Urbania and the Church of the Dead

Urbania and the Church of the Dead

Urbania is a lively medieval town in central Italy where you can experience Italian life in a friendly small-town atmosphere. Lies on the Metauro River in the northern part of central Italy's Le Marche region, one of Italy's most remote and least touristed regions.

Urbania is 17km from the beautiful Renaissance hill town of Urbino, Le Marche's principal inland city. It's about 50km from the Adriatic coast to the east and near the regions of Umbria and Tuscany to the west. Although it's in a scenic position in the hills, the town itself is flat, making it pleasant for walking. Urbania has good restaurants, bars, and cafes, making it a good base for exploring the region.

During the early middle ages, prior to being taken over by the Duke of Urbino, the town was called Casteldurante. Urbania's Ducal Palace was the vacation home of the Duke of Urbino, who brought culture and art to Urbania. Urbania has been a center for handmade ceramics since the 15th century. Today there are ceramic workshops where you can see artists at work, buy high quality handmade ceramic pieces, and even take ceramics classes yourself. Many of the modern pieces are replicas of local 15th-16th century ceramics, painstakingly copied from the originals.

Continue the visit through the center and a trip to the silent crypt cannot be missed, where the bodies of the common dead have resided for more than 4 centuries. The Church of the Dead, former Cappella Cola until 1836 with its gothic portal, houses the Cemetery of the Mummies, noted for its curious phenomenon of natural mummification, owing to a particular mould which dried out the bodies, sucking out the innards.

Each of Urbania's mummies has a story to be told: from the prior of the confraternity Vincenzo Piccini, dressed in the white and black tunic of the funeral ceremony, to the woman who died during a caesarean section, to the youth stabbed while dancing and the unlucky man who was buried alive in a state of apparent death...

But if you wish we will reveal the circumstances of each person here through our guided tours you will discover secrets and curiosities about this town..

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Urbania and the Church of the Dead