Comune di Macerata
Piazza della Libertà,3
Tel. 0733 2561
Corso della Repubblica, 38
Tel. 0733 234807
Musei Civici di Palazzo Buonaccorsi
Via Don Minzoni 24
Tel. 0733 256361
Macerata, county town of the Province of Macerata, is a typical historical centre founded during the Middle Ages, in particular during the period of the Communes. Situated on a hill at 311 m above sea level, Macerata was founded in 1138 and grew over the centuries. Its historical centre is completely enclosed within 15th and 16th century walls and appears architecturally harmonious thanks to the widespread use of bricks. The 16th century was a crucial period in the town’s history: Macerata became the seat of the Papal Legation of the Marca of Ancona and its importance increased dramatically. By the 17th century, the historical town centre already appeared as it does today. Macerata is currently “City of Culture” because of its many cultural events (theatre, music, opera) and also for the presence of the University of Macerata (founded in 1540) which is housed in several historical buildings in the historical centre. It counts an ever increasing number of students, even students residing out of Macerata.
The visitPiazza della Libertà, the main square, is surrounded by very interesting buildings. The Loggia dei Mercanti of 1504 and the Palazzo del Governo (also known as Palazzo della Prefettura) built in the 16th century as residence of the papal Legate. The theatre Lauro Rossi, inaugurated in 1774, is a beautiful example of a historical theatre. The civic Tower (64 m high) housed a 16th century automaton clock that will be soon restored and exposed again. The Town Hall was built in 1607 but its current aspect is due to a reconstruction in 1820. The Church of San Paolo was built between 1623 and 1655 but its façade was never completed; the adjacent former College is now seat of the University degli Studi di Macerata. Not far from the main square there is the Duomo of 1790 and the small Basilica della Madonna della Misericordia, designed by Luigi Vanvitelli, famous for the picture of the Madonna della Misericordia (end of 15th century) and for its richly decorated interior with works of art and marbles. The arena Sferisterio is a unique monument: it was built in 1829 as a place to practice a ball game with bracelet (a sort of pelota) and today, during the summer, houses an important Opera Season. Outside the historical centre, the Church of the Vergini (16th century) houses a Natività by Tintoretto, while in the hamlet of Villa Potenza you can find the ruins of the ancient Roman theatre of Helvia Recina. Palazzo Buonaccorsi is unique for its museum collections and for its 18th century rooms; in the basement it houses an interesting Museum della Carrozza (Carriage museum) with 22 coaches of different types and saddles, bits, whips and harnesses donated by local noble families. It is also possible to experience a real carriage trip thanks to an interactive installation. The Civic Collections of Antique and Contemporary Art is displayed on the first and second floors. The sala dell'Eneide, with works of art depicting scenes from Virgil’s Aeneid and a frescoed vault from the beginning of the 18th century, is of particular interest. Palazzo Ricci, belonging to the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Macerata, houses in its finely decorated rooms a very important collection of contemporary Italian art. The Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the School are also of great interest.
Do not missAmong the various cultural activities that Macerata can offer, the Sferisterio Opera Season, held in July and August, is of great importance: it draws a large public even from abroad. In June the Sferisterio also houses Musicultura, a national music competition where young singers are introduced to the public.