Radio storia della Città, Pesaro, Metauro Edizioni, Pesaro, 2008,  pp. 36-37



piazza del Popolo
ownership state
management Prefecture of Pesaro and Urbino

entrance via the Prefecture of Pesaro and Urbino

access for disabled

0721 386111 Prefettura di Pesaro e Urbino
0721 359501 Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino
0721 69341 Centro Iat Pesaro