Guided tour of Macerata – province of Macerata
Provincial capital and Province of the same name, the town of Macerata maintains a beautiful old-town centre and is encircled by characteristic walls. Nicknamed “the Athens of the Marche“, it is a town of great historic and artistic interest, rich especially in Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture. The centre of an ancient Studium Legum, the town today boasts of an important University where renowned professors and illustrious exponents of Italian culture have all contributed to its prestige. Macerata is the hometown of padre Matteo Ricci, the famous Jesuit missionary who in the 17th century evangelised China.
To visit with a Macerata tour guide:
- The Sferisterio Arena, magnificent Neo Classical building, symbol and boast of the town, was inaugurated in 1829 following the design of the architect, Ireneo Aleandri. Originally with the intention of hosting the famous gioco del pallone col bracciale (similar to the game of “pelota”), the Sferisterio Arena, thanks to its excellent acoustics, is today used as the theatre for the prestigious summer opera season, Macerata Opera Festival as well as for various concerts;
- Basilica della Madonna della Misericordia (Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy),a Late Baroque masterpiece, the ancient sanctuary was rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century by the famous architect, Luigi Vanvitelli, author of the Royal Palace of Caserta;
- Palazzo Buonaccorsi, Palazzo Buonaccorsi, this splendid 18th-century building houses the town collections of ancient and modern art in its lavish halls, while in the charming environs of the ground floor holds the interesting and unique collection of the Museo della Carrozza (Carriage Museum). A must-see is the delightful Salone dell’Eneide (Aeneid Room), one of the most sumptuous and sublime examples of the Rococo style in the Marche;
- Piazza della Libertà, heart of town life, it is the square where the more representative buildings: the 18th-century Palazzo Municipale (the Town Hall Building); the elegant Loggia dei Mercanti and the impressive Palazzo della Prefettura (Government Building); the Clock tower with the ancient clock mechanism recently redone, the Lauro Rossi Theatre and the University of Macerata Building, founded in 1540;
- The historic theatre of “Lauro Rossi”, among the first examples of teatro all’Italiana, this enchanting jewel of Baroque architecture was constructed between 1765 and 1772 following the design of the famous theatre architect, Antonio Galli, also known as “Il Bibiena”;
- Palazzo Ricci, in its charming and enchanting 18th-century rooms decorated with period furniture is the Museo di Palazzo Ricci – Arte Italiana del Novecento (the Palazzo Ricci Museum – Italian and 20th-century Art), a prestigious painting and objects collection carried out by the most noteworthy of Italian artists of the past century;
- Church of San Filippo, masterpiece of Baroque art by the architect Giovan Battista Contini, disciple of Bernini, holds important works of art and displays an elliptical interior plan characterised by a wonderful covering of multi-coloured marbles and stucco work.
Near Macerata we advise the guided tour of the Abbazia di Chiaravalle di Fiastra, one of the best maintained Cistercian abbeys in Italy.