Gradara, Pesaro, and Fano

The ancient castle city of Gradara is the setting of one of Dante’s best-known stories, the story of Paolo and Francesca from the Divine Comedy. The castle tour includes a dungeon and medieval walls that are accessible by foot. The cities of Pesaro and Fano are both very close to Urbino and offer much to see and do. Pesaro is the city of the composer Rossini–his birth house is now a museum and there is a wonderful opera house with a great concert season and a highly-respected music conservatory. Fano is an important destination on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman road that led from Rome, across the Apennine Mountains, to the Adriatic Sea. Fano’s status as an important Roman city is still apparent in the Arch of Augustus that leads into the city and extensive remnants of the Roman city. Both cities are on the coast with fantastic beaches. Since Fano and Pesaro are easily accessible from Urbino by public bus, it is easy for students to return to both cities for day excursions on their own.