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Macerata listen is a city and comune in central Italy, the capital of the province of Macerata in the Marche region. Together with the modern town, sprawling on the plain below, it has a population of about 43,000. History The historical city center is located on a hill between the Chienti and Potenza rivers. It consisted of the Picenes city named Ricina (Helvia Recina), then, after the romanization, Recina and Helvia Recina. After the destruction of Helvia Recina by the barbarians, the inhabitants took shelter upon the hills, and eventually began to rebuild the city, first on the top of the hills then they descended again and expanded. The new rebuilt town was Macerata. It became a municipality (or Comune in Italian) in August 1138. Geography Subdivisions The town counts several hamlets (frazioni) and localities: Acquesalate, Acquevive, Botonto San Giacomo, Botonto Sant'Isidoro, Cervare, Cimarella, Cincinelli, Collevario, Colleverde, Consalvi, Corneto, Helvia Recina, Isola, Madonna del Monte, Montanello, Piediripa, Sforzacosta, Valle, Vallebona, Valteia, Villa Potenza. Climate Typically hilly, the climate is both Mediterranean and Continental. The Adriatic Sea, which is about 30 kilometres (19 mi) away, and particularly the Appennine mountains influence the weather. The elevation of Macerata is about 315 metres (1,033 ft) above sea level, so winter is particularly rainy and the snow is not so frequent and plentiful. Balkanic and northwestern perturbations may cause snow. Middle seasons are variable, and late snowfall and frost may occur during April. October is neither warm nor very cold. Summer is rather sunny, and sometimes the thermometer reaches 40 °C (104 °F). Garbino is the cause, a hot wind from the hinterland. Summer thunderstorms are frequent in August, during the evening when the weather becomes quite unstable. Main sights In the central Piazza della Libertà is the Loggia dei Mercanti with two-tier arcades dating from the Renaissance. There are a number of striking palazzi, mostly along Corso Matteotti, including Palazzo dei diamanti. Next to the Loggia dei Mercanti, Corso della Repubblica leads to Piazza Vittorio Veneto where, in the Palazzo Ricci, there is a modern art gallery. Another museum that is definitely worthy a visit is Palazzo Buonaccorsi where you can see the amazing Eneide Hall(a gallery with paintings and frescoes from the 18th century) and the Carriages Museum. Soon the building will host the city Art Gallery (now temporarily closed)with its most important artpiece, the Madonna and Child by Carlo Crivelli. The cathedral was built in Neoclassical style in 1771–1790; it has the remains of a 15th-century Gothic bell tower. The interior was designed by Cosimo Morelli. The University of Macerata was founded in 1290 and has about 13,000 students; Macerata also has an art school, two publishing houses (Liberilibri and Quodlibet), jazz clubs and the like. The Palazzo Buonaccorsi was built in 1700–1720 for Count 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 frescoes by Rambaldi, Dardani, Solimena, and canvases by Garzi and Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. Just north of the town, at the Villa Potenza, lie the remains of ancient Helvia Recina, a Roman settlement destroyed by the Visigoths. Some way south of the town is the Romanesque church of San Claudio al Chienti: its unusual shape is due to one church being built on the remains of another. It was built during the 14th century as war reparation to Montolmo (today's Corridonia), which defeated Macerata in a bloody and long war. San Claudio al Chienti' is very close to Macerata, but it has been a Frazione of Corridonia since that time. Sferisterio Opera Festival In July and August the Sferisterio Opera Festival is held in the 2,500 seat Arena Sferisterio. It is a huge neoclassical arena erected in the 1820s as a stadium for a form of handball by the architect Ireneo Aleandri. The orchestra pit is so wide that musicians at each end cannot hear each other. The first opera performed here was Giuseppe Verdi's Aida in 1921. It was promoted by the association "Società Cittadina" led by Count Pieralberto Conti. The arena was transformed into a real outdoor theatre with an enormous parabolic stage. The orchestra was placed immediately behind it and the seats were located around it. In the middle of the front sidewall was built a large door that allowed the entrance of the Egyptian conqueror. Posters were created by Verona's official Aida employee Plino Codognato and the painter Emilio Lazzari. The opera and its Triumphal March employed a lot of people (about one thousand props and also different animals such as horses and camels). Francisca Solari interpreted Aida and Alessandro Dolci sang the great tenor role in the robes of Radames. The hospitality of Macerata grew quickly and new ways were created to stay longer in the town, so the opera was repeated 17 times with more than seventy thousand appearances. The next year the opera La Gioconda was sung. Until 1927 no more shows were performed at which time the famous tenor Beniamino Gigli sang a unique concert for invalids of the Great War. After the Second World War until the 1960s, it was rare to have operas in the local "Bel Canto". In 1967, Carlo Perucci, a native of San Benedetto del Tronto (Marche), established the first stable local band with the song Circuito lirico delle Marche, so when he was in Macerata he asked the city hall to offer new spectacles. With enthusiasm the local administrators allowed him to offer new extraordinary contracts: Giuseppe Verdi's Otello (with Del Monaco and Protty), Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly (with Antonietta Stella and Nicola ruggeri). Finally, on 3 August, the musical season began and continues to today. Overall it is very relevant, compared sometimes to the Italian famous Arena di Verona and Caracalla operas. During this period, about 28 years, when Carlo Perucci was artistic director, the "Sferisterio" Arena, because of its perfect acoustics, housed the most important international voices of bel canto. The ballets of Fracci and Nureyev were performed. The presentations of Bohème by Ken Russell in 1984 and Enrico Job's Don Giovanni were memorable. Other outstanding shows were La traviata and Lucia di Lammermoor, with stage design by Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda, Hugo De Ana's Turandot and De Flò's Faust and Tosca. In the late nineties, led by Orazi as artistic director, the most important singers of the world performed in the Macerata Opera, performing in both the Sferisterio and the Lauro Rossi theaters: Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballè, Marilyn Horne, Fiorenza Cossotto, Ruggero Raimondi, Mariella Devia, Josè Carreras, Katia Ricciarelli, Renato Bruson, and Raina Kabaivanska. Since 1990, some operas have been performed in the 550-seat Teatro Lauro Rossi following extensive renovation which was completed in 1989. Originally named the Teatro dei Condomini and built by Cosimo Morelli on a project by Antonio Bibiena in 1767, it opened in 1774 with Pasquale Anfossi's Olimpiade. In 1872, it was renamed after the musician Lauro Rossi who was born in the town. This positive situation made the Sferisterio Opera a success. Three times by 1992 the organization won the "Franco Abbiati award of Italian musical Critics". Other prestigious Italian lyric events reproduces Sferisterio's events: Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna and La Scala di Milano. 2006 was the year of transformation led by the new artistic director Pier Luigi Pizzi. The summer event became a "Festival". He gave all of his 50 years experience. Pizzi's career as the opera's director, designer, dresser earned many awards. The season started with a dominant theme that marks all the shows and their sets. The parabolic stage was recovered, reviving the old atmosphere of the Handball Stadium. In that year, Mozart's 250th anniversary, the theme of "initiatory journey" opened with the Magic Flute by the Austrian musician. From that moment in every season the choice of operas was marked by a fil rouge theme, demonstrating the great intellectual vitality of opera: il Gioco dei Potenti in 2007 with Macbeth, Maria Stuarda, Norma and the gala dance with Roberto Bolle and Alessandra Ferri; "La seduzione" in 2008 when the two-time Oscar-winning citizen of Macerata, Dante Ferretti, was hired as director; L'inganno in 2009 with Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly. Macerata–Loreto pilgrimage From 1978, every first Saturday of June after school ending a 27 km pilgrimage from Macerata to Loreto takes place. It gathers believers from all over the world, but particularly from the near cities and regions. The main purpose is to revive an old tradition of gratitude to Mary, by students for their school ending. It has grown constantly in participants every edition, from just three hundred to sixty thousand pilgrims. Participants are led overnight through the hills along the road that is an old tradition Marian path. Pilgrims are preceded by a rood donated by pope Giovanni Paolo II who chaired at the Mass in 1993. The night march is constantly guided and is occupied by the recitation of the Rosary, songs, testimonies, meditation on the Word of God and the teachings of the Pope. Famous residents Preacher of Roman Jesuits, Matteo Ricci was born in Macerata in 1552. Ricci was also a mathematician and the first western man to enter Beijing in 1601 and to translate into Chinese Western classics like Euclid, Cicero and many others. Italian opera singer and composer Basilio Basili was born in Macerata in 1804. Giuseppe Tucci (1894–1984), Italian scholar of oriental cultures, was born in Macerata. Futurist painter and Bauhaus architect, Ivo Pannaggi, was born and died in Macerata (1901–81). A high school in town was dedicated in his name. Production Designer Dante Ferretti, was born in Macerata. Architect and military engineer Pietro Paolo Floriani was born in Macerata. Camila Giorgi, international tennis player. Twin towns Weiden in der Oberpfalz, Germany, since 1963 Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, since 1982 Floriana, Malta, since 2007 Kamëz, Albania, since 13 March 2010 Bibliography E.H. Ercoli. Sferisterio. Macerata, Associazione Arena Sferisterio, 2007 A. Adversi, D. Cecchi, L. Paci (a cura di). Storia di Macerata. Macerata, 1972 G. Capici (a cura di). Sphaeristerium. Roma, 1989 F. Torresi (a cura di). La città sul palcoscenico. Macerata, 1997 See also References External links Opera Festival Matteo Ricci Institute Macerata Musei The Matteo Ricci Macerata Project: An Illustrated Guidebook to Macerata Studenti Università Macerata – Macerata Students Network
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