The castle’s origins date back to around 1010, when records show that the Aleramici family built the 44-metre tower, one of the highest in Monferrato.
Its strategic position made the castle an ideal observation point as well as offering protection to the inhabitants of the surrounding plains; during the 12th century, at times of danger the local people would take shelter within its walls, traces of which are still left today.
Until the 13th century Camino was owned by the bishops of Asti, before passing into the control of the marquises of Monferrato. In 1323 Theodore Palaeologus, deeply in debt and in need of money, granted the investiture and ownership of the Castello di Camino to brothers Tommaso and Francesco Scarampi, bankers and merchants from Asti. The castle remained in the hands of the Scarampi family of Villanova from then until 1950.
The Castello di Camino has been the site of fighting in the past, and one particular episode from the 15th century, somewhere between history and legend, was recorded by Matteo Bandello in his 13th tale. It tells the story of Camilla, wife of Scarampo Scarampi, driven by grief to throw herself from the tower after her husband was decapitated. Her ghost is said to haunt the castle’s bastions.
Between the 16th and 17th centuries the castle saw a series of conflicts between the French and Spanish troops. Many adaptations to the building took place in the 16th century and continued into the 17th and 18th. The alterations to the oldest part of the castle were made by Ferdinando Scarampi, with the creation of the grand neo-gothic dining room and above it a theatre frescoed with episodes from Don Quixote. Around the same period the interior chapel was built and the park was renovated.
The guided tour of the castle’s halls takes visitors through various historical eras. A description of the historical events and legends linked to the castle is followed by a tour through the interior, with artistic, architectural and historical explanations. Afterwards visitors can explore the beautiful grounds, part of the River Po Nature Park.
Accommodation in 12 luxury rooms in the castle’s renovated guest quarters. Packages linked to various events. Winery and sale of wine produced from the castle’s vineyards.
Educational activities for schools with programme approved by the Italian Education Ministry. Event hire.
Local sights: Castello di Camino, San Gottardo church, San Lorenzo church
In the area: Casale Monferrato, Basso Monferrato castles, wineries
Typical products: wines from the castle winery (Barbera d’Asti, Grignolino del Monferrato, Monferrato Rosso)
Events: During the opening season the castle hosts many popular events, including “Risalto” and “Golosaria” in the spring and “Medioevalia” and Halloween in the autumn; the programme is available on the website. “Ferragosto Caminese” is an initiative of the local tourism board and the town council