The town's name derives from the Latin clivus "(hill). It is a municipality in the province of Turin, located on the left hand side of the Po and is an important railway junction and, being on the road which links France, through the passes of the Alps, to Lombardy, the Po Valley and to Rome. It is an important industrial center and from 1950 onwards it saw a major demographic and housing growth.
Probably of Roman origin, in 1164, it became a fief of the Marquises of Monferrato. The town, built around the old collegiate church of St. Peter, was endowed by a castle where the Marquises often resided. Prince Theodore reinforced the fortified walls and built irrigation canals which leaded waters from the Po to the area for the irrigation of the fields. In the XIV century the city was ceded to the Aleramicis dynasty and a century later to the Savoy. There were active merchants and craftsmen, including artists such as Spanzotti and Ferrari. During the XVI century it was scenario of a period of pestilence, plunder and occupation by French troops. In 1559, after the peace treaty of Chateau-Cambresis, Chivasso returned under the Savoy. In 1705 the heroic local troops contrasted the siege of French troops and as a sign of gratitude for this, it was proclaimed City by Carlo Emanuele III and received several facilitations on taxes. During the Napoleonic period, the French destroyed the fortifications of the city and after the Congress of Vienna, it returned to the Savoy.
Not to miss:
- the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, erected at the beginning of the XV century in Late Gothic style. The façade, dating back to a later period, is decorated with terracotta and features a portal with a statue of Our Lady of the XV century. It is flanked by a square base Bell tower with imposing forms and a large clock, interrupted by openings and windows of different shapes, the belfry is quite distinct from the remaining structure.
- the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
- the Church of Saints John the Baptist and Martha.
- the Sanctuary in the district of Bethlehem.
- the tower of the castle of the Marquis of Monferrato, dating back to 1019, is located near the Duomo and is what remains of the original construction.
- the XVIII Palazzo Tesio with a brick wall façade
- Palazzo Santa Clara.