An 18th-century epigraphic museum
The original collection of the Museo Lapidario in Urbino can be traced back to Cardinal Giovan Francesco Stoppani. He created a museum of ancient inscriptions in the Ducal Palace’s Soprallogge (sacred area with small study), combining his 17th-century epigraphic collection with that of Raffaello Fabretti.
Today, its vast archaeological collection includes marble slabs, consular, military and sacred inscriptions, tombstones, epigrams, statues, and memorial stones. The museum, with its 18th-century layout, features tombstones displayed on 22 mirrors along the walls, while in the centre of five rooms you can admire urns, memorial stones, reliefs, statues and altars.
The most fascinating exhibits include a fragment of an inscription mentioning the resurrection of Lazarus, a marble slab with the plan of a burial area, and a porphyry disc with a relief depicting Ulysses tied to the mast of his ship to resist the Sirens’ song. Also not to be missed are the inscriptions by famous Greek stonemason Eutropos.
The Museo Lapidario, National Gallery of the Marche and Museo della Ceramica are on the ground floor of the Palazzo Ducale, a Renaissance-era fortified residence that houses Urbino’s artistic treasures.