Cuneo and province Travel Guide Cuneo and province Travel Guide
 
Piazza di Mondovì (Archivio A.T.L. del Cuneese) Mondovì
Mondovì, chief town of the so-called Monregalese, was founded in 1198 by the inhabitants of Vicoforte, Vasco and Carassone. Those people, driven by their hate against their common Lord, the bishop of Asti, took refuge on a mount and they founded a new community.
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For this reason the new town was first called Monte di Vico, and later Mondovì.

In 1290, in axchange for money the town was granted the municipal autonomy, but it was soon violently besieged by the Angevin and the Savoy, by the Visconti and the Marquis of Monferrato, by the French and the Austrians. In 1800, after the Marengo battle it fell under the French domination, under whose reign it remained until the Napoleon's downfall in 1815, as it became part of the Reign of Sardinia again.

The upper town (Piazza), surrounded by medieval walls, lies on a hill and dominates the lowwer quarters. Its streets converge on the beautiful Piazza Maggiore, surrounded by the arcades where one can admire the Bressano's House (13th century), the Governor's Palaces, the Subprefecture the Town Hall and the baroque section of the Jesuits' church and college.

The Jesuits' Church, called La Missione, was built by Boetto in the 17th century and painted by Pozzo in the inside, where he proved his talent as a perspective painter, later confirmed in the works of Rome and Vienna. Walking northwards, one will reach the Vescovado (Bishop's Palace), seat of the university between 1556 and the 18th century, that offers some interesting halls such as the Sala delle Lauree (Degrees Hall) and Sala degli Arazzi (Tapestries Hall), weaved in 1619 by F. van den Hecke on Rubens' cartoons. Not far from there, one will find the Cathedral of S. Donato, designed by the Mondovì architect Gallo in the 18th century, and the Belvedere garden, where one can enjoy a wonderful panorama dominated by the Bressano's tower.

Piazza also offers the 18th century Synagogue and the Misericordia church, another example of Gallo's early talent.

In the quarter called Breo, the present commercial core of the town and seat of the Town Hall, one can admire the Santi Pietro e Paolo Church with its baroque facade and the Moro, the odd automaton, protagonist of the local carnival, who strikes the hours. Among the buildings deserving a visit there are the noble palaces and the baroque church of S. Filippo, designed by Gallo and built between 1734 and 1757. Along the way leading down to Vicoforte, we suggest a visit of the small Chapel of Santa Croce, including a wonderful cycle of frescoes, probably painted by Antonio di Monteregale between 1450 and 1460 and influenced by Jaquerio.

The shops of the old town centre offer several opportunities for good purchases: do not miss the traditional pottery decorated with the cock, the real symbol of the town.

 

Texts are taken from "Artistic, historical and religious itineraries in the valleys of yhe province of Cuneo - Between Art and Faith"  A.T.L. del Cuneese.
Photos "Archivio A.T.L. del Cuneese".

 

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