Welcome to Camerino
A very ancient settlement of the Umbrian Camerti, the city of Camerino (from Kamars: rock, fortress), sinks the roots of its history beyond the Neolithic, subsequently becoming an Umbrian stronghold.
In the Roman age it had an important role, as evidenced by the treaty of alliance with equal conditions (aequum foedus) stipulated with the Urbe in 309 BC
The same privilege of Roman citizenship, confirmed by Mario in 101 BC and from Septimius Severus in 210 AD, it still guarantees the great importance of the city in the 3rd century, to which various tombstones and mosaics belong.
A bishopric as early as 465, it had a vast ecclesiastical jurisdiction for over a millennium.
Following the Lombard conquest, it was the seat of a marquisate and, at times, of a duchy incorporated into that of Spoleto (VI - VIII century).
Erected by Carlo Magno as the capital of the homonymous Marca, which extended from the Apennines to the Adriatic, it became part of the possessions of the Church, managing however to create itself and to manage a considerable space of autonomy, above all in the communal age.
First Ghibelline commune, later became Guelph stronghold and seat of the pontifical legislation of the Marca (1240) for which in 1259 it suffered the destruction by Manfredi's troops, led by Percivalle Doria.
It flourished especially on the initiative of Gentile da Varano who, from the second half of the 13th century, established the foundations for his family lordship.
Under the same Signoria Da Varano, which lasted until the mid-1500s, Camerino experienced the period of more intense political and cultural vitality, interrupted only by the displacement of Giulio Cesare Da Varano by Valentino (1502) which, however, did not prevented his son Giovanni Maria from recovering the state in 1503 and acquiring the title of Duke.
From 1545 the city returns under the direct dominion of the Holy See with the function of capital of the Apostolic Delegation.
In 1809, in the Napoleonic age, the city was incorporated with the other Marches of Fermo and Ancona, becoming the district capital.
In 1860 it was annexed, by plebiscite, to the Kingdom of Italy, remaining the seat of a sub-prefecture up until 1927.
The City of Camerino was awarded the Silver Medal for military valor for the high contribution offered to the cause of Liberation
How the Duchy of Camerino is born
The Da Varano family held the fortunes of Camerino from the second half of the 1200s until 1539.
Throughout the second half of the fifteenth century, Camerino was dominated by an exceptional figure of prince, Giulio Cesare da Varano (1464-1502) who marked the maximum splendor of the city: captain of armies in the pay of the great Italian powers, acute and unscrupulous politician , a generous patron, an emulation of the great Federico da Montefeltro, but less fortunate in the historiographical consideration. It was he who completed the Ducal Palace of Camerino.
The greatness of the lord of Camerino was expressed above all in military enterprises. There are many fortresses that characterize Camerino and the surrounding area: the Rocca Borgesca (Camerino), the Rocca Varano, today a museum (loc. Sfercia di Camerino) the Rocca d'Aiello (Camerino), the Castle of Lanciano, now a museum (Castelraimondo ) and Beldiletto (Pievebovigliana).
Among the buildings of civil architecture promoted by the Da Varano family, the Palazzo Ducale di Camerino, now home to the University of Studies, is of considerable interest. In Esanatoglia the Varano built in the century XIV a fortified residence (the current Palazzo Comunale), the subject of recent post-earthquake restorations 1997, during which a singular pictorial cycle of horse riders emerged.
The Da Varano family also established religious buildings such as the Monastery of Santa Maria Nova in Camerino, which only later was dedicated to Santa Chiara and the Tempio dell'Annunziata, built between 1493 and 1508 near which, according to legend, would have taken refuge an icon of the Madonna escaped from the house of a blasphemer.