"Corte Alta". Built by Federico da Montefeltro to be used as ducal seat in Fossombrone9 Fossombrone, is located in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, at about 10 miles East South East from Urbino. The ancient Forum Sempronii took its name from Caius Sempronius Gracchus. It was a station on the Via Flaminia and a municipium. The city and its environs abound in antiquities, especially inscriptions. Noteworthy remains are the statue of the god Vertumnus (Roman god of seasons); the Furlo Pass, constructed by the Emperor Vespasian (70-76) to shorten the passage of that mountain; and the bridge of Trajan (115) near Calmazzo, and that of Diocletian (292), both over the Metaurus river. Near the Furlo Pass, during the Gothic War, was fought (552) the battle of Petra Pertusa (the pierced rock), in which Totila was overcome by the Byzantine general, Narses. Fossombrone was included in the Donation of Pepin, but remained subject to the Duchy of Spoleto until 1198, when it passed under papal rule. It was then held in fief of the Holy See by the house of Este, in the XII century. In 1304 Ferrantino e Pandolfo Malatesta conquered the city and held it until 1445, when Giangaleazzo Malatesta sold it to Federico da Montefeltro, count of Urbino.

The building seen here—called "Corte Alta"—was constructed, beginning in 1464, by Federico da Montefeltro to be used as a ducal palace in Fossombrone. The Corte Alta was the habitual residence of Guidobaldo and his wife Elisabetta Gonzaga—the "Duchess" of Baldesar Castiglione's The Courtier. Guidobaldo died here, in the Corte Alta, in 1508.