Monuments of Camaiore

Camaiore, the ancient "Campus Maior".

Camaiore is one of the oldest towns in the area.
It was built in 1255 where there was an ancient inhabited village.
Of its rich past many traces are preserved, almost all grouped in the historical center.
To be admired in Piazza San Bernardino da Siena, the Church of the Collegiata, built in 1278 which with its façade leads us back to the Romanesque forms, the small rose with ten arms is valuable. The adjacent Bell Tower built in 1365, is flanked by the left aisle and is surmounted by a small dome. The interior is divided into three naves with side altars, to notice an organ of the sixteenth century, one of the oldest in Tuscany, the main altar decorated with tiles by Giovan Battista Stagi in 1659, a wooden crucifix of the fourteenth century located in the third altar left, a Madonna del Carmine painted by Marracci on canvas located in the right aisle and in the left one an altarpiece by Dandini (seventeenth century) representing the Last Supper. The Baptistery is housed in a nave and houses a Roman sarcophagus adapted from a baptismal font.
An example of Romanesque art of the twelfth century is the church of San Michele rebuilt as in the original after being destroyed in 1944.
In Piazza Diaz, near the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, there is the Museum of Sacred Art, where countless Flemish and Tuscan remains from the 15th century onwards are preserved.
Not far from the historic center we can not fail to visit the "Badia", a Romanesque church built around the year one thousand on the remains of a Benedictine monastery of the VIII century. Next to the façade you can see the remains of the ancient battlement walls of the XIII century. The interior is divided into three naves with squared pillars and arches; on some columns there are traces of frescoes by Giotto school.
In Pieve, near Camaiore we find one of the oldest churches in Versilia founded in 840. The facade has a lunette surmounting a portal of the fifteenth century and a mullioned window. The interior substantially unaltered and divided into three naves, is completed by a raised presbytery and an apse decorated with three single-lancet windows.
For those interested in particular artistic forms, we point out the local festivities for the Corpus Domini. In fact, the pavement of the historical center is for the occasion covered by mostly religiously composed compositions, drawn with the "pula" (colored sawdust) and destined to be trampled and destroyed by the procession.

The pieve of Saints Stefano and Giovanni at Pieve
Situated in the outskirts of Camaiore, in Pieve, this Romanesque pieve is reached by way of terraces.
The small rural church, one of the oldest in Versilia, was founded in 810 by the Lombard Adalberto.
Of the original structure, fragments in the façade and the wall of the left nave still remain. The façade presents a beautiful 15th century portal crowned by a fan light window while the upper part is two-lighted. The interior, three naves with rounded arches, is Romanesque and has not been substantially altered over time. The raised presbytery and apse, with its three one-light windows, are of particular interest. There is the precious triptych by Battista da Pisa, created in 1443, depicting the Madonna in Trono col Bambino, Santi e Vescovi.
A Roman sarcophagus of the 3rd century was re-adapted in the Medieval period to a baptismal font.

Church of Santa Maria Assunta
The church, records of which are found in the Diocese Estimate of 1260, was rebuilt between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries under the direction of either a comacino or campionese master.
Originally with apses, it still conserves the facade with its squared stones and marigold window surmounted by a Greek cross in fretwork.
The date MCCCL (1350) is still legible al the base of the first bay of the facade.
On the right hand side there is a closed door for the "catechumens", and an open door for the "fondesi" (those who offered donations towards an ecclesiastical fund).
The bell tower was built at the same time as the church, while the dome was added later on is 1450.

Arco del Rivellino.
A fresco representing Mary and baby Jesus between Saint Benedict and Saint Rocco dating to 17th century, painted over an earlier fresco dating back to the 15th century.

I was restored twice, in 1704 and in 1865.

Of the four original gates to Camaiore Castle, built in 1374, this is the only one which still exists. The access was preceded by a drawbridge. Beside the arrow slit one can see the coat of arms of Camaiore and of the Di Poggio family.
Above there is a bas relief of San Pietro with a monogram of Jesus' name (1732).

Arco Rivellino
@ Pier Luca Mori 2024

Camaiore, Lucca (Italy)