6 The  Camillo Story

The Camillos of the Veneto

The earliest documented traces of the Camillos in the Veneto, go back to 1480 with the birth of a certain Giulio Camillo in Friuli. He was presumably born in the Castle of Zoppola, four miles from San Vito di Tagliamento, between Pordenone and Portogruaro.

He was nicknamed “Delminio”, possibly in relation to a Dalmation town Delminium, in present Croatia, from whence his father may have come.

Giulio studied humanities in Venice and Padova, specialising in philosophy and developed his own complex theories. He aspired to produce a unified theory of all knowledge, grouped in a universal encyclopaedia of science. He dedicated all his life to obtaining this perfection, which was to remain uncompleted.  He had many illustrious followers, who regarded him as a genius, but also many enemies, jealous of his successes at court, who denigrated his work. Certainly he was quite an extravagant fellow and his ideas appear brilliant, but are very difficult to follow and the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

He had constructed a portable wooden stage, from which he professed his claims, on his many tours around the country, obtaining ferocious derision as well as unconditioned praise. In 1530 he left for France and was received by King Francis I, who was so well impressed with Giulio Camillo, that he  kept him at his service as his personal tutor.  
See "Giulio Camillo e il Teatro della Memoria"

See also "Anima Artificiale"             "L'idea del Teatro e altri scritti"

Giulio Camillo Delmino was one of the most famous thinker in the sixteenth century

     The reconstruction of Yates

His fame and respect in France was greatly enhanced by the episode of an escaped lion: while in the company of several notables, including a cardinal, a lion suddenly appeared and in the general helter-skelter, Giulio was left alone with the lion, not because of any particular courage, but because his portly stature impeded him from moving quickly. To everybody’s amazement, the lion brushed against Giulio like a cat wanting to be petted. This happening was cunningly used to symbolise the submission of nature before the intellect of man.

Camillo wrote many treatises, travelled widely and discoursed with the intelligentsia of the times throughout Europe, including popes, future saints and even Calvin in Geneva. He died in Milan on May 15th 1544. This enigmatic personality earned fully eleven pages in Italy’s Who’s Who.

Thereafter there were no other Camillos of fame and we arrive at the present generation of Camillos living in Nervesa della Battaglia. In 1750 a certain Giovanni Camillo, married Domenica Stival, presumably from Conegliano, where many descendants still bear that name today. 

                   Click to enlarge                                 
Anna Durigan and Agostino Camillo                                     Maria-Giovanna Visentin and Giuseppe Trinca 

He fathered Paolo, who grew up as a farmer and married Veneranda Gobbo and had a son whom he named Giovanni, after his grandfather. This Giovanni's wife, Dorotea Gobbo, died while giving birth to Angela and from his second wife, Giustina Piccolo, Giovanni had five more children, Teresa, Candida, Guerino, Domenico and Agostino Pasquale. The progeny wandered as far away as Australia and the USA.

This last son, Agostino Pasquale, had eight children from his wife Anna Durigan, one being the recent patriarch, Celeste Camillo.  Their other children were Augusta Teresa, Giustina, Regina, Marta, Assunta Amalia and Isidoro.

Celeste Camillo was born in Arcade, a hamlet of Nervesa, on the 18th of August 1900. His family soon moved to nearby Bavaria and Sovilla, before settling in Nervesa itself. He married Maria Ester Trinca in 1921 and fathered ten children, Dino, Armando, Emerenziana, Tarcisio, Maria, Bertilla, Luigi, Giovanni, Luciana and Anna. The second-born female child, Emerenziana, died tragically at only 2 years, drowning near her home.    

                                         Ester Trinca      Celeste Camillo  
                                                           Ester Trinca                                       Celeste Camillo

In 1939 at the first signs of impending trouble, Celeste Camillo, fully aware of what a new war would entail for his firstborn son, Dino, hastily sent him off to a far away country. The first choice was Argentina, but he later settled for Australia, where he had a brother in law, Goegan, whose wife was the sister of Ester.  

                                 Celeste Camillo's family Click to enlarge     Celeste Camillo' s family - Click to enlarge

Celeste worked as a clerk in the local town council, the Commune and was a learned and respected man. After his wife died prematurely at 50 years in 1952, he remarried Teresa Rossato, who lived by his side until his own death in 1964.

  Padre Armando Camillo   Click for more photos of Father Armando and of his Mission in Kenya

Armando Camillo became a missionary priest in the Consolata Order and worked in Kenya, recently celebrating his 50th anniversary in the priesthood. 

  Suora Luciana Camillo   Click for more photos of Luciana 

Luciana joined an order of nuns (the Figlie di Maria Ausigliatrice - Salesians of Don Bosco) and remained in the Veneto teaching children, whereas Anna married and remained in Nervesa.  

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    Copyright L. Camillo 2005