Urbino is the ideal site for a summer course in Italian language and culture. It is still a city on a human scale: distances can be covered on foot and it is easy for foreign students to meet the Urbino townspeople.
The course consists of a part devoted to the teaching of Italian language (in the mornings) and a part given over to Italian culture (the afternoon and two evenings a week). During the weekends, walks around Urbino and excursions to cities of art are organised.
Protected by its town walls, the ancient city of Urbino is perched on top of a promontory between the Metauro and the Foglia valleys, surrounded by green hills that still today remind us of the landscaping that was given to them by the inhabitants of past centuries. The visitor who approaches it can already see the old city from afar, seemingly closed and turned in upon itself. It received its original shape, like the bows of a ship, from the Romans who founded the "municipium" of Urvinum Metaurense. This shape remained almost unchanged in the Middle Ages, but under the Dukes of Montefeltro the city experienced a miraculous metamorphosis, from which it emerged as one of the most beautiful towns of the Italian Renaissance.
Duke Federico da Montefeltro, a great "condottiero", statesman and man of culture, had his palace built by the architects Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, and it soon became a place of culture. The greatest thinkers and exponents of Humanism and the Renaissance gathered around Duke Federico and his young wife, the Duchess Battista Sforza, first of all, and later around Duke Guidubaldo and Duchess Elisabetta Gonzaga.
The palace – this "city in the form of a palace", as Baldassarre Castiglione defined it in his Cortegiano – blending in so harmoniously with the hills on which it is built and with the beautiful landscape surrounding it, became a model of courtly life for many courts of the times. This magnificent building has lost none of its splendour, not even during the dark ages that followed for the palace and for the city after the extinction of the Montefeltro and Della Rovere dynasties. Painters such as Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, Melozzo da Forlì, Giusto di Gand and Pedro Berruguete, the writers Baldassarre Castiglione and Pietro Bembo, architects Leon Battista Alberti and Bramante, philosophers, the mathematicians Luca Pacioli and Paulus von Middelburg, poets Bernardo and Torquato Tasso, and musician Ottaviano Petrucci da Fossombrone all contributed to the glory of the court of the Dukes of Montefeltro. Only Raphael is missing from this list; he was born in Urbino but soon moved to Perugia, and then to Florence and Rome.
Other important figures of Italian culture were born in Urbino: the architect Girolamo Genga, the painter Federico Barocci, mathematician Federico Comandino, architect and mathematician Muzio Oddi and, in the twentieth century, the writer Paolo Volponi who retained his close links to his native city right until his death in 1994.
After a long and very difficult period in which the reputation of Urbino was lost, the city recovered for a short time when, in 1700, the Urbino nobleman Giovanni Francesco Albani was elected pope and, with the name of Clement XI, remained in office for 21 years. Some important building works in the city are due to him, as is the reinforcement of the Collegio dei Dottori, founded by Duke Guidubaldo at the beginning of the 16th century - in 1506 to be precise - and given recognition by Pope Julius II in 1507. This was the institution from which, over the centuries, the University of Urbino evolved.
In the early nineteenth century the despoliation of Urbino was completed, having been started after the death of the last Duke of Urbino in 1631. The city lost the important Library of Duke Federico, which went to the Vatican, many of the most significant pictures linked to its history, and all the furnishings of the Ducal Palace. It struggled to recover from all these crippling events and only began to revive in the twentieth century, restoring its architectural heritage and collecting together valuable works of art from Urbino and the Marche region into the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, located in the Ducal Palace.
Today, the city of Urbino tries to conserve its ancient buildings, while new districts have sprung up outside the town walls. The city has around 15,000 inhabitants and 15,000 university students. The Halls of Residence, where many of the students who attend the University are housed, have been built on a hill just a short distance away from the old town. The old town centre, on the other hand, has become the "university campus". Urbino University was a Free University until 2006, when it became state-owned. During the long chancellorship of Carlo Bo (1947-2001), whose name the university took in 2002, it was extended and consolidated and thus relaunched Urbino's true vocation as a place of culture where scholars, artists and men and women of letters from all parts of the world come together.
Urbino is the ideal site for a summer course in Italian language and culture. It is still a city on a human scale: distances can be covered on foot and it is easy for foreign students to meet the Urbino townspeople. In addition, Urbino offers those who show a spirit of initiative the chance to have contacts with University students and teachers also during August, as they are in the city taking part in the summer courses organized by the University.
For those who want to study, there are lots of opportunities here. Excursions by bus and car can be taken into the surrounding area to visit the cities of art in the Marche and the neighbouring regions, or to go for a swim in the nearby Adriatic Sea. The city, more fascinating than ever in summer, invites people to come together and exchange views.
The courses are held every morning from Monday to Friday in classes of no more than 20 people with an Italian native-speaker teacher with proven experience. Each individual course is for a total of 80 lessons (of 45 minutes each) of classroom teaching.
The courses are organised on the basis of the linguistic-communicative skill levels laid down by the Common European Framework of Reference, and are divided into elementary (four levels), intermediate (three levels) and advanced (one level).
After completion of the enrolment procedure, participants will be sent instructions about the placement test to be completed before the start of the course.
Participants are invited to arrive in Urbino on Sunday 23rd July 2017. Those who have a room reserved in the University Halls of Residence may move into it starting from 12.00 noon on Sunday 23rd July. There will be a list of participants displayed in each building of the University Halls, showing the Hall and room assigned.
On Monday 24th July 2017 at 8.45 a.m., in a classroom at the Volponi Campus (Via Saffi 15), students can collect their enrolment card necessary to access the refectory and other university buildings. All participants are requested to bring with them their payment receipt.
Following this, at 9.30 a.m., in the same classroom in the Volponi Campus (Via Saffi 15), the Course inauguration will take place, with a greeting from the Chancellor of the University of Urbino ( (or his appointee). On this occasion, class groups will be formed; students will then go to their classrooms with their teachers.
- Day of arrival: 23rd July 2017, afternoon
- Course inauguration: 24th July 2017 at 9.30 a.m.
- Examination at the end of the first module: 4th August 2017 at 3.00 p.m.
- Final examination (at the end of the second module): 18th August 2017 at 8.45 a.m.
- Last day of lessons: 18th August 2017
- Leaving party: 18th August 2017
- Day of departure after the first two weeks: 5th August 2017, at the latest 6th August by 10 a.m.
- Day of departure at the end of the second module: 19th August 2017, at the latest 20th August by 12.00 noon
Where to go on arriving in Urbino
On Sunday 23rd July, when you arrive in Urbino, you can go directly to the accommodation you have booked. Those who have a room reserved in the University Halls of Residence must check in at the reception desk of Aquilone Hall (Via Cappuccini 15, 61029 Urbino, Tel. +39 0722 302400) after 12.00 noon. On the evening of 23rd July you may have dinner at the "Tridente" university refectory. The cost of the meal will be debited, on the following day, to the card given to you at the course inauguration.
How to reach the halls of residence
- Line 1 Shuttle link from Santa Lucia bus station to the Halls of Residence - timetable
- Taxis: +39 0722 327949 / +39 0722 2550 / +39 339 4317665 / +39 340 6420184 / +39 346 2326212.
Where to go on the first day of the course
On Monday 24th July 2016 at 8.45 a.m., in a classroom in the Volponi Campus (Via Saffi 15), students can collect their enrolment card necessary to access the refectory and other university buildings. All participants are requested to bring with them their payment receipt.
Following this, at 9.30 a.m., in the same classroom in the Volponi Campus (Via Saffi 15), the Course inauguration will take place, with a greeting from the Chancellor of the University of Urbino (or his appointee). On this occasion, class groups will be formed; students will then go to their classrooms with their teachers.
Internet accountsBefore the start of the course participants will be sent by email a password and an ID for wireless connection.
Costs for food and accommodation are not included in the Course enrolment fee.
For university students:
- full meal (1 first course, 1 second course, 1 side dish, 1 fruit, 1 piece of bread): € 5,50
- quick meal (main course or crescia (typical kind of flat bread)/sandwich, 2 side dishes, bread, fruit or yogurt): € 2,80
For Lingua Ideale students who are not attending university courses (either in Urbino or in their country):
- full meal: € 10,00
- quick meal: € 6,00
Accommodation: University Halls of Residence
The Halls of Residence are located around 0,5 km from Urbino old town centre and from the University, and are served by the regular bus service. Free-of-charge car parks are available near the University Halls of Residence, and there is paid parking at the entrance to the old city centre. The rooms are simple and contain only the bare essentials for everyday living for young students. A single room contains a bed with mattress, pillow and blanket, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a desk with chair, shelves for books and an armchair. In all the halls, the kitchenettes are not provided with either crockery or cutlery. The linen supplied for the beds may not be removed from the rooms. Towels are not provided. The halls have a coin-operated washing machine available for students' use, and there are several laundries in the city with coin-operated washing machines. The keeping of animals in the University Halls of Residence is not permitted.
The choice of a single or a double room must be shown on the booking form; the price for a bed in a single or double room is the same. The Halls in which the participants will be housed will be established by the E.R.S.U. management. Single rooms come in units of 6 or 8 rooms, equipped with 2 bathrooms, kitchen or kitchenette and internal doorphone in common; double rooms have bathroom, kitchenette, fridge and doorphone.
Price per bed in a single or double room (supplied with bedlinen, but not towels): € 240 (for 4 weeks); € 120 for a two-week module.The prices are subsidised, and valid only for people enrolled on the Course; no price reductions are therefore possible.
The latest date for booking a room is 14th July 2017. This may be carried out at the same time as the course enrolment form is completed. The price per bed for four weeks is € 240 while it is € 120 for two weeks; this should be paid together with the Course enrolment fee, with a single bank transfer.
In the case of withdrawal from the Course for serious reasons, documented with certificate and notified by 21st July 2017, the amount already paid of € 240 (€ 120 for a two-week module) will be refunded.
A room that has been booked can be occupied on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd July 2017. A booked room will remain reserved only until midnight on 25th July. In the case of late arrival for serious reasons, the arrival day must be notified to the Summer Course for Foreigners Secretary's office before the start of the course. Departure date: 19th August 2017, at the latest 20th August, by 12.00 noon For those taking part only in the first two weeks of the Course,the departure day is Saturday 5th August 2017 by 12.00 noon, and at the latest 6th August by 10.00 a.m.
For alternative accommodation, also with your own family or friends:
Lingua Ideale has activated various agreements with hotels, country guesthouses, B&Bs, rooms or private apartments to offer participants alternative solutions to the halls of residence at advantageous prices. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
The four-week course fee is €820, which comprises a non-refundable deposit of € 200 and the course fee of €620.The fee does not include food and accommodation expenses, excursions or the prescribed books and lecture notes.
The two-week course fee is €470, which comprises a non-refundable deposit of € 200 and the course fee of €270. The fee does not include food and accommodation expenses, excursions or the prescribed books and lecture notes.
Special terms are foreseen for groups that enrol on the 4-weeks course (max 30 participants). A reduction of around 10% is applied on the basis of the number of participants: one free enrolment for a minimum 10 and maximum 15 people, two free enrolments for groups of between 16 and 24 participants, and three free enrolments for groups of between 25 and 30 people.
It is absolutely compulsory to bring one's own insurance certificate, valid for the whole duration of the course in Urbino, which guarantees medical assistance or hospitalisation in the case of illness.
Payment from a country of the European Union
At the time of enrolment, the whole fee of €820 for the four-week course, or €470 for the two-week course, must be paid by bank transfer to Banca delle Marche, Urbino Branch, I-61029 Urbino (PU), giving the following banking coordinates: IBAN IT37 A060 5568 7020 0000 0013 975, BIC BAMAIT3AXXX. and the payee: Lingua Ideale srl
Payment from countries outside the European Union
At the time of enrolment, the whole fee of €820 (+ Italian bank charges and foreign bank charges) for the four-week course, or € 470 + Italian bank charges and foreign bank charges) for the two-week course, must be paid by bank transfer to Banca delle Marche, Urbino Branch, I-61029 Urbino (PU), Italy, giving the following banking coordinates: : IBAN IT37 A060 5568 7020 0000 0013 975, BIC BAMAIT3AXXX. and the payee: Lingua Ideale srl
Payment from Italy
At the time of enrolment, the whole fee of €820 for the four-week course, or €470 for the two-week course, must be paid by bank transfer to Banca delle Marche, Urbino Branch, I-61029 Urbino (PU), Italy, giving the following banking coordinates: : IBAN IT37 A060 5568 7020 0000 0013 975, BIC BAMAIT3AXXX. and the payee: Lingua Ideale srl
Course participants who opt for a room in the Halls of Residence must make payment in one single instalment, to include the accommodation fee (240 euros for 4 weeks, 120 Euros for two weeks), as well as the enrolment fee.
Any bank charges over and above the figure shown will be notified by the Course Secretary's office and must be paid directly in cash at the secretary's office by the first Wednesday of the Course.
- €620 for the four-week course and € 240 if a room in the University Halls of Residence has been paid for;
- €270 for the two-week course and € 120 if a room in the University Halls of Residence has been paid for.
After the start of the Course no requests for refund will be accepted.
The nearest airports are Falconara (Ancona), Rimini, Forlì and Bologna. From the arrival airport take the train to Pesaro station (www.trenitalia.com) and then bus (Pesaro-Urbino link, lines 46, CD and CS).
Get out at Pesaro railway station (www.trenitalia.com). From the station take the bus (Pesaro-Urbino link, lines 46, CD and CS).
BY BOAT: Scheduled ferry services link the port of Ancona with Greece, Albania and Croatia. From the port take the train to Pesaro () and then bus (Pesaro-Urbino link, lines 46, CD and CS).
- From Bologna (175 Km): A14 toll-road towards Bologna-Canosa, Pesaro-Urbino exit, take the SP423 road (26 Km)
- From Ancona (100 Km): A14 toll-road towards Bologna-Canosa, Fano exit, E78-SS3 highway towards Rome-Urbino, take the E78-SS73 bis to Urbino (12 Km)
- From Rome (260 Km): A1-E35-E45 toll-road as far as Orte, take the E45-SS3 bis to Umbertide, continue along the SS3 towards Rome-Urbino, take the E78-SS73 bis to Urbino (12 Km).
Direct bus services connect Pesaro station with Urbino (Pesaro-Urbino link, lines 46, CD and CS) or Rome Tiburtina station with Urbino (Rome-Urbino-Pesaro line).
All bus times can be consulted online www.adriabus.eu.
Intercity bus service - timetable
(connection Urbino-Pesaro lines 46, CD and CS)
City bus service - timetable
(connection old city centre-halls of residence line 1)