World famous for its historical ceramic production, in fact, in several European languages, the word "majolica" is translated by the term "faiance"), Faenza is located along the Via Emilia, halfway between Bologna and Rimini, between the hills and not far from the sea. The town has Roman origins and in the I century A.D. was already famous for the production of ceramics, as well as the confectioning of linen clothes. After a period of decline, which coincided with the fall of the Roman Empire and the subsequent barbarian invasions, in the Middle Ages, Faenza experienced a strong economic recovery under the rule of the Manfredi in the second half of the XV century and under the government Carlo II Manfredi, the city submitted the renewal of the urban plan. After a short period of Venetian domination, the city became part of the Papal States, until 1859, when it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
In addition to the workshops, in which are produced the beautiful and famous ceramics of Faenza, with vivid colors and sinuous forms, a visit to the rich artistic and architectural heritage of the city is suggested.
In particular, worthy of mention are:
- the Cathedral of St. Peter, built between 1474 and 1520 under the supervision of the Florentine architect Giuliano da Majano, features a simple unfinished brick façade, while the interior proposes three naves, divided by pillars and columns. Several valuable works of Renaissance art are housed within its walls, like a painting by Innocenzo da Imola, XVI century wooden choir stalls, the sculptural monuments of San Savino, San Terenzio and Sant'Emiliano and a touching crucifix completed at the end of the XV century;
- the Church of the Commenda, built in the first half of the XII century, in conjunction with the Hospice of the Holy Sepulchre, and was soon entrusted to the Knights of Malta, that financed the construction and supported the maintenance costs through the Commentaries. The beautiful frescoes in the apse are designed by Girolamo da Treviso. Other XIV century fragments adorn the walls;
- the Church of Saints Ippolito and Lawrence, once a Benedictine monastery prior to the IX century and later belonged to the Camaldolesi. It was rebuilt in the XVIII century and is one of the most important examples of late Baroque architecture in Faenza;
- the Church of St. Augustine, another medieval holy building, profoundly altered in the XVIII century, holds a XVI century altarpiece of Sebastiano Scaletti;
- the XVIII century Church of St. Anthony;
- the Church of St. Anthony, built in the XVIII century, on the ruins of an existing medieval building and inside preserves several valuable works of art;
- the Church of Santa Maria ad Nives, dating to the VI-VII century and was probably the first cathedral of the city. Profoundly altered and enlarged in the XVII century, contains important artworks;
- the Church of Santa Maria dell'Angelo, also known as the New Church, was founded by the Jesuits in the XVII century;
- the Church of San Bartolomeo, an important example of Romanesque architecture of the XIII century, restored after the II World War, it was dedicated to the dead at war;
- the Church of San Domenico, of medieval origins and remodeled in the XVIII century;
- the Church of San Filippo Neri (or of the Suffrage), which features a beautiful Baroque façade;
- the Church of San Giacomo della Penna, an ancient medieval church, built between the XII-XIII centuries, for long suppressed and converted for other functions, it preserves part of the original Romanesque portal;
- the Church of San Lazzaro, situated along the Via Emilia, built originally as a military hospital for lepers;
- the Church of the Holy Humility, unique and beautiful example of Baroque (or Rococo) style in Faenza, which today is desecrated and used as a hall for exhibitions;
- the Church of Sarna, the most beautiful and important church of the countryside of Faenza, dating to the VIII century and rebuilt in the XVIII;
- the Church of Corleto, also altered in the XVIII century, retains a medieval crypt made with materials of a Roman temple;
- the Clock Tower, a civic watchtower, rebuilt after World War II;
- the Tower of Oriolo, a hexagonal shaped tower, unique in its kind;
- the International Museum of Ceramics.