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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

p170 Fano


[image ALT: A bas-relief of a 3‑storey Roman gate. It is a 16th‑century representation the city gate of Fano known as the Arch of Augustus, before it was partially destroyed by Pope Pius II.]

The Renaissance relief referred to, recording the Constantinian upper story destroyed by Pius II in his siege of Fano.

Fano, (anc.  Fanum Fortunaeq.v.), a town and episcopal see of the Marches, Italy, in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, 8 m. SE of the former by rail, and 46 ft. above sea-level, on the NE coast of Italy. Pop. (1901), town 10,535, commune 24,730.a The cathedral has a 13th‑century portal, but the interior is unimportant. The vestibule of S. Francesco contains the tombs of some members of the Malatesta family. S. Croce and S. Maria Nuova contain works by Giovanni Santi, the father of Raphael; the latter has also two works by Perugino, the predella of one of which is attributed to Raphael. S. Agostino contains a painting of S. Angelo Custode ("the Guardian Angel"), which is the subject of a poem by Robert Browning. The fine Gothic Palazzo della Ragione (1299) has been converted into a theatre.

The palace of the Malatesta, with fine porticos and Gothic windows, was much damaged by an earthquake in 1874. S. Michele, built against the arch of Augustus, is an early Renaissance building (1475‑1490), probably by Matteo Nuzio of Fano, with an ornate portal. The façade has an interesting relief showing the colonnade added by Constantine as an upper storey to the arch of Augustus and removed in 1463.

Fano in the middle ages passed through various political vicissitudes, and in the 14th century became subject to the Malatesta. In 1458 Pius II added it to the states of the Church. Julius II established here in 1514 the first printing press with movable Arabic type. The harbour was restored by Paul V but is now unimportant.


Thayer's Note:

a In 2000, the official census figures gave Fano 56,175 inhabitants.


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Page updated: 24 Nov 03