FANO, town on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Jews lived in Fano from the 14th century under special protection. In 1332 they were prosperous enough to lend 1,000 ducats to the lord of the city, Galeotto Malatesta. When all heretics were exiled in 1367, the Jewish community was unaffected. Besides money-lenders, it included customs farmers, physicians, and merchants and the Jews are said to have paid half the town taxes. In 1464 the Jewish *badge was imposed. In 1492 a friar raised a *blood libel against the Jews but the municipal council protected them. Between 1502 and 1517 Gershom *Soncino set up his press in Fano, printing books in Hebrew as well as in otherlanguages. Altogether 15 Hebrew books came from his press here, the earliest being the Me'ah Berakhot after the Roman rite (1503), and possibly *Ibn Sahula's Mashal ha-Kadmoni (second edition with illustrations) which Soncino may have begun before 1500 while still in Brescia. Later appeared the Roke'ah, a mahzor according to the Roman rite, a siddur in *Judeo-Italian, the Kuzari, and Albo's Sefer ha-Ikkarim. After his return from Pesaro in 1516, he printed during that year and the next the Arba'ah Turim of Jacob ben Asher. In 1542 Fano received many of the Jews who had fled from Sicily. With the expulsion from the Papal States, to which Fano now belonged, the Jews had to leave it; 25 loan bankers returned temporarily in 1587/88 in consequence of the liberal policies of Pope Sixtus V, but with the reaction of 1593 the community ceased to exist. In 1901 only three Jews lived in Fano.
Milano, Italia, index; Roth, Italy, index; Loevinson, in: REJ, 93 (1932), 169–71; D.W. Amram, Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909), index; H.D.B. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri bi-Medinot Italyah… (19562), 28, 30, 50, 52–53.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.