The Marches is in a sense a précis of Italy, because here, in unspoilt countryside, you come down from the tops of the mountains to the coast in just a few, brief kilometres. The coast alternates between beautiful beaches of golden sand, pebble beaches, cliffs and picturesque bays, and inland you travel through a landscape characterized by low hills covered with vineyards, olive groves and woods, and by ancient villages with imposing fortresses, and churches and museums rich in history. The region takes you by surprise: it's one of the richest in terms of cultural assets, it preserves and guards its art cities like precious gems, and one of the best preserved gems is the city of Urbino. It's been said that "whoever arrives in Urbino without any knowledge of its history and of its importance will find himself an extraordinary surprise, or more likely, a miracle.": it has an enchanting old city centre from the renaissance, declared by Unesco to be a World Heritage site, with its Palazzo Ducale representing one of its most outstanding masterpieces. This town is a place that can represent "a step back in time, a plunge into the purity and liberty of the spirit". Casa del Vescovo is a fascinating home with ancient origins just 2 kms from the city. The original part of this wonderful example of country religious architecture goes back to before 1300, and in the old days it was used by the Duke of Urbino as a hunting lodge and later became a convent. The complex has undergone several transformations through the years, and has now been made into a comfortable luxury residence, whilst still preserving many elements of the old nucleus: stone doorways and fireplaces, antique washbasins, bare stone walls and precious fragments of frescoes. The villa is on two floors and from the interior you can enter the little private chapel, which is still consecrated. Much good taste has been exercised in the choice of the furniture, with many antique pieces, and the décor enlivens the atmosphere, making it warm and welcoming. Inside the enclosed 5000 sq.m. garden there is a beautiful swimming-pool with a waterfall, an area furnished for dining outside or for sitting in the shade of the trees, and a masonry barbecue, all surrounded by the typical, harmonious, hilly landscape of the Marches.