Carema (Carema in Piedmontese, Caréma in suprialectal arpitano, Caèima in eastern Aosta Valley patois, Carême in French, Kwarusunh in Töitschu) is an Italian town of 773 inhabitants in the metropolitan city of Turin, in Piedmont, on the border with the Aosta Valley.


Origins of the name

The Via delle Gallie, a Roman consular road built by Augustus to connect the Po Valley with Gaul, passed through Carema, in Roman times. The toponym Carema in fact derives from the Latin expression quadragesimum lapidem ab Augusta Praetoria (it. Forty miles from Aosta "), denoting an origin of the town after the foundation of Aosta by the Romans. Another hypothesis is that the origin of the name is Caremam, meaning "customs".



The historic center
In the moraine basin, marked by an imposing series of terraces torn from the mountain and planted with vines, stands the old village of medieval origin, with its narrow streets, stone houses leaning against each other. The pergolas supported, for a large part, by the typical stone and brick columns, whitewashed with lime, called tupiun in the Piedmontese language, constitute the most characteristic aspect of the landscape. It produces a wine of great substance and tradition called Carema.

Proposal for aggregation to the Aosta Valley
On 18 and 19 March 2007 a referendum was held in the Municipality in accordance with Article 132, paragraph II of the Constitution, which proposed the detachment of the Municipality from the Piedmont region to aggregate it to the Valle d'Aosta region. The overwhelming majority of citizens approved the proposal which, however, having heard the opinion of the two regional councils concerned, did not lead to the change of regional borders.

In favor of those who supported the thesis of unification with the Aosta Valley, there is the fact that Carema was once a dependency of the Duchy of Aosta, so much so that the historian Jean-Baptiste de Tillier inserts the Carstrussons or Castruchons, ancient lords of Carema (or Caresme or Caremme, in old French for de Tillier) among the noble families of Valle d'Aosta in his work Nobiliaire du Duché d'Aoste, citing precisely this circumstance as the reason for this.


Monuments and places of interest

Along the alleys and on the tiny squares there are several stone fountains. The most characteristic is that of via Basilia, built by the Counts Challant-Madruzzo in homage to the Dukes of Savoy in 1571: the granite stele placed at the tip of the basin is adorned with the heraldic coats of arms of the Savoy and the Kings of France.

Among the vestiges of early medieval flavor, at the corner with via Bottero, the Grand Maison, or Gran Masun, a "stronghold" that must have originally had defensive functions, should be remembered. On its sturdy stone walls there are small windows with iron bars, framed by rustic architraves and piers; the remains of heraldic coats of arms are visible on the facade. The Torre degli Ugoni also has a defensive function.

The bell tower, 60 meters high, built between 1760 and 1769, marks the profile of the landscape from afar.

At the ends of the basin that forms the background of the village, two votive buildings dear to popular devotion are placed, almost as sentinels: on the left, the small chapel of Siei, and on the right, above a spike of rock, the seventeenth-century chapel of San Rocco.

The ruins of Castruzzone Castle still cling to a rocky spur in the hamlet of Airale, a castle that in 1357 Amedeo VI received as a perpetual fiefdom from the Bishop of Ivrea, together with Carema.