The beautiful arch of Augustus stands on the southwestern side of the old town. It was erected in the year 9 AD, made of white istrian stone. To the left and to the right of the main gate, two smaller gates can be seen. The stone on top of the main gate had an ornament with some animal on it, but nobody knows which kind of animal it was. In fornt of the arch, outside of the old town, a bronze statue of emperor Augustus can be seen.
Getting out to the northeastern side of the train station, you can access beach and beach promenade. It will take a little walk along a parking lot, but it is not that far. The beach is nice and everything doesn’t look as spoiled as in Rimini. Unfortunately, I don’t have the smallest clue how it looks like in high season as I was there in April. For me, it was to cold to go swimming – but perfect to sit down on some rocks and take a break.
To the southwestern side of the town, new fortifications were built in the middle ages as the town became object to attacks from surrounding powers. The porta maggiore was built in 1227 as the main city gate and was altered several times during the following centuries. While the neighbouring Nutti bastion, a defense structure named after its architect Matteo Nutti, was almost completely demolished, large parts of the city gate can still be seen. On the place of the Nutti bastion, you will find some beautiful public gardens.
Fano’s small cathedral dates back to the year 1140, when it was finished. The cathedral stands on the site of a former church which was destroyed by a fire in 1111. The alterations made during the following centuries were mostly limited to the addition or refurbishment of chapels, so that the façade is kept entirely in romanesque style. The most obvious change seen from outside is a new belltower from the 14th century. The latest larger renovation took place in 1920 and included the front, but it was kept in its original appearance.
Built in 1229, in a time where a transistion between romanesque and gothic style took place, the Palazzo della Podestá is the most impressive building on the Piazza XX Settembre. This buildings was also object to alterations during the centuries, but while its exterior remained almost unchanged, the interior was completely redesigned with neoclassicism being the dominant style. The building is used by local authorities, but the largest part of the buidling is occupied by a museum.
In a niche, you will find thrree saints - the patron saint St.Paterniano in the middle, St.Fortunatus and St. Eusebius left and right to him.
To the northwest of the old town, there is an old fortress from the 15th century. It was built by Matteo Nuti on order of Sigismondo Malatesta. It was once the most important part of Fano’s defense structures and was preserved well into the 20th century. During WWII, it was partly destroyed by bombings and today, only a few buildings can be seen. Some of the buildings are still in progress of reconstruction while others house exhibitions from time to time. Below the fortress, a couple of secret passages lead to other parts of the old town, but these are not accesible for the public. Leaflets (in Italian, but somehow, they also found one in English) are handed out at the entrance and the ladies were very friendly, trying to help me out with some more information. That was also where I got the largest city map I ever saw, with a scale of approximately 1:1. Unfortunately, the area in front of the fortress became a place for the homeless to drink some booze so that the fortress does not look welcoming at the first view.
The former chruch of San Francesco is now a mausoleum for the Malatesta family. The Malatestas chose the church as their burial place when it was still in use. Later, the tombs were transferred into the Portico of the church. The effigies and the smaller figures are worth to note. I don’t know, if the inner of the church (now a ruin) is open for pblic, pu at least it was possible for me to take a look into it and see all the details of the outer parts.
Coming from the train station, the first part of the old town you will see will be a corner of the old city wall. This corner is decorated with a coat of arms of Pope Julius III. The city walls on this side are still preserved and only interrupted by the entrance at Via Arco Augusto. From inside, you ca see the Bastiona Sangallo at this place. This small part of the city’s fortification can be explored on your own. It is opened during daytime.
Moretta is a popular drink in Fano - it's coffee mixed with liquor that originated from the sailors who frequent the Fano port. It's thick and has a kick to it - definitely try it at one of the local cafes for something unique to the area! The place I'd recommend trying it at is the original cafe itself - when you're at the port, you see it right before you're rounding the corner onto the street along the canal. Or go to Bon Bon Cafe over in the Lido area.