Fano (Marche): what to see in the city of fortune


What to see in Fano, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including Roman walls, Arch of Augustus, Cathedral, Fortune fountain and Civic Museum.

Tourist information

City of the Marche in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, Fano overlooks the Adriatic Sea, near the mouth of the Metauro.

The city of fortune is nicknamed, appellative deriving from the presence of the Temple of Fortune, around which the inhabited center developed.

Its marina Marina dei Cesari, is located between two beaches, that of Lido di Fano to the west, characterized by a sandy shore, and Saxony to the east, formed by stones and pebbles and extended to the mouth of the Metauro.

The first written record of the city of Fano dates back to 49 BC, in Roman times, although its territory has been inhabited since the protohistoric age.

Seaside town with a very attractive historical center, Fano offers interesting visit routes through which it is possible to trace its long history.

During the imperial period Augusteo the walls were built, of which about two thirds of them are preserved, together with the Porta di Augusto, also known as Arco d'Augusto and built at the point where the via Flaminia joined the maximum decuman of the city .

Another gate of this ancient city wall is still visible, more modest than that of Augustus, called Porta della Mandria because in the Middle Ages the herds were brought to pasture in the area.

The Roman walls were enlarged in the fifteenth century under the Lordship of the Malatesta, by building, in front of the Arch of Augustus, the Porta Maggiore and the fortress known as Rocca Malatestiana, designed by Matteo Nuti and located at the north-eastern end of the walls .

In the sixteenth century, under the Papal States, the Bastione del Sangallo was also built, located in the south-eastern corner of the Malatesta walls.

An underground path that winds through alleys, tunnels and galleries, under the city, leads us to the Roman Fano, when it was called Iulia Fanestris.

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Near the door known as Arco d'Augusto, there is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, whose current appearance is the result of important interventions made over time.

The church, built in the second half of the twelfth century on the remains of a previous building, destroyed by fire, retains a precious pulpit, made with sculptures from the original Romanesque structure.

Inside the Cathedral, the Nolfi Chapel is famous for the cycle frescoed by Domenico Zampieri, called the Domenichino, also you can admire, in the Chapel of the Saints Protectors, the canvas of the Virgin with Saints Bear and Eusebius, by Ludovico Carracci, and the canvas of the Virgin Assumption, made by Sebastiano Ceccarini and located on the main altar.

What see

Piazza XX Settembre, the heart of the city, houses the Fontana della Fortuna decorated with a copy of the elegant bronze statuette of the Goddess Fortuna, made in 1593 by Donnino Ambrosi, the original of the statue is located in the Civic Museum.

The 14th-century Palazzo della Ragione overlooks this square, with a Romanesque-Gothic facade and interior remodeled in the 19th century in a neoclassical style to house the Teatro della Fortuna.

On the left of the Palace stands the modern Civic Tower, built in 1950 in place of the eighteenth-century bell tower demolished by the Germans in 1944, while on the right of the Palace, through the Borgia-Cybo arch, you enter the Malatesta Court, an enchanting open space used in summer for shows and performances, overlooked by the two parts of the ancient residence of the Malatesta family, the current seat of the Civic Museum and the Pinacoteca.

The Civic Museum preserves prehistoric, protohistoric and Roman finds from the territory of Fano, as well as a precious collection of paintings from the local, Roman, Venetian and Bolognese schools ranging from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, up to contemporary art.

At the ancient altitude difference between the Roman city and the Adriatic coast, stands the Church of San Pietro in Valle, a seventeenth-century church designed by the Roman architect Giambattista Cavagna.

The facade of the church has remained unfinished, while the interior has been adorned with marble, stucco, frescoes and paintings over time, so much so that it has been considered one of the most significant examples of the Baroque style of the Marches.

Many of these paintings can be admired at the Pinacoteca of the Palazzo Malatestiano.

The monumental tombs belonging to Paola Bianca Malatesta and her husband Pandolfo III Malatesta are located near Piazza XX Settembre, under the portico of the former Church of San Francesco.

The first is a masterpiece of late Gothic sculpture by the Venetian sculptor Filippo di Domenico, the second in Renaissance style is attributed to the architect Leon Battista Alberti.

The Church of Santa Maria Nuova, originally dedicated to San Salvatore, was built in the sixteenth century on a medieval structure of which no traces remain.

The elegant portico and the beautiful portal, by Bernardino di Pietro da Carona, stand out from the Renaissance period, while the interior stuccoes date back to the reconstruction that took place in the eighteenth century.

Inside there are excellent paintings by Perugino.

In Piazza Jacopo Sansovino stands the sixteenth-century Basilica of San Paterniano, dedicated to the main patron of the city.

The facade of the church, which has remained unfinished, has an imposing portal built in 1573 by the Venetian stonemason Giacomo di Stefano Bambagiani.

In the choir of the Basilica there is the altarpiece depicting San Paterniano in glory above the city of Fano, built in 1612 by the painter Alessandro Tiarini.


It should be remembered that Fano is famous for its Carnival, considered the oldest in Italy, famous for its jet, or the traditional throwing of sweets from allegorical floats characterized by heights of almost twenty meters.

Although the first documents relating to the Fano carnival date back to 1347, the historian Vincenzo Nolfi attributes his birth to the reconciliation between the Guelph family of the Cassero and the Ghibelline Da Carignano family, mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy.

Over time, the Fano carnival became an increasingly important festival, thanks above all to the suspension of the difference between the various social classes for a day, an event that allowed the servants to make fun of their masters, immune to punishment, a custom represented abundantly in satire .

Fano | Marche, Bellezza Infinita (August 2022)

Tags: Marche