• lanscape detail
  • lanscape detail
  • lanscape detail

Move your pointer and click on the places to see the details of today's landscape compared with the painting.

Today's and yesterday's: The Duke and the Metauro valley

It’s a small pyramid shaped hill on the plane of the Metauro River. On the top of the hill there’s a magnificent circular tower. With a close-up on Mount Fronzoso, the image analysis of our painting reveals a change in tone that is very similar to the one we can find today.
The texture reproducing the woods on Mount Fronzoso distinguishes itself from the even texture of meadows. The use of the land is nearly identical to that of past, as it is conditioned more by the land’s characteristics rather than by its climate.

The lake Piero paints is an artificial one, created by means of a couple of sluice gates and by a lock on a bridge called “Ponte del Riscatto”, one of the bridges used to get to the town of Urbania and to the Ducal Palace.
Attilio Brilli, in 1991, describes the town of Urbania with the words of a traveller, Joseph Furtteenbach, who was there in 1607:
“…the Metauro River is the key element of the unique beauty of Urbania. Not only for the way it surrounds the city on three sides – on the fourth there was a stream that doesn’t exist anymore – but also for its flowing deep into the rocks, among high sandstone crags. A series of arch bridges links this fluvial mountain to the surrounding area, characterized by a beautiful valley dotted with ancient-old ruins and overlooked by picturesque hills…. Federico da Montefeltro was the one turning the old fortress of the Brancaleone family into a Palace that, looking at it from the river, looks like “a strong and massive fortress …” as Konody says “a versatile one, with elegant yards and a magnificent garden. The river, flowing below the strong walls going from one circular tower to the other and overlooked by a covered loggia loses, somehow, its defensive purpose and becomes, through a system of locks, a water pipeline for the Barco Ducale that could be reached by courtesans with specific boats…”
The road we can admire in the painting, leading from Urbania to the Massa Trabaria area, is described as follows in a famous notarial deed found in the Library of Urbania: "… It’s a mile long road, flat and extremely beautiful, lined with trees and leading to the Barco Ducale, located in a peninsula surrounded by the Metauro River and by a small stream, the Bottrena… (ATTILIO BRILLI. Alla ricerca di Piero. 1991, Electa).

The hill of Peglio and the small village on the top of it are located on the right of Federico da Montefeltro’s portrait. Behind them it is easy to catch a glimpse of the hill of Paganica.