Piemonte - Places to visit - Cuneo
This town (534 m. above sea level) lies wedge-shaped (the name dates back to the Communes and is Italian for `wedge') on tableland at the confluence of the Gesso and Stura di Demonte rivers.
It originated at the end of the 12th century as a fortified town in a naturally strategic position, guarding the roads to France through the Tenda and Maddalena passes.
Once under Angevin rule, its fortunes varied under the Saluzzos, Viscontis, Savoys and the French (it was the capital of the Napoleonic Department of Stura) who demolished the walls (now delineated by avenues) favouring the town's development to the south-west.
Monuments: the neoclassical cathedral, the 17th century Palazzo Audifreddi, the Gothic former church of S. Francesco, the buildings in Piazza Galimberti, the sanctuaries outside the town.
The economy is based on the agricultural produce (especially wine) of this province, the biggest in Piedmont (`Provincia Granda'); thriving industries are food (wine, confectionery), engineering, paper, and the metallurgical and rubber sectors; Cuneo is an important cattle market.
Events: Fiera delle castagne (chestnut fair) (autumn), various cattle fairs.
Famous People: Giuseppe Barbaroux (politician, 1772-1843); Giovanni Toselli (actor, 1819-1886); Giuseppe Peano (mathematician, 1858-1932); Duccio Galimberti (hero of the Resistance, 1906-1944).
Cultural Institutions: Archivio Storico Comunale (Municipal History Archives), Istituto Storico della Resistenza, Museo Civico (Civic Museum), Biblioteca Comunale (Local Library).
In the Province: Alba (confectionery and wine industries, Fiera del Tartufo-Truffles Fair-in October), Saluzzo (antique market), Mondov, Savigliano (rolling stock), Monterosso Grana (Coumboscuro Provenal Centre with Ethnographical Museum).