The birth of the stone city, as Gubbio has been correctly nicknamed, is to be dated somewhere behind the history; traces of prehistoric settlements in the Gubbio area were left since the medium Paleolithic. Without any doubt, the city was one of the most important centers of the ancient Umbro population. An impressive testimony of that age is represented by the Eugubine Tables, considered one of the most significant documents of the pre-Roman period: seven slabs of bronze material, describing the rules of rituals and ceremonies, with mentions of the government of the Ikuvium city.
Gubbio was allied with Rome since 3rd century BC and grew as importance during the Empire: The most evident heritage of this historical period is the Roman Theatre. Today, Gubbio reveals an exquisitely medieval character, incredibly well preserved in the course of the time. Perched on the slopes of Mount Ingino, protected by solid walls encircling the town for approximately three kilometers, Gubbio features large public and private buildings, churches and convents, houses and handicraft shops; it reveals an intricate architectural structure made of parallel streets, situated at different levels on the slopes of the mountain and connected one another via staircases and steep alleys, an arduous yet gratifying hike for the visitor, with impressive sights of palaces, houses, portals arches, and magnificent panoramic effects.
Being a flourishing town in the age of Communes, in which it caught up the maximum splendor, the spirit of Gubbio is absolutely medieval, made of quarters with tightened ways, small squares and bridges. Aside from the already mentioned Roman Theatre, Gubbio keeps its many monuments intact: first of all, Piazza della Signoria, the largest public square of the city and gathering point for its inhabitants, supported by mighty vaults elevating the square from the underneath street. On the square, the white Palazzo dei Consoli stands out imposing, an impressive example of a medieval public building. Other worthy attractions are the Cathedral, Palazzo Ducale, the Church of S. Francesco, the Basilica of S. Ubaldo on Mount Ingino.
Popular traditions, a heritage of centuries of history, have been jealously conserved in Gubbio, making it the richest, among Umbrian cities, in traditional happenings, some world-wide famous. On the top ranking should be placed the spectacular Festivity of Waxes, that has been carried out uninterruptedly for more than eight centuries in honor of the Patron Sant’ Ubaldo; Worthy a mention are Palio della Balestra, a double crossbow challenge of renaissance origins involving every year the skilled archers of Gubbio and Sansepolcro, and the Processione del Cristo Morto, emanation of the medieval celebrations during the Saint Week.