The ancient city of Gubbio, Ikuvium or Iguvium, founded by the Umbrians at the foot of Mount Ingino, was among the most important centers of ancient Umbria which, in the division of Augustus in the 1st century BC, was limited to the west by the Tiber and extended eastwards to the Adriatic.

The precious Iguvine Tablets (III – I Century BC), seven bronze tablets inscribed in the Umbrian language with extensive descriptions of religious rites and indications on the organization of the city, are the most important testimony of the ancient Umbrians. Found in 1444 by a peasant woman near the Roman Theatre, they were then purchased by the Municipality in 1456 with a notarial deed and today preserved in the Palazzo dei Consoli.

In 90 BC it became a Roman municipality but, already in the 3rd century. BC, Gubbio had entered into agreements with Rome for the supply of military contingents. The proximity to the Apennine pass of Scheggia and the Flaminia that crosses it certainly contributed to its fortune.
Anfiteatro romano

From the 5th century it suffered occupations and destruction (Goths, Byzantines, Longobards), in the 12th century, freeing itself from the authority of the bishop, it established a municipal self-government. From 1262 until 1350 it had a long period of peace and prosperity, with great urban development including the walls and the imposing Municipal Palaces.

In 1384, after thirty years of bitter internal struggles with the Church, it was occupied by the Montefeltro family of Urbino, the domination of Urbino continued until 1631 with the Della Rovere family. It was a golden period for the city which flourished culturally and artistically. The economic and political decline began again with the new submission to the Church State. In 1860, shortly after the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy, Gubbio was incorporated into Umbria.

Piazza Quaranta Martiri presents itself as the entrance to the historic center of the city, surrounded by limestone buildings. Here, a garden originally home to the medieval market offers the first panoramic view of the village which extends onto the slopes of Mount Ingino. Numerous churches overlook this square, including the thirteenth-century Church of San Francesco, built on the land of the Spadalonga family, who welcomed and clothed San Francesco after abandoning his father's house. Not far from the square, you can then enter the archaeological area, where the remains of the Roman Theater and the Antiquarium stand out, dating back to the 2nd-1st century BC, considered one of the largest of its time with the possibility of hosting as many as 6,000 spectators.

From the lower part of the city you can go up to reach Piazza Grande, an imposing raised terrace, overlooked by the most important buildings, such as the Palazzo dei Consoli, symbol of the city, founded in 1332, now home to the Civic Museum and the Art Gallery Municipal, which houses the famous Tavole Eugubine, as well as interesting collections, including those of ceramics, with splendid examples of artefacts made with the "lustro eugubine" technique. From the terrace of Piazza Grande you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the countryside below, which opens on one of its sides.
Palazzo dei Consoli

About two hundred meters from the square, along Via dei Consoli, you reach the Bargello Fountain, located in front of the fourteenth-century palace of the same name, which made Gubbio known as the ''city of madmen''. It is said that by going around the sixteenth-century fountain three times and bathing in its water you can obtain the "madman's license", a particular parchment that can be requested from the Maggio Eugubino Association or in the souvenir shops nearby. A real ritual, dating back to the 19th century, which takes inspiration from the "birate", the rounds that the Ceri still make in Piazza Grande, during the famous celebration of May 15th.

Another site of interest in the historic center is the Gubbio Cathedral, the Cathedral dedicated to San Mariano and San Giacomo built between the 13th and 14th centuries in a predominantly Gothic style. Here, in front, it is also possible to visit the elegant Palazzo Ducale, the only example of Renaissance architecture in the village, built thanks to the Duke of Urbino Federico da Montefeltro in 1470, having to admire, among other ancient and contemporary pictorial works and a garden wall unit with panorama, a replica of Federico's study with a suggestive wooden structure, the original of which is now located in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

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