The Sferisterio was built in the early part of the Nineteenth century, the stadium hosted ancient Italian sports, circuses and sometimes bullfights. It was funded by a few wealthy residents of Macerata and designed by a local architect.
The stadium sits at the bottom of the city near one of the access ‘ports’ which lead to the centre high above. It consists of a huge arena (previously a playing field), a series of rooms, a supporting wall, boxes, and balconies. The design not only allows the building to blend with the local landscape but its structure ensures visibility for all and amazing acoustics without the need for modern amplification.
As time has progressed the stadium has seen a number of more modern activities, including football, tennis and the occasional theatrical performance. It was first used for opera in 1914, which became very popular. For many years now, an annual Opera Festival has been produced at an international level and is a well-respected event. The stadium can hold up to 3000 people.
Images by Florian Prischl, Inviaggio – Wikimedia Commons