Macerata

MACERATA

Macerata is located on the rolling hills between the valleys of Potenza and Chienti, about twenty kilometres from the sea. The city's urban fabric, historic centre and old walls date back to between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its most famous resident is Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest who lived in China at the court of the Ming emperors and to whom the first spread of Christianity in China is accredited. The University of Macerata was founded in 1290.

 

To learn more, click on the pictures.

 

MAIN SIGHTS

The Piazza della Libertà
In the central Piazza della Libertà is the Loggia dei Mercanti with two-tier arcades dating from the Renaissance. Nearby there are a number of striking palazzi including Palazzo dei diamanti. Next to the Loggia dei Mercanti, Corso della Repubblica leads to Piazza Vittorio Veneto and to a museum and art gallery (in the Palazzo Ricci). Another museum is the Museo delle Carrozze (carriages).

The Palazzo Buonaccorsi (1700-1720)
It was built for Count Raimondo Buonaccorsi and his son Cardinal Simone Buonaccorsi using designs by Giovanni Battista Contini. The piano nobile is known for the Sala dell'Eneide, decorated with frescoes by Rambaldi, Dardani, Solimena, and canvases by Garzi and Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole.

The Sferisterio (1820-29)
A large neoclassical stadium erected for the game of pallone al bracciale (a form of handball played with a ball and a wooden cylinder worn over the forearm). It was able to hold up to 7,000 spectators.

Other points of interest

The Cathedral (1771–1790)
The Cathedral was built in Neoclassical style; it has the remains of a 15th century Gothic bell tower. The interior was designed by Cosimo Morelli.

Out of town, the remains of ancient Helvia Recina
Just north of the town, at Villa Potenza, lie the remains of a Roman settlement destroyed by the Visigoths.

Out of town, the Church of San Claudio al Chienti  (14th century)
Some way south of the town is the Romanesque church of San Claudio al Chienti: its unusual shape is due to one church being built on the remains of another. It was built as war reparation to Montolmo (today's Corridonia), which defeated Macerata in a bloody and long war.