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Our history: from the House of Sforza to now

The Villa Imperiale is located just a few kilometres from Pesaro, immersed in the Colle San Bartolo Park, which safeguards its original relationship with nature.


In the fifteenth century, it was the residence of the Sforza family and was expanded and painted with frescos at the behest of the Della Rovere dukes in the sixteenth century by the Urbino architect Girolamo Genga. Its glories diminished extensively from 1631 until the nineteenth century, when the villa passed into the hands of the Albani and the Castelbarco families. The ancient splendour of the Della Rovere residence was only restored when the new owners began to care for and renovate it.

Portrait of Alessandro Sforza
Portrait of the duke Francesco Maria I Della Rovere
Portrait of Cesare Castelbarco Albani
Ancora 2
and artwork
The architecture

The Villa Imperiale in Pesaro is considered one of the most amazing of the Italian Renaissance.


Consisting of two very different buildings that are connected by a suspended passageway, the older fifteenth-century Sforza family (former Pesaro lords) villa houses a cycle of frescos realized in 1500 by the Della Rovere dukes.


The new wing, a Della Rovere construction, features terraced architecture set against the hills and an assortment of courtyards, gardens and terraces.

Sala della Calunnia fresco, Glorification by Francesco Maria I Della Rovere
Terraces, West Wing and view towards the tower
Visit Us

The Villa Imperiale is only open to the public in summer, in 2024 from the 15th of May to the 2nd of October, every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning, and by reservation only. Visits are guided by Isairon, a tour guide association from the province of Pesaro and Urbino.


On the occasion of Pesaro Italian Capital of Culture 2024, extraordinary openings will also be organized:

days and times are indicated on the website and social channels.

For information and reservation:

Tel: +39.338.2629372 

web:  - e-mail:

Book Villa Imperiale
for your next event

Set against a captivating landscape, where a distinctive history and the magnificence of nature co-exist, Villa Imperiale is a privileged and evocative setting for events and social occasions.


A long-standing residence of the Dukes of Urbino, the villa/castle has hosted many court ceremonies, celebrations and shows, dating as far back as the sixteenth century. Still today, the same elements of hospitality welcome guests to the villa for private events, work meetings, conventions, gala dinners and weddings, giving its guests an unforgettable experience.

Villa Imperiale produces extra virgin olive oil
Aziendra Agricola
The Farm

Around the Villa everything, including the landscape, expresses the story of this region. The hundreds of years old olive trees tell about the deep connection with nature that the Villa has been preserving over more than 500 years. The Castelbarco Albani farm follows a family tradition that lasts from more than 200 years. Of its 170 hectares, 40 stretch out on the Colle San Bartolo of Pesaro and 130 in Montemaggiore al Metauro, close to the town of Fano.


The land on the San Bartolo are farmed following organic procedures and is mainly occupied by olive trees from which it's extracted a superior extra virgin olive oil.


Since 2017 the Villa has started a partnership with the Agronomy School of Pesaro “A. Cecchi”, located in the historical Villa Caprile, on the hillside of the Colle San Bartolo.


The cooperation project aims to offer to students the opportunity of gaining awareness about conservation and maintenance of historical gardens and of the olive groves part of the farm that surrounds Villa Imperiale.


The partnership recovers this way the close original relationship between Villa Caprile and Villa Imperiale:

the two had in common the similar location and the characteristics of suburban villas with italian gardens

and water plays, originally supplied by the same water tank system.



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