The ancient Romans obviously had high hopes for their seaside base in today's province of Ancona in Le Marche. The city was actually named after 'Fanum Fortunae'.
A monumental arch still stands in honor to the Emperor as does much of the wall built to surround the original Roman encampment.
Indeed, the older parts of the town have kept the original street pattern as trodden by the Roman Legions all those years ago.
The main square of the town continues the theme with its 'Fountain of Fortune'. It features a bronze statue of 'Dea Fortuna' outside the neo-classical theater of the same name.
The original statue dates from 1593 and can be seen in the Civic Museum.
The carnival at Fano takes place over three weekends and starts in mid February. As with the carnival of Viareggio, the seaside promenade holds the procession of floats and masks, and the whole town turns out to celebrate.
We like this carnival for the extra attention they pay to typical products and especially the sweets. Do look out for a liqueur called 'Moretta' made from brandy, aniseed and rum.
So good is it, the fisherman add it to their coffee before braving the freezing February seas. The story goes that it was originally added to the coffee to make up the measure to the correct level.
Foodwise Fano was a favorite of the Emperor Domiziano who prized the local turbot. He was so impressed he harangued the whole of the senate as to the best way to prepare the fish. Any suggestions can be sent to us.
Although grilled fish is to be recommended the local dishes of choice are the 'brodo' (this time with vegetables), sausages with the unfortunate name of 'matta fanese' and a local cheese called the 'bozzotto'.