VILLA CARAMELLO IN CASTEL SAN GIOVANNI
Villa Caramello – originally a fortress dating back to the 14th century as attested by the original plans – owes its existing layout and appearance to the restoration and ornamental work commissioned by Marquis Gaetano Paveri Fontana in the early 1700s.
The project for its transformation into a villa, begun in 1712, was largely carried out between 1739 and 1741 thanks to the intervention of renowned architect Ferdinando Galli Bibiena.
The highest expression of the Baroque architectural style in Piacenza, Villa Caramello is accessed via a long tree-lined avenue more than 1 km long and presents vast grounds that are graced with a large pond embellished with stone statues and vases, offering north-facing views of the Bergamasque Alps while the celebrated Colli Piacentini can be seen facing south.
After completing more than ten years of extensive conservative restoration work, Villa Caramello was awarded the Gazzola Prize in 2008 and is open to the public for guided tours, as well as organizing selected special events, including weddings, celebrations, exhibitions, conferences, film sets and musical productions.
THE HISTORY OF VILLA CARAMELLO
Together with the Arcelli Fontana and Malvicini Fontana families, the Paveri Fontanas are the oldest noble family consortium in Piacenza. The da Fontana line in fact dates back to the 10th century, when Emperor Henry II appointed them as the owners of Fontana Pradosa in 1004. This hamlet still exists today, located on the outskirts of Castel San Giovanni and close to the river Po, and remained the hub of the family's agricultural holdings in the Tidone Valley for over a thousand years.
The Paveri Fontana family have owned Villa Caramello since the 1400s or earlier, as has been confirmed by the ancient parchments carefully preserved in the family archives.