Day 33 – Urbino

On the drive from Gubbio to Urbino, we pass through the mountains on curvy, rural roads.

We stop in the hilltop village of Frontone, an ancient town once owned by the Montefeltro family.

The castle, which provides unrestricted views of the area, dominates the village.

Only about twenty people live here now. On the weekends tourists come to enjoy the scenery and the charm of the village.

It’s hard to say goodbye to such a lovely place, but the lack of stores and other conveniences make it a hard place to stay for long.

In Urbino we visit the workshop of Gabriele Doldi, a master book restorer.

He shows us how he cleans paper between sheets of pelon.

He uses very fine Japanese paper in his repairs. This page shows the sign of the notary who validated the document.

Gabriele has more work than he can handle. He shows us how he might repair the cover of this book using water.

He also shows us a needle he found in a stack of papers from an old book from the 1300s. The needle is curved to facilitate binding the book pages. It is a rare and unique item.

The work requires precision and patience.

Gabriele also shows us some letters from the Middle Ages written to the Pope. The seal has an image that shows that the document is valid.

We go into Urbino proper and order crescerias for lunch from this popular spot on the main piazza. Crescerias are delicious sandwich-like rolls stuffed with all kinds of fillings.

This worker takes a break from the incessant demand from customers for the yummy crescerias.

While the others take off to see sights, I decide to hang out somewhere quiet, as I’d just visited Urbino last year. I found this haven out of the sun, frequented by boisterous middle school boys. It wasn’t exactly quiet, but it was far from the tourists, and I was glad to charge my phone there.

The afternoon went quickly and soon we said goodbye to Urbino castle.

And on the way to the coast, we stopped at another castle in the town of Gradara. From wiki: “The Gradara Castle dates back to the period between the 11th and 15th centuries. Its history is inextricably linked with the infamous feuds between the Malatesta and Montefeltro families. This long-standing conflict came to a halt only after the control of the castle fell into the hands of the Sforza family. It was Dante, however, who intervened with his Divine Comedy, making the castle the locale for the tale of Paolo and Francesca and thus turning the castle forever into a symbol of love.

The castle provides good views of the surrounding area, as castles should.

We drive on to the Adriatic Coast and the town of Cervio for our hotel. I get up in the morning to explore the beach.

Umbrellas and lounge chairs stretch for miles.

And the shells crunch beneath my feet as I walk along the shore.

Of course I had to choose a few for their unique patterns. We’re off next to Ravenna.

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