Any visit to Roman Fano must inevitably start at the Arch of Augustus. Fano’s symbol from time immemorial, during the Roman period it was the main gate of the Colonia Julia Fanestris, built by the Emperor Augustus on the site of a settlement which had grown around the Republican Fanum Fortunae (a temple dedicated to the Goddess of Fortune).
The monument, built at the point where the Via Flaminia leads into the Decumanum Maximum (or main street) of the city, can be dated from the inscription on the frieze to the year 9 A.D.. Built on the outer side with square blocks of Istrian stone, the Gate comprises two smaller lateral barrel-vaulted arches and a larger central barrel-vaulted arch, the keystone of which is decorated with a zoomorphic decoration which is no longer recognisable today. The stones from the topmost section, which was reduced to rubble by the artillery of the Duke of Urbino Federico da Montefeltro in 1463, were used to build the adjacent church of San Michele. Continuing onwards, our route takes us to the Augustan Walls. Built on the orders of the Emperor Augustus in his grandiose project to monumentalise the city, it was finished in the year 9 A.D.. The walls still today preserve two thirds of the original circuit.