Mondovì is a beautiful city in the province of Cuneo, built in terraces, situated between mountains, hills and plains. Its name probably derives from "Mont and Vi" (Mount of Vicoforte) as the original urban structure of the city, today the district of Mondovì Piazza, is on the border with the municipality of Vicoforte.
Recent archaeological excavations, carried out in the nearby village of Breolungi, attest that the area was inhabited since the Bronze Age, by a Italic population known as Bagienni, the latter conquered by the Romans in the II century B.C. In the post-Carolingian era, the Monregalese territory was under the control of the bishop of Asti, and subsequently the area was subdued by the Lombards, the Franks and the Saracens. The city was founded in 1198, following the destruction of Bredolo: the survivors decided therefore to create a community free from feudal power, this freedom, however, lasted only for a very short term, as the bishop of Asti, in alliance with the Marquis of Ceva, managed to re-conquer Mondovì and destroy it. Allied with Milan, Cuneo and Savignano, for long it resisted the attack of Asti and only in 1274 it returned under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Asti, who in 1290, upon payment of a large sum of money, ceded its property to the local inhabitants and proclaimed it municipality. Later it became possession of the Angevin, subsequently followed by the Visconti, the Marquis of Monferrato, the Acaja and, till 1418, it belonged to the Savoy. Occupied by Napoleonic troops in 1796, the possessions returned to the Savoy, who claimed the rights till 1814. It is also famous for being the birthplace of Giovanni Giolitti, a historical Italian politician.
Sites of Interest:
- the Cathedral of Bishop San Donato, rebuilt between 1743 and 1753, designed by the architect Gallo, on the remains of an earlier XII century construction, which had already been replaced in the XVI century, built in a Renaissance style and demolished in 1574 by Duke Emanuele Filiberto. The interior is rich in artworks, with XVII and XVIII century frescoes of the Piedmont and the Lombard Art Schools, XIX century stucco decorations and the beautiful Chapel of Suffrage, a jewel in Rococo style, with a Cross made of alabaster;
- the Mission Church, built by the Jesuits in the XVII century, which, in 1773, was assigned to the Fathers of the Mission. It is currently owned by the municipality. Fine example of Jesuit Baroque style, built under the supervision of Juvenal Boetto from Fossano, the church preserves inside frescoes by Andrea Pozzo and two precious marble side altars, one of the artist Andrea Pozzo;
- the Church of Mercy, the first to be built by Gallo in his hometown. Gallo himself designed the altar, inspired the stucco decoration and entrusted the paintings to the artists Gagini, Bisone of Locarno and Pietro Antonio Pozzo;
- the Church of Santa Teresa (XVII century), which became the Oratory of the Monastery of the Capuchin nuns, order founded by the Duchess Christina of Savoy and Mother Maria Vercelloni in 1659.
- the home, birthplace of Giovanni Giolitti;
- the numerous noble palaces (the Old Town Hall, Palazzo Fauzone, the seat of the Reading Club, Palazzo Bressani);
- the Bishop's residence;
- the gardens of the Belvedere;
- the XIII century Civic Tower;
- the remains of the medieval walls;
- the Synagogue.