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Bill Thayer

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Fabriano (Ancona province)

A town in the W central Marche: 43°20.2N, 12°54.3E. Altitude: 325 m. Population in 2003: 30,300.

[image ALT: A large 16‑sided stone fountain; in the background, parts of two old stone buildings: the one on the left clearly medieval, with lancet windows and Guelph battlements; the one on the right encased in scaffolding and covered with netting. It is an impressionistic view of the Piazzetta del Podestà in Fabriano, Marche (central Italy).]

Dodging the construction work in 2000, three years after the earthquake:
the Sturinalto Fountain and part of the Palazzo del Podestà in the Piazza del Comune.

Fabriano is a regional center in the Apennines, on the main highway and rail line from Umbria to the Adriatic. It is 44 km SW of Jesi, downstream from it in the Esino valley; and 15 km ENE of Fossato di Vico and 36 km E of Gubbio (both in Umbria).

Fabriano is a name immediately recognized by two groups of people: those who love old books, and those who love Italian painting. Both claims to fame date to roughly the same period, as well: native son Gentile da Fabriano's beautiful and characteristically elaborate paintings of Christian subjects tend to pop up in our mailboxes every year at Christmastime; and the city where he was born was one of the earliest places in Europe to make high-quality paper on an industrial scale, which in turn was one of the factors that led to the establishment of nearby Foligno (in Umbria, 55 km SSW of here) as the earliest printing center in Italy in the late 15c.

Fabriano's wealth and commitment to the fine arts in the late medieval period have left it with many handsome monuments: churches of course — for a quick sampler see my Churches of Fabriano page — but also the Fontana Sturinalto, a 13c work by Jacopo da Grondolo, and several civil buildings like the Palazzo Comunale, part of which you see above.

A small website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Fabriano twice and will almost certainly like the place once they remove all the scaffolding. Pending the formal website though, you may find it useful to read the Jul. 7, 2000 and May 25, 2004 entries of my diary, which have 3 more photos (and very marginally, a squib in the Sep. 12, 1998 entry); for more complete and detailed information, you should see the sites below, of course.

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Page updated: 25 Mar 09