An outstanding Renaissance villa with annexed garden composed of two distinct buildings. The earliest and most austere part was extended by the Duchess Leonora Gonzaga as a gift to her spouse Francesco Maria Della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, for him to come here and rest after his military endeavours.

The villa, surrounded by an untouched hilly agricultural and woodland landscape, is composed of two buildings. The first, quadrangular in shape with a tall tower, was built by Alessandro Sforza, Lord of Pesaro. Completed in 1469, it owes its name to a visit made by the Emperor Frederick lll. The second building called “Imperiale Nuova” and connected to the first by an aerial walkway, was built for the Dukes Della Rovere in the sixteenth century by the Urbino architect Girolamo Genga. This is a quadrangular structure that emerges from the hillside containing three internal terraces: the top two were intended as gardens, while the courtyard below was for court performances and ceremonies. Geometric boxwood flowerbeds recall the lavish sixteenth century plan, while a “wild” area occupies the upper section. A system of roofed terraces on the valley-facing side of the building afford an extensive view of the valley, with the river Foglia framed by rolling hills and the Apennines fading into the horizon. Over the years Villa Imperiale has been owned by various aristocratic families: the Medici, the Albani and, lastly, the Castelbarco Albani who carried out several restoration interventions during the last century.