the vitruvian man


Fano houses the Centro Studi Vitruviani, which is responsible for collecting and managing a paper and electronic database of the work of Vitruvius and its effects on the development and the culture of the Western world, for promote and disseminate the work of Vitruvius, its specific outcomes in later ages and also promote classical archeology in Fano and the Province of Pesaro and Urbino.

We now want to tell you the fascinating story of Vitruvius and his Basilica of Fano, his supreme work for “authority and magnificence” (summam dignitatem et venustatem) as described by the author himself, who claimed to have taken care of the construction (conlocavi curavique).

Unfortunately, and it looks amazing, the Basilica of Fano of Vitruvius has never been localized, but new technologies have enabled us to make a reconstruction trustworthy.


According to some researchers, despite the accurate description made of them by Vitruvius, the Basilica might even never have been built, but beyond its realization, our interest goes to the design and its interpretation.

Vitruvius lived between ’80 and 20 B.C. .. His career began in the time of Caesar, when he was responsible for war machines, then he went to the service of Octavian and ended the career at the beginning of the principality. The construction of the Basilica of Fano can be traced back to the last period of his life when, at the end of his service, occupied a position of responsibility in the Colonia Iulia Fanestris.

Vitruvius was not very famous among his contemporaries, but he met an extraordinary fame starting from  the Middle Ages.

His treatise De Architectura of 27 BC is a veritable encyclopedia of architecture and not just, as in it you can find news about materials, construction techniques, building types, hydraulic works, but also astronomical and astrological digressions, in gnomonics elements, music and mechanics .

De Architectura gave the harmony fees to Western culture, which is nothing more that the canon of beauty, which is in the perfect relationship of the parts to the whole: “the beauty born from the proportions.”

The famous drawing by Leonardo, the Vitruvian Man, is the bridge between the ancient and the modern.

Is Vitruvius that encodes the architectural orders, real grammar of classical architecture, in the forms and proportions, and his legacy fascinated and influenced many artists and architects such as Vignola, Leon Battista Alberti, Bramante, Leonardo, Raphael and Palladio.

Palladio – The Basilic of Vitruvius
Sangallo – The Basilic of Vitruvius
Viviani – The Basilic of Vitruvius

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