Fiano Romano is a town in the province of Rome, which borders with the Bassa Sabina area and dominates the Tiber Valley. On the historical origins of the city there are no certain historical agreements: according to some scholars, in fact, Fiano was founded by the fugitives of Etruscan city of Capena, once it was defeated by the Romans, while according to another current of thought, it was built after the advent of Christianity, when the religious site of Feronia submitted a certain decline.
Fiano (Fundus Fianus or Flavianus) is mentioned for the first time in a document 840 A.D., later in 1013,it is mentioned among the possessions that Pope Benedict VIII sold the abbey of Farfa, while in 1081, Pope Gregory VII assigned the property of Castellum Flavianum to the monastery of San Paolo. Between 1300 and 1400 the Orsini family bought the property rights of whole village and sold it for 10,000 fiorini (guilders) to the Colonna Family. The latter, however, did not remain for long, lords of Fiano, because the property briefly returned to the Orsini who kept the domain until 1600. It then passed to Catherine de 'Nobili, mother of Cardinal Francesco Sforza, while later it was ceded to Orazio Ludovisi, then to the Ottoboni and, finally, to the Menotti.
Sites of Interest:
- the archaeological site of Lucis Feroniae, dedicated to the worship of the Italic goddess Feronia, whose temple, rich and sumptuous, was sacked in 211 B.C. by the troops of Hannibal;
- the remains of the Villa dei Volusii, discovered in 1962;
- the remains of several other rural villas (the villa of the Sasso di Fiano, the so-called villa della Standa, the Villa del Casale di Meana, the villa of Belvedere, the villa in the district of Baciletti, the villas in the area of Prato-La Corte) and the remains of the old port on the river;
- the Duke Orsini Castle, built strategically on a rocky outcrop and refurbished several times over the centuries, when it was first transformed from a rough medieval fortress into an elegant residence in the Renaissance and subsequently expanded and improved. It features two watchtowers: the smaller with a rectangular plan, while the larger, also known as the keep, features a circular plan. The Renaissance wing, built by Nicholas III Orsini, incorporates several rooms, richly decorated with frescoes, stucco decorations and wooden inlays;
- the XV century Church of St. Stephen the Newer. Inside are preserved a famous masterpiece of Antonio del Massaro, called the Pasture, the mausoleum of Nicholas III Orsini, some frescoes from the ruined Church of Santa Maria ad pontem, the Chapel of the Annunciation with a painting of Christ the Saviour and frescoes the school of the artist Pinturicchio;
- the Church of Santo Stefano the Older, now privately owned, fallen into disuse because located too far from the town, it features a basilica plan with three naves, in Romanesque style;
- the Church of Santa Maria ad pontem, now home to a Studio-Museum in which it is preserved a collection of artworks by Ettore de Conciliis, a famous Italian painter and sculptor.