Welcome to Fabriano, a picturesque town located in the Ancona province of the Italian region of Marche. Situated at an elevation of 325 meters above sea level, Fabriano lies in the Esino valley, 44 kilometers upstream and southwest of Jesi, and 15 kilometers east-northeast of Fossato di Vico and 36 kilometers east of Gubbio in Umbria. Its strategic location on the main highway and rail line from Umbria to the Adriatic make it a mid-sized regional center in the Apennines. Fabriano is the headquarters of the giant appliance maker Indesit, partly owned by Whirlpool. Fabriano, along with Roma, Parma, Torino, and Carrara, is an Italian creative city recognized by UNESCO. The town is in the category of Folk Arts for the Fabrianos handmade paper production.
Fabriano appears to have been founded in the early Middle Ages by the inhabitants of a small Roman town 5 kilometers south at Attiggio (Latin Attidium), of which some slight remains and inscriptions are extant. In 1276, Fabriano became one of the earliest places in Europe to produce paper. Since the 13th century and even today, the town has a reputation for fine watermarked paper. This led to Fabriano’s prosperity in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and was also one of the factors that led to the establishment of nearby Foligno in Umbria as one of the earliest printing centers in Italy in the 15th century, from 1470 onwards.
Fabriano’s wealth and commitment to the fine arts in the late medieval period have left it with many monuments. The town boasts several churches, including Fabriano Cathedral, dedicated to San Venanzio (Saint Venantius) (14th century, rebuilt in 1607–17). From the Baroque restoration are the stucco decoration of the interior and the canvasses by Gregorio Preti, Salvator Rosa, Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, Giuseppe Puglia, and Orazio Gentileschi. To the original Cathedral belong the polygonal apse, the cloister, and the St Lawrence Chapel with frescoes by Allegretto di Nuzio (c. 1360). Also important are the frescoes with Stories of the True Cross by the Folignate painter Giovanni di Corraduccio (1415). Other notable churches include San Filippo Neri, San Domenico, Santi Biagio e Romualdo, SantOnofrio, the Benedictine Abbey St Augustine, Santa Caterina da Siena, Collegiata of St. Nicholas, Santa Maria del Piangato, St Benedict Oratory of the Gonfalone, and more.
Fabriano is also home to several other notable buildings, including Palazzo del Podestà (1255) built-in white stone from Vallemontagnana and subsequently modified several times. It has a distinctive bridge structure, a memory of the stream which once flowed under it. The central arcade has frescoes from the 13th-14th centuries portraying warriors, and an enigmatic Wheel of Fortune moved by a feminine figure. Sturinalto Fountain (1285), designed by Jacopo di Grondolo, who was inspired by the Fontana Maggiore in Perugia. Communal Palace (c. 1350, rebuilt in 1690). It was the residence of the Chiavelli family, lords of the city until 1435. In the courtyard is a lapidarium with fragments of buildings of the ancient Roman cities of Attidium (Attiggio), Tuficum (Borgo Tufico), and Sentinum (Sassoferrato). Pinacoteca Civica Bruno Malajoli displayed in the former Hospital (Spedale di Santa Maria del Buon Gesù) – The hospital was first built in 1456. The art collection of the Pinacoteca was moved here in 1994. The collection contains works by Rainaldetto di Ranuccio of Spoleto, Master of San Agostino, Master of San Emiliano, Master of the Magi (Fra Giovanni di Bartolomeo), Maestro dei Beati Becchetti, Puccio di Simone, Allegretto Nuzi, Francescuccio di Cecco Ghissi, Master of Fossato, Master of San Verecondo, Ottaviano Nelli, Master of Staffolo, Antonio da Fabriano, Bicci di Lorenzo, Neri di Bicci; Bernardino di Mariotto, Filippo da Verona, Venanzio da Camerino, and Piergentile da Matelica, Simone de Magistris, Domiziano Domiziani, Girolamo or Giacomo Nardini, Andrea Boscoli, Orazio Gentileschi, Ambrogio Monaco, Francesco Podesti, and Gentile da Fabriano. Loggiato of St. Francis (c. 1450), Vasari Portico (1316), Paper and Watermark Museum Fabriano, Villa Marchese del Grillo, and more.
Fabriano is also home to several notable people, including Gentile da Fabriano, a 15th-century painter, whose most famous work, an oil painting of the Epiphany, is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Saint John dal Bastone, a 12th-century Silvestrine monk, was born in Paterno. Francesco Stelluti, co-founder of the Accademia dei Lincei, was born in Fabriano in 1577. Jessica Rizzo, a pornographic actress and businesswoman, was also born in Fabriano.
In conclusion, Fabriano is a hidden gem that boasts a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine. With its strategic location, the town is a mid-sized regional center in the Apennines. Fabriano’s wealth and commitment to the fine arts in the late medieval period have left it with many monuments, including several churches, notable buildings, and more. The town is also home to several notable people, including Gentile da Fabriano, Saint John dal Bastone, Francesco Stelluti, and Jessica Rizzo. Come and explore Fabriano, and discover why this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.