Macerata sits majestically on a hill in the sweeping landscape of the Potenza and Chienti valleys. Its historic district, enclosed by the city walls, has maintained all the characteristic tranquillity of its serene past, as well as its uniform and aristocratic appearance, with numerous palazzi and religious buildings dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. During the summer, Macerata is a favourite destination of opera aficionados: the Spheristerion is filled with the sound of music, creating one of Italy's most charming stages.There are many theories on the origin of the name Macerata.
It may come from macerie di Recina, meaning the "ruins of Recina", or it may have been derived from the classic term macèra, which means a dry-stone wall. According to other versions, the name is said to derive from the name of site chosen to build the city, known as Maceretum. Yet another version points to the area's widespread custom of cultivating hemp, which was then left to soak (macerare). Nevertheless, none of these theories can offer sure information about the origins of the name of this city, of which there no historic documents prior to the eleventh century.