Castello di Camino
Camino has its beginnings firstly as a Roman settlement then as a German one, and its castle has an important strategic position, dominating the hills of lower Piedmont, looking out over the banks of the River Po and the plain of Vercelli. This is a majestic, imposing building with massive battlements and towers . It was for this strategic importance that the castle was built around the year 1000 on the hill of Camino and which was enlarged and fortified even further over the centuries. It was still in use militarily in the 1600s. Today, despite the many alterations to the interior and exterior, the castle is one of the most important fortresses of the Alessandria area. The construction of the castle, a true mediaeval fortress, was begun at the behest of the Bishopric of Asti and the most important impetus to its building came about in the 1300s when the Marquess Teodoro Paleologo, in serious economic straits, nominated the castle to the Scarampi brothers, bankers from Asti. This family became uninterrupted feudal owners and with this are inextricably linked to the military and architectural history and development of the complex which can be divided into three periods: the late 1300s, the 1600s and 1700s and finally the decades that span the late 1800s and early 1900s. The oldest part is in the section of the castle that includes the imposing battlemented rectangular tower, some 44 metres high and at the base of which is a drawbridge. It was around this tower that the Scarampi brothers in the 1300s built the imposing castle. The layout of the building is irregular with subsequent additions being tacked on following the natural undulations of the land on which the castle is built. The position and method of construction of the castle made this a fortification to be reckoned with, having excellent defensive capabilities. However, between the end of the 1600s and the beginning of the 1700s the castle’s function as a military stronghold came to an end and instead the large steps and above all the rooms with balconies which faced out over the south, decorated in a flowery baroque style, came to the fore. The castle is home to some 22 important oil paintings by Domenico Guala, all dedicated to members of the Scarampi family. Between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s the castle was again subject to a range of alterations, embracing both the decorations and the furnishings, in a neo-gothic style. The ancient chapel was reduced in size and re-decorated and is home to a triptych attributed to Macrino d’Abba. To welcome Vittorio Emanuele II, a room on the first floor of the castle was extensively re-decorated and re-furnished, after which it was known as the King’s Room. The castle at Camino, which is still privately owned and open to the public under special tourism initiatives, is in a beautiful and extensive park with ancient trees.
Information and contacts
via Castello, 30 - 15020 Camino (AL)