The artistic ideal of the Renaissance period seems to have become a reality when you look at the city of Urbino and the harmonious classicism of its architecture. The author of the city's transformation was Federico da Montefeltro, the duke of the city between 1442 and 1482. A cultured and refined man, passionate about mathematics and classics, he made his court the meeting point for numerous eminent personalities. Artists such as Francesco Laurana, the architect of Ducal Palace (the main city building that even became its symbol), Paolo Uccello, and Piero della Francesca, who filled its rooms with splendid masterpieces, owe their reputation to the administrative centre of Marche. At the beginning of the 16th century, the son of Federico - Guidobaldo - continued in the footsteps of his father by founding what is known as the ?free university', a reason that Urbino is still a major cultural centre today. The city has remained unchanged for centuries and provides tourists with an image of what it might have been like during the Renaissance.