The Castrum Montis Cupioli, as emerged from the archaeological investigation, was founded in the tenth century, probably by the bishop's will. In the twelfth century, from this center began the dynasty of the Counts of Montefeltro (then Dukes of Urbino), lords of the same territory. The residence of the counts made Montecopiolo the main centre of power of the medieval Montefeltro, the founding nucleus of their territorial lordship and, over the centuries, one of the main strongholds of the Duchy Urbino. The chronological curve of the settlement stops with the extinction of the dukes in 1631, when the center slowly began to depopulate due to the downstream descent of the population that, in the middle of the seventeenth century, still counted 700 "souls."
In the tenth century, after massive operations of carving the relief utilizing quarries, by the will of a strong power that decided to place on this cliff one of its main points of power, the first nucleus of the castle arose. This castle was composed of a summit tower (external perimeter 12x12 m) defended, at the base, by a stone fence. There were some residential and functional outbuildings (warehouses, etc.).
The castle then developed considerably between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the whole section of the fortress was remodeled. A stone wall went to protect the town that had risen on the mountain's lower terrace. During this period, within the defensive circuit of the fortress disappeared the top tower, a structural failure. In its place was built a church with an adjoining palatial residence of the Counts of Montefeltro.
In the fourteenth century, three walls and at least eight towers defended the castle composed of a town surrounded by its walls, laid out on the lower terrace of the relief and guarded by the "powerful fortress" placed on top of the cliff.
During the XV century, the fortress was completely restructured and adapted to the new war techniques, now contaminated by firearms. The quadrangular towers became circular, the walls were trimmed, and some buildings were demolished in the summit area to create large squares for the artillery maneuver. The Castle of Montecopiolo was never conquered, earning the title of the only Feretran fortress that always remained in the hands of the Dukes of Urbino.
A violent siege in 1522 by the troops of Giovanni de Medici (called "by the black bands") damaged the castle, but this continued to be inhabited throughout the sixteenth century.
In the seventeenth century, the cliff was abandoned by its population, who decided to settle permanently in the valley by implementing a series of villages from the Middle Ages, including Villagrande, Cavalcanese, Monte Rotto, Ca' Moneta, Ca' Bellino.
Guided tours and entrance fees
From 8 to 18 years and over 65
FREE : 0 to 7 years and school groups and local associations.
Groups - 10 persons: adults 4€.
Info and reservations on WhatsApp: Giancarlo 347 4953126 | Grethel 338 8285793
Hot to get:
By car: through Via Marecchiese/SP258
Via Castello, 67
tel: Municipality (+39) 0722 78106 | association promoting local culture and tourism (+39) 0722 78130 | (+39) 338 8285793