Taste Italy in the City of Fortune. Find out what to do and what beauties discover in Fano in order to transform yourself into a real local.
Known as the City of Fortune, but also with the nickname of the City of Children, City of Vitruvius and City of Carnival, Fano boasts a strategic position between the sea and the hills of the Marche region, a small and precious historical centre, and the bronze medal as the third most populous city in the Marche region.
It is 207 BC. when Fanum Fortunae was founded by Cesare Ottaviano Augusto, whose statue can be admired near the Arch of Augustus, the historical and (still) main gateway to the city coming from the ancient Via Flaminia, which ends right here connecting Fano to Rome.
A city with a Roman imprint, it also proudly shows admirable traces from the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, visible in the ancient walls, in several churches and in beautiful private palaces.
If you want to take a journey based on authenticity, here is our selection of 10 things to do to experience Fano like a proper local!
10. Fano like a local: start riding a bike!
It doesn't matter what season of the year it is. If you want to transform yourself into a real Fanese, your wand will be the bicycle.
Oh yes, because in Fano, as largely in the Marche and Emilia Romagna regions, the people-oriented size of the city and the presence of nature all around the urban center particularly encourage the use of the bicycle.
It is a consolidated habit that involves young and old people, and which, in addition to being good for the body and the environment, perfectly fits with the lifestyle of the city... where everything is easily accessible by bicycle!
But don't worry, if you don't have one you can easily find shops or bike hotels where to rent it at competitive prices.
9. Discover the market in Fano like a local
From northern to southern Italy, a large part of the Italian tradition is told by the markets.
Lively and sensorially stimulating places, crowded with colours, sounds, smells and people, they push you into the everyday life of a city without any filters.
An even truer reality if we talk about small towns like Fano, where the market becomes for citizens, as well as for tourists, an opportunity to socialize, in addition to representing an important commercial activity.
If you really want to discover the soul of the City of Fortune, don't miss the weekly market, scheduled on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in the heart of the historic centre. It will be the perfect occasion to taste typical local products, find the best offers and experience the warm welcome of the locals.
8. Don’t miss out on shopping in the historic centre
Vibrant jewel of the city, the historic center of Fano has a particular charm.
The ancient buildings full of decorations, the soft lights and the musicians playing around in almost every moment of the day. It's hard not to feel welcomed and immediately develop a sense of belonging to this place.
The historic center of Fano is like a safe embrace, where you know you can move freely without ever being disappointed.
In addition to the artistic beauties, the presence of many shops also makes the difference: from popular franchises to the artisan shops and independent businesses where you can find unique objects and accessories. With particular attention to personal care and sustainability.
7. Things to do by the sea
We can consider it like a rule: when you visit Fano, you must necessarily dedicate some time to the part of the city that overlooks the sea.
Divided in two by the harbor, on one side we find the Lido area, while on the other the Sassonia beach. Then sand and stones, depending on your preferences.
In addition to a couple of beach resorts open to our 4-legged friends, the seafront also houses an Olympic swimming pool, beach volleyball and tennis courts, together with many restaurants and bars where you can stop and eat, perhaps for a cocktail at sunset.
In summer, the seafront becomes the main center of the city, with events that attract people until late, but we assure you that even in the middle of winter it is a fascinating place, ideal for taking time out for yourself by walking along the harbor to the Lysippos statue, jogging in the morning or admiring the patient work of the fishermen.
6. Zero food miles: flavors to savor
Eating nasty food in Italy is impossible. In the Marche region, as well. In Fano? Even more.
Considering the fish market and the other ones, bars, restaurants, wine bars and shops, food and wine is certainly an important strength for the city.
The proximity to Emilia Romagna makes itself felt with wraps and many different kinds of cold cuts, while a local must is the fresh pasta. Almost every street in the center has shops-workshops where it is possible to buy it or even just stop to admire the “ritual”.
Without forgetting the unquestionable celebrity of Fano cuisine: the brodetto, a fish soup – exclusively from the Adriatic Sea – whose precious recipe has been deposited in the custody of a notary.
For lovers of good wine, the vineyards on the surrounding hills offer fine products, accompanied by the famous liqueur of the city: the Moretta di Fano.
5. Trekking with a view on the Monte Giove Hermitage
It is an iconic architecture and place for the city.
The Hermitage of Monte Giove, on the top of the homonymous hill, is a place of peace and harmony that offers a spectacular view: the sea on one side and the hills on the other one.
In addition to representing a place of worship, due to the Monastery, it is the perfect destination for a walk in nature. In fact, while many people prefer to get there easily by car in order to keep all the energy for the visit, however, for the bravest we recommend to go for a bicycle or trekking.
It’s hard, no doubt, but the reward is guaranteed!
4. Honor the history between the Fortress and the Bastion
One of the first in the region, the Malatestiana Fortress takes its name from Sigismondo Malatesta, who commissioned Matteo Nuti to build it in the first half of the 1400s.
Restored several times over the centuries, in 2017 the internal space was adjusted to be able to accommodate up to 800 seats, becoming a place open to events too.
Above all, the advice is to admire it from the outside, where its colossal beauty is most evident, between the greenery that surrounds it and the sea in the background.
Further inside the city, the Sangallo Bastion – today a space for events as well – is located in the eastern corner of the centre, just outside the railway station. Built in the mid-1500s, it was recently restored and given back to the citizens.
Between the two, don't forget the other wonders of the city: the Arch of Augustus, the Pincio Gardens, where you can climb the walls and admire the historic centre from above, the ruins of the fascinating Church of San Francesco with the Malatesta tombs outside, the XX Settembre square with the theater and the fountain.
3. At sailing school, or do you prefer surfing?
Passionate about the sea and water sports? Fano is the right place for you.
Whether you want to learn to drive a boat or try more dynamic activities, here you will find everything you need to have fun.
In addition to hosting sailing schools with courses for adults and children, the city has various associations and clubs, also useful for those who want to meet people with the same passions or approach this dimension for the first time.
And not only this, in addition to sailing courses there is the possibility of practicing rowing, surfing, windsurfing and the brand new kitesurfing.
2. Fano Festival: there is something for everyone!
Perhaps most of the people know Fano for its offer in the theater sector, but stopping at the Theater Fortune would be a mistake. At least, yes, stop, enjoy its shows but then explore the cultural riches made available by the city through numerous festivals that take place throughout the year.
There is one about Jazz music, probably the most famous abroad. Then on literature in June, followed by the Brodetto Festival and the International Film Festival in September.
There is plenty to choose from!
1. A Carnival anything goes
Let’s finish the article talking about the gem of the city: the Carnival of Fano.
As old as Venice, dating back to the 1300s, a few centuries later it was the Malatesta family who transformed it into an acclaimed event. Mission accomplished also making it accessible to all social classes.
Since then it has been celebrated every year between February and March, but the preparation of the floats begins about 4 months before.
The best choice is to attend the show, but if it's not possible, even taking a peek at the work of the artisans doesn't seem like a bad idea!