Varano Rock
Comune di Camerino
Museums Demoantropologico e Scientifico

Located on a rocky mountain peak at the crossroads of two natural waterways, the S. Luca
stream and the Chienti riverbed, the Rocca was historically one of the key points in the
Camerino territory’s defense system.
Originally the home of the Da Varano family, the Rocca’s eagle’s nest position provided an
ideal observation post for all transit and communications between the Marche and Umbria
regions.
In the Duecento, before the rise of the City States, the Da Varano family, like other feudal
lords in the area, financed their rise to power in part by imposing transit tolls on merchants
and travelers going from the Adriatic Sea to Rome and vice-versa.
The first historic mention of the Rock dates back to 1239 when one Ridolfo di Gentile Da
Varano was named as the owner.
Later, in 1384, Giovanni II Da Varano enlarged the fortress, adding the structures around the
main tower which, in spite of considerable decay and subsequent restorations, have survived
to the present day.
Retracing the Duchy’s fortunes, the Rocca went from the hands of the Da Varano to the those
of the Borgias, the Farnese, the Church of Rome, the Marquis Bandini and finally into the
hands of the City of Camerino, the present owner.
Recently restored, from its high walls the Rocca offers a magnificent view of the surrounding
mountainous area where remains of various neighboring strongholds with which the Rock
communicated can still be seen.