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Macerata

Description

Located on a hill side between the valley of the river Potenza at North and the river del Chienti at South, the origins of the city of Macerata are traditionally linked to the devastation of the Roman colony of Helvia Recina by Alarico in 553; after this event the population moved towards the higher lands and built a new Medieval settlement. Macerata was titled to be an own governed city in 1138 and submitted an important growth. During the fights between the Guelfi and the Ghibellini it changed government continuously until it became part of the Pontifical State. Over the later ages the city was ruled by the Lords Varano e Sforza and finally returned under the Church's control.

Heart of the city is the Piazza della Libertà, that features: the Town Hall (XVII century), the Loggia dei Mercanti (the Trader's Lodge), artwork of Cassiano da Fabriano and Matteo Sabbatini and commissioned by Alessandro Farnese, later famous as Pope Paolo III, and the Torre dell'Orologio (the Clock Tower), from where, on its terrace, it is possible to admire the unique panorama over the Sibillini Mounts to the sea.

The Cathedral of Macerata dated year 1000, was rebuilt twice, a first time in '400 and a second time in the second half of '700, based on the project of the architect Cosimo Morelli da Imola . The façade has never been completed for a problem of funds. Inside the Neo-Classic style three-nave church with ten chapels. Between the masterpieces preserved inside, not to miss, are: the two '600 paintings of Filippo Bellini that feature "the Last Supper" and "the Supper of Emmaus"; an organ of '700; an altarpiece with presents the Madonna between the Saints Sebastiano and Andrea, artwork of Andrea Boscoli and a famous painting of Vincenzo Martini that features San Carlo Borromeo, completed in the late '700.

Of major interest: lo Sferitorio , an antique Neo-Classic style hand ball game ground, sport that was in vogue at the time, that can host approx. 7000 spectators. Today this stadium is still in use for major events.

Last but not least, worth a mention, are the Palazzo Buonaccorsi, Palazzo Ricci, seat of the Modern Art Gallery, the Basilica of the Madonna of the Misericordia, built on the rests of an antique votive chapel built in one night in 1447 to turn away the threat of the pestilence, rebuilt and enlarged into a large church by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli in 1734 and finely decorated with fine plaster cast and marble.

Map

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