Music in Unlikely Places: Macerata's Sferisterio Opera Festival

Italy was once divided between east and west by the long Apennine mountain chain that runs down virtually the entire length of the country like an Alpine spine. For centuries, crossing from one side to the other was a long and arduous day of navigating tortuous mountain roads, so many towns nestled in the scenic valleys or perched on hilltops along the route had remained relatively remote.

Il Monte Vettore e la Valle del Menocchia(Photo by Mariano Pallottini via Flickr)

Today, of course, a number of modern, multi-lane highways cut across this natural barrier and traveling across the Apennines is both picturesque and quick. A road trip to visit these mountain towns charmingly untouched by time has become an easy excursion, one which we recently enjoyed when we headed from Foligno in Umbria to the pretty town of Macerata in Le Marche for their annual opera festival.

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