Cairo Montenotte Castle

Cairo Montenotte, Italy

Cairo Montenotte castle is famous for having been the object of fighting up to the 16th and 17th centuries because of the battles of succession between the Genoese, the French, the Spanish and the Savoys. These battles devastated this region, causing it to be abandoned definitively by the last owners, who preferred to remain in the village.The origins of the castle go back to long ago, more specifically to the period between the 11th and 12th centuries, when Ottone del Carretto built it as his home after having inherited the mountain property upon the death of his father, Enrico Del Carretto, the main upholder of the family fortune.

As already highlighted, the position of Cairo village, which the castle looked down upon and administered, made it possible to control the business activities along the road which led from Vado to Acqui and Tortona, continuing to Alba and Asti.

At the beginning of the 13th century Otto I ceded his property to the Republic of Genoa and, following this change, the village lived through a prosperous period. There is proof that the castle had many prestigious visitors, among which Conradin, and the famous French troubadour Arnaut Daniel.

In 1322 the castle changed owners again, moving into the hands of Manfredo IV, the Marquis of Saluzzo, and then to the Scarampi lineage, which used it as a residence until the 17th century.Visiting this military base now means visiting a building that was changed greatly, as is confirmed by the building façade which is divided into two distinct blocks for two branches of the Scarampi lineage. The remaining parts of the buildings can instead be attributed to the 15th century and the parallel plastered walls presenting the alternating use of brickwork and stone, as if to create a decoration around the windows, is an element that suggests use for residing rather than for defence.

Unfortunately little remains from the original building. Proof of the Carretto phase can be in the ruins of the tower, positioned behind the rest of the complex. The tower acted as the keep of the fortification, had a square floor and blended in with the walls, which are still partially visible.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrea Armato (2 months ago)
I was able to visit the Carretto castle or better yet its remains and ruins, unfortunately in a state of decay/neglect and abandonment. Not to mention the presence of vandals/thugs and cannabinoids in the area! In my opinion, the path or the stairs are disconnected from each other as well as being dangerous for elderly people or children given the presence of some iron spikes and shards of glass. The last negative note is the dense vegetation as well as the presence of waste from bivouacs and alcohol, there is not even a shortage of condoms for other purposes. I forgot it's also an open-air Vespasian ? in short, a nice business card for residents and non-residents!
Sara Sacco (4 months ago)
Nice to visit especially in good weather, nice walk, nice view, you feel good and you can take a walk in peace
Mauro C (15 months ago)
Beautiful ruins that can be reached after a short climb. Too bad the first part of the climb is a dump. Cans, glasses and rubbish in large quantities. The view of the town from above is distorted by the huge and senseless buildings built around the small and well-kept historic center.
Andreas Braendle (2 years ago)
Very old building within a short walk and several stairs from the city center. Impressive view over the city and the old walls are a nice background for the little stage. Unfortunately the place looks like it's not really taken care of: broken glass, litter, ...
Alessandro Karl ALTHAUS (2 years ago)
A bit of a ruin, but significant from other eras in Cairo Montenotte
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