Official website: www.carpidiem.it

The name Carpi probably derives from the horn-beam (carpino), a long-trunked tree that heavily featured in the Po landscape during the Middle Ages. As early as the XVI century b.C., some Terramare were already settled there, but it was the Romans who permanently occupied the territory; the town still bears the signs of the ancient division into centuries. As the legend goes, the establishment of a real urban centre is linked to the foundation of the Parish Church of S. Maria in Castello (called LA Sagra) by the Lombard king Astolph, in 752. As early as the X century, the area was called a "castle" and was ruled by several families, when Manfred Pius emerged and was given the reign of Carpi by Emperor John of Luxembourg, in 1331. The town became more and more important, built fortified buildings, changed its town plan and reached the time of its utmost splendour with Albert III Pius, who turned it into a small-scale Renaissance capital. Later on, Carpi was ruled by the Este family, by the French, by the Austrian and the Este together, up to the coming of the Risorgimento (in which a martyr, Ciro Menotti, from Carpi took part) and the Reign of Italy. Since then, the town has developed an intense economic activity, from handicraft to industries. First wood Chip processing industries, then, since the Fifties and Sixties, textile (especially hosiery) and mechanical industries. The heart of the town is the Renaissance-inspired Piazza Martiri, onto which the Castle, the Cathedral of the Assunta, the Municipal theatre, the Portico Lungo and Palazzo Scacchetti, the seat of the Town Hall, open up. Behind the castle are Piazzale Re Astolfo and La Sagra, that are the medieval heart of the town. Amidst strongholds and towers and the magnificent courtyard by Bramante, the Museums of Palazzo Pio, inside the Castle, offer a suggestive itinerary to visit the richly frescoed rooms of the Renaissance suite and the most significant works of the municipal collection,

Carpi scagliolas and paintings from the Emilia and Veneto schools in the Municipal museum, engravings by Ugo da Carpi (XVI century) in the new Wood-Engraving Museum, traces of Carpi's most ancient history in the Archaeological Room, to conclude down on the ground floor, with the Deported Convict Monument Museum, erected a few miles from Fossoli where there is a former concentration camp, to commemorate the victims of the Nazi deportation.


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