Visit Italy! In this video about travel tips Luca & Marina will show you the beautiful medieval town of Gubbio (Umbria).
“The city’s origins are very ancient. The hills above the town were already occupied in the Bronze Age. As Ikuvium, it was an important town of the ancient Umbrian people in pre-Roman times, made famous for the discovery there of the Eugubine (or Iguvine) Tables in 1444, a set of bronze tablets that together constitute the largest surviving text in ancient Umbrian. After the Roman conquest in the 2nd century BC — it kept its name as Iguvium — the city remained important, as attested by its Roman theatre, the second-largest surviving in the world.
Gubbio became very powerful in the beginning of the Middle Ages. The town sent 1000 knights to fight in the First Crusade under the lead of count Girolamo Gabrielli, and according to an undocumented local tradition, they were the first to penetrate into the Holy Sepulchre when the city was seized (1099).
The following centuries were quite turbulent, and Gubbio was engaged in wars against the surrounding towns of Umbria. One of these wars saw the miraculous intervention of its bishop, St. Ubaldo Baldassini, who secured Gubbio an overwhelming victory (1151) and a period of prosperity. In the struggles of Guelphs and Ghibellines, the Gabrielli, such as the condottiero Cante de’ Gabrielli da Gubbio (c. 1260 – 1335), were of the Guelph faction, supportive of the papacy; as Podestà of Florence, Cante exiled Dante Alighieri, ensuring his own lasting notoriety.
In 1350 Giovanni Gabrielli, count of Borgovalle, a member of the most prominent noble family of Gubbio, seized communal power and became lord of Gubbio. However his rule was short, and he was forced to hand over the town to Cardinal Albornoz, representing the Church (1354).
A few years later, Gabriello Gabrielli, bishop of Gubbio, proclaimed himself again lord of Gubbio (Signor d’Agobbio). Betrayed by a group of noblemen which included many of his relatives, the bishop was forced to leave the town and seek refuge at his home castle at Cantiano.
With the decline of the political prestige of the Gabrielli family, Gubbio was thereafter incorporated into the territories of the Montefeltro. Federico da Montefeltro rebuilt the ancient Palazzo Ducale, incorporating in it a studiolo veneered with intarsia like his studiolo at Urbino. The maiolica industry at Gubbio reached its apogee in the first half of the 16th century, with metallic lustre glazes imitating gold and copper.
Gubbio became part of the Papal States in 1631, when the family della Rovere, to whom the Duchy of Urbino had been granted, was extinguished. In 1860 Gubbio was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy along with the rest of the Papal States.” From Wikipedia
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