Executive summary by darmansjah
Gubbio is a town and comune in the far northeastern part of the Italian province of Perugia (Umbria). It is located on the lowest slope of Mt. Ingino, a small mountain of the Apennines.
The historical centre of Gubbio has a decidedly medieval aspect: the town is austere in appearance because of the dark grey stone, narrow streets, and Gothic architecture. Many houses in central Gubbio date to the 14th and 15th centuries, and were originally the dwellings of wealthy merchants. They often have a second door fronting on the street, usually just a few inches from the main entrance. This secondary entrance is narrower, and a foot or so above the actual street level. This type of door is called a porta dei morti (door of the dead) because it was proposed that they were used to remove the bodies of any who might have died inside the house. This is almost certainly false, but there is no agreement as to the purpose of the secondary doors. A more likely theory is that the door was used by the owners to protect themselves when opening to unknown persons, leaving them in a dominating position.
Gubbio Roman Theatre at sunset.
Among most visited buildings and sites in the city are:
Roman Theater: This ancient open air theater built in the 1st century BC using square blocks of local limestone. Traces of mosaic decoration have been found. Originally, the diameter of the cavea was 70 metres, and could house up to 6,000 spectators.
Roman Mausoleum: This Mausoleum is sometimes said to be of Pomponius Graecinus, but on no satisfactory grounds)
Palazzo dei Consoli: Dating to the first half of the 14th century, this massive palace, is now a museum housing the Eugubine Tables.
Palazzo and Torre Gabrielli
Duomo: This Cathedral was built in the late 12th century. The most striking feature is the rose-window in the façade with, at its sides, the symbols of the Evangelists: the eagle for St. John, the lion for St. Mark, the angel for St. Matthew and the ox for St. Luke. The interior has latine cross plan with a single nave. The most precious art piece is the wooden Christ over the altar, of Umbrian school.
palazzo dei consoli
Palazzo Ducale: The Palace built from 1470 by Luciano Laurana or Francesco di Giorgio Martini for Federico da Montefeltro. Famous is the inner court, reminiscent of the Palazzo Ducale of Urbino.
San Francesco: This church from the second half of the 13th century is the sole religious edifice in the city having a nave with two aisles. The vaults are supported by octagonal pilasters. The frescoes in the left side date from the 15th century.
Santa Maria Nuova: This is a typical Cistercian church of the 13th century. In the interior is a 14th-century fresco portraying the so-called Madonna del Belvedere (1413), by Ottaviano Nelli. It also has a work by Guido Palmerucci. Also from the Cistercians is the Convent of St. Augustine, with some frescoes by Nelli.
Sunlight streams through the rose window of Piazza S. Giovanni.
Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo, with a nave and four aisles is a sanctuary outside the city. Noteworthy are the marble altar and the great windows with episodes of the life of St. Ubaldo, patron of Gubbio. The finely sculpted portals and the fragmentary frescoes give a hint of the magnificent 15th-century decoration once boasted by the basilica.
Museo Cante Gabrielli: This museum is housed in the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, which once belonged to the Gabrielli family.
Vivian Gabriel Oriental Collection: This is a museum of Tibetan, Nepalese, Chinese and Indian art. The collection was donated to the municipality by Sir Edmund Vivian Gabriel (1875–1950), British colonial officer and adventurer, collateral descendant of the Gabrielli who were lords of Gubbio in the Middle Ages.
A "porta dei morti" that has been turned into a window.
Piazza S. Giovanni: This plaza is mentioned in documents as far back as the 12th century. The nearby church of San Giovanni plan, one nave only with four transversal arches supporting the pitched roof, was taken as a model for other Gubbio churches later on.
San Domenico, once known as San Martino
Santa Maria della Foce
Gubbio is home to the Corsa dei Ceri, a run held every year always on the 15th day of May, in which three teams, devoted to St. Ubaldo (the patron saint of Gubbio), S. Giorgio, and S. Antonio, run through throngs of cheering supporters (clad in the distinctive colours of yellow, blue and black, with white trousers and red belts and neckbands), up much of the mountain from the main square in front of the Palazzo dei Consoli to the basilica of St. Ubaldo, each team carrying a statue of their saint mounted on a wooden octagonal prism, similar to an hour-glass shape 4 metres tall and weighing about 280 kg (617 lb).
Corsa dei Ceri.
The race has strong devotional, civic, and historical overtones and is one of the best-known folklore manifestations in Italy; the Ceri were chosen as the heraldic emblem on the coat of arms of Umbria as a modern administrative region.
A celebration like the Corsa dei Ceri is held also in Jessup, Pennsylvania. In this small town the people carry out the same festivities as the residents of Gubbio do by "racing" the three statues through the streets during the Memorial Day weekend. This remains an important and sacred event in both towns.
Gubbio was also one of the centres of production of the Italian pottery (maiolica), during the Renaissance. The most important Italian potter of that period, Mastro Giorgio, was active in Gubbio during the early 16th century.
The city is the setting for the popular story of St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio, recorded in the medieval Fioretti di San Francesco.