He is cofounder and a leading member of the Forza Italia led by Silvio Berlusconi. He contributed to the development of the party's ideology. From 11 May 1994 to 17 January 1995 he served as state minister for public administration and regional affairs in the first cabinet of Berlusconi. He was appointed minister of cultural heritage to the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Berlusconi on 10 June 2001. Urbani was in office until 23 April 2005 when he was replaced by Rocco Buttiglione in the post.