What to see in Campo Ligure

What to see in Campo Ligure-panorama-stream-stura

A Brief Itinerary to Explore the Ligurian Village Famous for Filigree

If you’re in Liguria and keen on exploring one of the inland villages, discover what to see in Campo Ligure, village renowned for its filigree! 

Known for its diverse facets, Liguria unfolds as a region with bustling seaside summers, historic urban landmarks, and quaint inland villages like Campo Ligure. Nestled in mountainous terrain near Piedmont, Campo Ligure’s rich history traces back to a 3rd-century military camp, overseeing the Stura Valley under various rulers.

In the 10th century, it became the fief of the Del Vasto family, later passing to the Republic of Genoa in the 13th century and becoming property of the Spinola family. Thriving, the village boasted robust fortifications and monuments, prospering from forges and ironworks crafting crucial artifacts, especially nails for Genoa’s construction and shipyards.

In the late 19th century, this tradition evolved into filigree production, eventually propelling Campo Ligure to become the Italian Filigree Capital. Today, adorned with precious monuments and the renowned goldsmithing technique, it proudly holds a place among Italy’s most beautiful villages.

What to See in Campo Ligure: Spinola Castle

Upon arriving in Campo Ligure, the imposing Spinola Castle atop the hill dominates the village’s skyline. With a history marked by various construction phases to repair damages from enemy sieges, the oldest surviving part, an hexagonal structure from the 12th and 13th centuries, replaced an earlier watchtower.

Expanded in the 14th century by the Spinola family, adding walls and three new cylindrical towers, modifications in the 15th century adapted them to withstand new firearms. Intriguingly, underground and aerial passages for escape during sieges can still be discerned with careful attention.

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Spinola Castle (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Abandoned in the 19th century until the 1990s when acquired by the Municipality of Campo Ligure, the castle now hosts musical performances, theatrical events, and festivals after extensive restoration.

What to See in Campo Ligure: Filigree Museum

Campo Ligure’s status as the Italian Filigree Capital led to the establishment of the Filigree Museum in 1984, supported by Commendatore Pietro Carlo Bosio, a devoted enthusiast of this art form. Posthumously, his extensive filigree collection from around the world became the museum’s cornerstone, named in his honor.

Today, the Filigree Museum stands as Campo Ligure’s most recognized attraction, showcasing exquisite artifacts categorized by geographical regions. Visitors can observe stylistic differences among global schools, from the refined use of materials like ivory and turtle shell in Chinese filigree to the colorful enamels of Russian and Nepalese pieces.

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Chinese filigree fan (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Local artisans and Italian schools, including Genoa, Venice, Florence, and Cortina d’Ampezzo, also receive ample space.

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Filigree sailing ship from Campo Ligure (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

With a negligible ticket cost and the beauty of the exhibited objects, it is certainly worth a visit

Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church

Situated in the central square, the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church is a noteworthy example of Baroque architecture, constructed in the mid-18th century on the site of a pre-existing Renaissance church.

Exterior of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Adorned with 19th-century frescoes by Francesco and Achille De Lorenzi, as well as Francesco Gainotti, the church’s altars in the various side chapels are particularly captivating. Notable works include Bernardo Strozzi’s ‘Martyrdom of Saint Lucia’ from the late 16th century and Vittorio Amedeo Rapous’ ‘Deposition’ from the late 18th century.

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Interior of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Two remarkable wooden statues within the church are the ‘Madonna of the Rosary’ from the 17th century and ‘Saint Mary Magdalene,’ sculpted by Ignazio Bettoni in 1877-78.

What to See in Campo Ligure: Oratory of Saints Sebastian and Rocco

Just outside the historic center stands the Oratory of Saints Sebastian and Rocco, originally the headquarters of the Order of the Disciplinarians. After reconstruction in the 17th century, it became the town’s civil hospital.

In adherence to Austrian Baroque canons, the interior houses noteworthy works, including a 15th-century fresco by a Piedmontese itinerant painter. Valuable pieces include Domenico Piola’s painting depicting the ‘Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian’ and an attributed work of local painter Sante Leoncini portraying ‘St. Irene Assisting St. Sebastian.’

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Interior of the church of the Oratory of Saints Sebastiano and Rocco (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Additionally, there’s an impressive fresco by Andrea Leoncini and the grand scenic altar machinery.

If you visit Campo Ligure during Christmas, you can admire a large Mechanized Nativity inside the oratory, spanning over 50 square meters, showcasing traditional life in the Stura Valley

Other Places to Visit

Apart from the mentioned attractions, three additional sites are worth exploring if you have extra time:

  1. Medieval Bridge over the Stura: Dating back to the 9th century, also known as Adelasia Bridge, it survived floods over the centuries and features three stone arches.

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    Medieval Bridge of Campo Ligure (Credit to Davide Papalini Opera propria CC-BY-SA-3.0)
  • Oratory of Our Lady of the Assumption
    Oratory of Our Lady of the Assumption
    : Constructed in the 17th century at the foot of the Castle hill, it exemplifies Ligurian Baroque, hosting finely decorated interiors with wooden sculptures from the Genoese school.
  • Tugnin’s Garden: Situated at the Castle hill’s base, it exhibits sculptures by Gianfranco Timossi, known as ‘Tugnin,’ covering various themes like mythology, the Divine Comedy, and Pinocchio.
    Tugnin’s garden (Credit to giardinoditugnin.org)

Now that you’re acquainted with all the places to see in Campo Ligure, it’s time to plan your visit!

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Article Name
What to see in Campo Ligure
Explore what to see in Campo Ligure, a charming village in Liguria renowned for its filigree . Discover hidden gems and rich history!
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La Scimmia Viaggiatrice

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