Belgioioso is a fairly unremarkable town near Pavia in the north of Italy. Its most notable feature is the enormous 14th century Castello di Belgioioso.
The castle was begun in the second half of the 14th century by Galeazzo II and the town grew around the beautiful grounds. The castle is impressive.
Now the Castello is the site of the Vintage Fair which is held twice a year, in April and October. It is one of the largest in Italy and it is amazing. I defy anyone to go there and not come out with something fabulous.
At the entrance of the fair was a display of clothing and accessories by Giuliana Camerino. She was a Venetian designer who was most famous for her distinctive velvet handbags popular with Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Farrah Fawcett and other famous names.
She has been credited with creating the concept of the “It bag”. She also designed clothing with some of her fabrics woven on antique looms, which helped support local industry in post-war Italy. Her label was Roberta Di Camerino.
Her clothes and the handbags in glass cases were not for sale, but there were quite a few of her bags for sale in some of the stands inside the fair. Here is one with her signature trompe l’oeil buckles.
There were magnificent rooms full to the brim with clothes and accessories from decades past.
The next Vintage Fair will be held in April 23 – 26, 2015 . If you are interested in vintage clothing and accessories you will love this.
Belgioioso is about 1 hour from Milan. We arrived by train from Bologna. It involved a couple of train changes which were not too difficult. From the lonely little train station (don’t be alarmed when you appear to have been dropped off in the middle of nowhere) it is only about a 10 minute walk to the Castello.