Macereta is a city located in the region of Marche in central Italy and the capital of the Macerata province. The historic city center is located on a hill between the Potenza and the Chienti rivers, while the modern part has been developed below in the plains of the rivers. The population of the city is close to 43,000 and the two towns of Macerata are connected by an elevator. The city is famous for being the birth place of Matteo Ricci who was a humanist and a mathematician. Ricci was the first Westerner to visit Beijing in 1601 and would go on to translate various classics like Cicero and Euclid into Chinese. The city was also home to Giuseppe Tucci, a scholar of Asian cultures who was born in 1894, and the painter and architect Ivo Pannagi. Tucci was the recipient of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 1978 for pioneering archaeological excavations in locations like Tibet and Iran.
Getting down to Macerata
The easiest way to reach the city is by the state buses, which are quite punctual and extensively cover most towns and cities in the region to Macerata. If you want to take a bus it’s not necessary to buy tickets in advance, they can be purchased at the station before leaving. Another comfortable option for reaching Macerata is to drive into the city.
Moving Around in Macerata
Blessed with natural beauty Macerata is one of the best cities in the region to walk around in. The strategic, elevated position of the compact historic center offers gorgeous panoramic views of the landscape below and is easily navigated on foot. To explore the modern part of the city you can walk, use public transportation or drive.
Sightseeing in Macerata
The city’s main square is the Piazza della Liberta'. One of the important buildings here is the Loggia dei Mercanti, which has two-tier arcades that date back to Renaissance times.
Palazzo Ricci is located on Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which is not very far from the Loggia. The palace has beautiful architecture that dates back centuries. Today the building is home to an art gallery and a famous museum. The most important art work in the gallery is the beautiful Madonna and Child created by Carlo Crivelli.
The Duomo of Macerata was built in 1771 and is the most important building in the city. The architecture of the cathedral is neo-classical in style. The beautiful bell tower dates back to the 15th century and is a remnant of the original building that stood on the site. The interior of the cathedral was beautifully designed by Cosimo Morelli.
The Palazzo Buonaccorsi was built in 1700 for Count Raimondo Buonaccorsi based on the designs of Giovanni Battista Contini. One of the most famous parts of the palazzo is the Piano Nobile, which features the beautiful Sala dell’Eneide, decorated with sublime frescoes by artists like Solimena, Dardani and Rambaldi. The palazzo also has a beautiful canvas painted by Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole and other works by Granceschini, Balestra Lazzarini and Gambarini.
San Claudio al Chienti Church is located south of the main town and was built in the Romanesque style. The shape of the 14th century church is quite unusual because it was built on the remains of an older church.
One of the most important places to visit in the city is the Sferisterio Arena. This huge arena was built in 1820 as a stadium by Ireneo Aleandri. The architecture of the arena is neoclassical and the pit for the orchestra is so wide it is often said that the musicians on each end of the pit cannot even hear each other. During the months of July and August the famous Sferisterio Opera Festival takes place at the arena.
Stay and Accommodation
Macerata attracts quite a lot of tourists, especially during opera season, so there are great accommodations in the city. Some of the best hotels in Macerata are Albergo Arena, Hotel Arcadia, Albergo Lauri, Hotel I Clauri and Hotel Claudiana. There are also a few inexpensive bed and breakfasts in the city. If you want to visit Macerta during the summer book ahead—it is very difficult to get hotel rooms during July and August.
In Macerata there are plenty of good restaurants, pizzerias, osterias and trattorias where visitors can sample good Italian food and regional specialities. Some of the most well known restaurants in the city are Ristorante Le Case Di Giosue Marcello, Ristorante Osteria Dei Fiori Di Carducci Iginia, Trattoria Da Rosa and Trattoria da Ezio.
Shopping in Macerata
Plenty of good handicraft and souvenir shops are located in the older part of the city. There are also a few good wine shops that sell local wines.