The beautiful landscapes seen in the background of many Renaissance paintings, including those by Piero della Francesca, Raphael, and Leonardo Da Vinci, correspond to those of the Montefeltro area in the regions of lower Romagna and of Le Marche, according to two scholars conducting research to locate the landscapes.
Rosetta Borchia, a painter and photographer, and Olivia Nesci, a teacher at the University of Urbino specializing in geomorphology, studied the hills, rivers and other natural elements in the paintings and concluded the artists were inspired by an area that include the provinces of Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, making up the Montefeltro area.
“The story begins by chance with a casual close-up on a series of pictures of Montefeltro's landscapes, which looked a lot like some of the landscapes painted by Piero della Francesca in the Diptych of the Duchess and Duke of Urbino exposed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence,” the Montefeltro Renaissance Sights project explains on its website.
The interesting video below explains how the two researchers identified the landscapes:
Guided tours of the area can be booked on the Montefeltro Renaissance Sights website.