Fano, Diocese of (FANENSIS).—Fano, the ancient Fanum Fortunae, a city of the Marches in the province of Pesaro, Italy, took its name from a celebrated temple of Fortune, which also served as a lighthouse, on the site now occupied by the church of
Santa Lucia. Near this city, in 207 B.C., Claudius Nero defeated Hasdrubal; Augustus founded a colony there called Julia Fanensis; and, in 271, Aurelian annihilated there the Alamanni. Ruins of the Temple of Fortune are still visible, also of a temple of Jupiter, the basilica designed and described by Vitruvius (De aedif., V, i), and a triumphal arch of Augustus, enlarged by Constantine II in 340. Fano was part of the Pentapolis and with it passed in the eighth century under the domination of the Holy See. The Alberghetti governed it as magistrates during the thirteenth century. From 1306 the Malatesta ruled over it, but in 1463 Federigo di Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, after having almost destroyed the city, expelled Sigismondo Malatesta. Later the Comneni held almost independent sway.
St. Paternianus is venerated as the first Bishop of Fano and is supposed to have been appointed by Pope Sylvester I. St. Vitalis flourished in the time of Pope Symmachus (498-514). Eusebius accompanied Pope John I to Constantinople (526). Leo and St. Fortunatus belong to the period of St. Gregory the Great. The date of St. Orsus is uncertain. Among the later bishops were Riccardo (1214), persecuted by the magistrate Alberghetti; and the Dominican Pietro Bertano (1537), a distinguished orator and advocate at the Council of Trent. Fano is an exempt diocese (see Diocese) and has 55,275 inhabitants, 45 parishes, 1 educational institution for girls, 6 religious houses of men, and 8 of women.