town, Marche (The Marches) regione, central Italy. Founded by the Umbrians, an ancient people of Italy, it was subsequently occupied by the Etruscans, Celts, and Gauls, and, in the 3rd century BC, by the Romans. It eventually fell under church rule in the 9th century but was ceded in the 12th century to the Montefeltro family. It became the seat of a duchy and reached its zenith as a centre of artistic and literary activity under the rule of Federico da Montefeltro (1444-82) and that of his son Guidobaldo (1482-1508). The artist Raphael was born in Urbino (1483). The dukedom extended its domain under the rule of the Della Rovere, who succeeded the Montefeltro, but the removal of the court to Pesaro marked the beginning of the town's decline. The dukedom and its subject towns were incorporated in the Papal States in 1626 and in the Kingdom of Italy in 1860
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