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A Night at the Opera: the Macerata Opera Festival 2023 at the Sferisterio

If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable experience while on holiday in Le Marche, you should definitely consider going to the Macerata Opera Festival at the Sferisterio, one of the most impressive open-air theatres in Italy.

The Sferisterio is a monumental neoclassical arena built in the 19th century in the city of Macerata, in the Marche region. It was originally designed for popular games and sports, such as pallone col bracciale (a kind of handball), but it soon became a venue for musical and theatrical performances, thanks to its excellent acoustics and its stunning architectural features.

The Macerata Opera Festival started in 1967 and since then it has been offering every summer a rich and varied program of operas, concerts, dance and other events, attracting thousands of spectators from all over the world. The festival is renowned for its innovative and original productions, which often combine tradition and modernity, as well as for its high-quality artistic cast, featuring some of the most famous singers, conductors and directors in the opera scene.

The Macerata Opera Festival 2023 will take place from July 20 to August 19, with five weekends of opera, literature, cinema and music. The theme of the festival is seduction and its many facets, as explored by three masterpieces of the operatic repertoire: Carmen by Georges Bizet, Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti and La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.

Going to the Macerata Opera Festival at the Sferisterio is not only an opportunity to enjoy some of the best opera performances in Italy, but also to discover a charming city rich in history, art and culture.

Macerata is located on a hilltop overlooking the valley of the Chienti river, surrounded by rolling hills and medieval villages. It has a beautiful historic centre with elegant palaces, churches and museums, such as the Palazzo Buonaccorsi with its fine art gallery, or the Museo della Carrozza with its collection of carriages. Macerata is also famous for being home to one of the oldest universities in Italy, founded in 1290.

We ourselves this year went to watch Carmen and really enjoyed it! We have some tips if you end up going:

– Dress to impress! This is a beautiful occasion to put on your best dress or suit as Italians are known for their impeccable style.
– Head for an aperitivo just before the start of the opera. We recommend going to one of the many bars and restaurants on Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini. We went to Zerodiciannove, a wine bar that offers various delicious appetizers (book in advance as it can get busy!).
– Park your car at one of many car parks (close by you can find Parcheggio Sferisterio and Parcheggio Direzionale).
– Read about the opera you are going to watch beforehand as it makes it easier to follow what is happening on stage.
– Bring a jumper as it occasionally can get a bit chilly in the evening.
– After the opera treat yourself to a ice cream! Many bars and gelaterie will probably still be open.

If you are interested in going to the Macerata Opera Festival at the Sferisterio, you can buy your tickets online at or by phone at +39 0733 230735. You can also find more information about the festival, the program, the artists and the services on the website. Don’t miss this chance to experience a wonderful and unforgettable summer of opera, music and culture at the Sferisterio!