Perched on a crest overlooking two verdant valleys, Macerata is a city of unique historical and artistic interest. The first settlement came soon after the destruction of the Roman city known as Helvia Recina in 408 A.D., though the earliest written records mentioning the existence of settlements in the area date back to 967 A.D.. Macerata became a city-state in 1138 following the unification of two villages, Podium Sancti Juliani and Castrum Maceratae. The city kept on growing and, given its size, in 1320 Pope John XXII turned it into a Bishopric, thus significantly raising its prestige. Subsequently the city was ruled by aristocratic families, including the Da Varano and the Sforza, but in 1445 the city fell once again under Papal rule. The 16th century was a period of prosperity and growth for the city. In 1600 the government was transferred to Rome. Far from heralding the city’s decline, this resulted in the construction of luxurious private residences by noblemen who, being frustrated by their inability to take up posts of authority in the local administration, had no other way of differentiating themselves from other people except through their magnificent dwellings. During the Napoleonic era, Macerata became part of the Italian Kingdom and gradually regained administrative and political authority over the surrounding territory.
Today Macerata is known for its artistic and cultural treasures as well as its culinary delights. However, to appreciate all that Macerata has to offer, you must walk through its narrow streets, admire its beautiful squares, sit down at a local tavern and enjoy a delicious meal, of course after seeing a world-famous performance at the Sferisterio Opera Theatre.
Available for download: Macerata: Sightseeing Tour (PowerPoint Presentation, 1,6 Mb)
Useful link: http://www.sistemamuseale-mc.it/ (Museum network in Macerata Province)