city of Camerino is situated in the Appennine mountains of central
Italy, in the province of Macerata (Marche Region).
It is located in a pleasant position on the ridge which separates the
Valley of the river Chienti from that of the
Potenza, where it enjoys a panoramic view.
Its old centre has seen little change over the last few centuries,
leaving it a particularly attractive sight, and the opulence of the
architecture is all the more impressive considering that the town can
claim a mere 7,000 inhabitants.
The city’s site has been inhabited from the Neolithic Period.
By 309 B.C. Camerino had signed an alliance with Rome and become a
flourishing Roman municipality.
It was also the seat of a Lombard dukedom associated with Spoleto.
Later, under Charlesmagne the city was made the capital of the Marca of Camerino, a region which extended from the Appennines to
The city was consistently allied with the Guelph faction and was damaged
by the imperial troops of Manfredi in 1259.
Then, under the “Signoria” of Varano, from the end of 1200s to 1539,
the city grew and prospered artistically and commercially.
This period of political and cultural vitality was interrupted only when
the last of the Da Varano rulers, Giulio Cesare was tragically deposed
by Cesare Borgia in 1502.
However Guilio’s son Giovanni Maria regained control of the city in
1503 and he acquired the title of duke, with jurisdicition over the
valley of the river Nera as far as the sea.
Most of Camerino was built during the enlightened rule of the Da Varano
family between the 14th and 16th centuries when its court drew artists
and scholars from across Italy.
In 1545, the city was once again brought under the direct rule of the
Holy See and functioned as one of the principal cities of the Papal
Province until the Unification of Italy.
The narrow main street takes you from the town’s fortress to the
principal square, Piazza Cavour, around which stand the Cathedral, the
Archbishop’s Palace and the Ducal Palace, now the seat of the Law
Over it all watches a fine statue of Pope Sixtus V dating from 1587.
The porticoed courtyard of the Ducal Palace is partly attributed to the
great 15th century architect Baccio Pontelli. From it leads a splendid
balcony with views of the Sibillini Mountains.
The grand architectural complex of San Domenico, built between the 13th
and 16th centuries, has been restored and now houses a choice collection
of works from the Camerino School of painting.
Another of Camerino’s gems is the Teatro Marchetti off the courtyard
in the Town Hall. Built in 1856, it has recently been restored and put
back into use.