Macerata, main city of the
province and center of an important University, has medieval
Its name derives from “maceriae”,
the ruins taken from the ancient city of Helvia Ricina
(destroyed in the VII century during the barbaric invasions)
used in order to rebuild the new city.
It became free Comune (Municipality) in 1138
and assumed later a neutral position in the fights between
Papacy and Svevian Empire, between Guelfi and Ghibellines.
It became soon part of the dominion of the Church
where remained for centuries until the arrival of the French
troops leaded by Napoleon Bonaparte, which
settled in the city (1797) before the Tolentino's
Treaty, that marked the yield of the Pope and the beginning
of the rise of General Bonaparte. The same troops destroyed
part of the city in 1799.
It was then taken by Murat, brother-in-law
of Napoleon and king of Naples, but just for a short time
as he endured the defeat by Austrians troops (1815). Macerata
therefore went back to the church as a result of the
Congress of Vienna (1815) and remained
until its annexation to the Reign of Italy (1860).
Center of Macerata is Piazza della Libertà that keeps
its greater monuments: the Palazzo del Comune
(1286), the Clock Tower (1485), the Palazzo
della Prefettura (`500), the Renaissance Loggia dei Mercanti
(1505), the theatre Lauro Rossi (1767).
Between the religious buildings we remember the Chatedral
and the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Misericordia, built
up on a plan by Luigi Vanvitelli.
Macerata has one of the most ancient University in the world,
founded in 1290.
In the city it takes place an important lyric season in the
evocative sferisterio, an arena in neoclassic
style (1829) that accommodated the game of the bracelet football.