Macerata and the Sferisterio

Macerata is known across the world for its annual open-air opera festival, taking place in its open-air Arena Sferisterio – a neo-classical arena erected by private subscription in the 1820’s. Its centre was almost entirely built between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Renaissance two-tiered arcades of the Loggia dei Mercanti on central Piazza della Liberta’ is the town’s most striking piece of architecture. The best of the city’s palaces line Corso Matteotti, the road that leaves the square at the side of the Loggia, while Corso della Repubblica leads to Piazza Vittorio Veneto where stands Palazzo Ricci, which houses a collection of twentieth century Italian art.
The Palazzo Buonaccorsi was built in 1700–1720 thanks to 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 the most impressive frescoes by Rambaldi, Dardani, Solimena and canvases by Garzi and Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. The building also houses the Museo delle Carrozze, where fine carriagies can be admired. The cathedral was built in Neoclassical style in 1771–1790; it has the remains of a 15th century Gothic bell tower. Macerata boasts a very old University, which was founded in 1290.  In the historic center there are nice buildings : the Town Hall, the neoclassical facade on which it was placed, in 1952, the image of Our Lady of Mercy with the inscription Civitas Mariae;  the Church of San Paolo, built between between 1623 and 1655; the 64 meters high Civic Tower, from whose terrace you can enjoy a panorama that sweeps from the Sibillini Mountains to the Adriatic Sea; the eighteenth-century Teatro Lauro Rossi, the  nearby Basilica of Mercy, full of stuccos and marble; the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, boasting an “Epiphany” by Tintoretto.
The most typical dish is  vincisgrassi, a sort of baked lasagna. The ingredients of the original recipe are: ham, truffles, parmesan and a sauce of milk and flour. The main events taking place in Macerata during the year are: the Macerata Opera Festival (July / August) and the Feast of the Patron San Giuliano (August).



At the Sferisterio some free services are reserved for blind and visually impaired people : audio descriptions, both in Italian and English, and sensory paths.

Audio descriptions are verbal commentaries that tell visually impaired theatre-goers what is happening on the stage. Visually impaired theatre-goers are equipped with a headset or earpiece before the performance and the description is relayed from a booth to the headset/ear-piece. The introductions of opera songs can be downloaded for free at . A helper can accompany the visually impaired person.

Sensory paths, created in collaboration with the Tactile State Museum of Ancona, are available for those who wish to discover what happens backstage at the Sferisterio. There are initiatives reserved for children who can discover the world of costumes, music instruments and scenic designs. For each path only one helper  of visually impaired people is admitted or a friend if it’s a child. If you wish to join in please write to or phone 320 530 9994 ( year 2016).


Piazza della Libertà 3 (Sede Comunale)
0733256361; 0733271709; 0733.234807
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Published on: 22/03/2017  -  Filed under: Places to visit