Debunking the Curse of the Ducal Palace

An Urbino legend is laid to rest

Urbino's Ducal Palace: a curse against graduation?(photo by Susan West)

Want to know a little secret about Urbino’s infamous Ducal Palace?

Legend has it that university students believe this site is cursed, and refuse to enter the palace for fear of never graduating. While some believe this to be true, most think it’s a silly myth.

Former university student Ilaria Pasquinelli is proof the “curse” is not true. “It’s more of a legend, part of the Urbino culture, than an actual belief,” she says. “We are in a small town with some superstitious people who believe it, but I visited twice as a student and graduated in 2010.”

People who really do fear the palace don’t know what they are missing. This Renaissance-style art gallery will leave you in awe of the inlaid woodwork throughout Federico’s study, his initials and crests along the palace walls, and the restored chambers belonging to this former duke. It is one of Urbino’s greatest treasures, full of history, beauty, and art —all worth seeing for yourself.

This article is from Urbino Now magazine’s Go Native section, a collection of tips and info to help you feel like a local. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.

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About Stephanie Strickland

My time in Urbino has truly been indescribable. It’s not just the gorgeous city itself, but it’s the local people of this small town that have made the past couple weeks so special to me. Everyone here is so full of life and passionate about what they do; all they want is to share what they know with us, while learning a thing or two from us Americans as well. I will never forget my trip to Urbino, the rich lessons learned and the amazing people I met along the way.