After visiting all the delights of Urbino, before moving on to the coast do not miss the chance to visit Urbania and its Ducal Palace, the ancient Casteldurante of Majolica ceramics fame, manufactured by the local master majolica makers who, favoured by the Della Rovere court, originated the “Istoriato” genre (painted with stories).
On arriving at the Adriatic Sea coast, the first city we come to is Pesaro. We are in the woodworking and furniture-making district of Pesaro-Urbino, which witnessed a boom especially in the kitchen-making industry during the 1970s. Set beside the sea, Pesaro is a Blue Flag seaside with a lot to offer tourists. Sandy beaches extend along 7 kilometres with a mixture of concession-based and free areas, there are over 100 hotel and guest houses, some of which are open all year round, comprised of accommodation by the sea, in the town and hills, agritourism centres, camp sites and rented apartments. Along the coast there is also the 12 kilometre Pesaro-to-Fano section of the Adriatic Cycle path, the cycle track that runs along the Adriatic coast. Do not miss a visit to the Monte San Bartolo regional park, located between Gabicce Mare and Pesaro which offers some stupendous natural landscapes. A 15 minute drive south of Pesaro brings us to Fano which, as well as being a popular Blue Flag seaside resort, is famous for its Carnevale, the oldest in Italy. Its beaches are divided into the Lido and Sassonia, both with shallow waters: the former is sandy while the latter has shingle. Fano is an important fishing port and sailing tourists can count on the facilities of the leisure port called the Marina dei Cesari.
Returning back inland, the city of Acqualagna should not be missed, where every year at the end of October/beginning of November the National White Truffle Fair is held, establishing this town as the privileged meeting place for promoting and selling this much prized tuber on a national and international scale. A few kilometres from Acqualagna lies the Gola del Furlo State Nature Reserve, an authentic paradise, crossed by the Candigliano river which winds its way through the mighty rock walls of the gorge, where the picturesque landscape combines with a rich variety of flora and fauna. Worthy of note is the Roman tunnel excavated at the orders of the Emperor Vespasian between 76 and 77 A.D. at the narrowest point in the gorge.
At a half-hour drive from Acqualagna lies the municipality of Pergola, the former home of the 14th century convent of San Giacomo and the Museum of the Gilt Bronzes of Pergola. The Gilt Bronzes are exhibited here in the museum, the only surviving gilt bronze equestrian group (originally comprising at least two knights, two horses and two women on foot). Leaving behind Pergola we reach the splendid complex of the Camaldolese Monastery of Fonte Avellana, cited in Dante’s Divine Comedy (Paradise, canto XXI, verses 106-111). Today it is still possible to see the cloisters, the church and crypt, the Chapterhouse, the splendid scriptorium, the cells of the monks, the guest house and the library, noble and austere quarters that are huddled together around the massive bell tower. The prestigious “Dante Alighieri” library, with over 10,000 volumes that include illuminated manuscripts and ancient holy books, together with the numerous events put on by the Camaldolese monks, ensure that still today the monastery plays an important spiritual role. The monastery in addition offers accommodation throughout the year to individuals and groups who wish to join in prayers and the experience of finding God, Lectio Divina meetings, personal retreat and life contemplation days.