Cento is a city and commune in the province of Ferrara, part of the region Emilia-Romagna (northern Italy).


The name Cento is a reference to the centuriation of the Po Valley. Cento's growth from its origin as a little fishing village in the marshes to an established farming town took place in the first few centuries in the second millennium.

The Bishop of Bologna and the Abbot of Nonantola established the Partecipanza Agraria was an institution in which land was redistributed every twenty years among the male heirs of the families who constituted the initial core of the community in the 12th century.

In 1502 Pope Alexander VI took it away from the dominion of the Bishop of Bologna and made it part of the dowry of his daughter Lucrezia Borgia, promised in marriage to Duke Alfonso I d'Este and was later returned to the Papal States in 1598.

Main sights

  • Palazzo del Monte di Pietà (18th century), housing the Civic Gallery. It has paintings bny the local artist Guercino. The latter's works can be seen also in the Basilica Collegiata San Biagio, Santa Maria dei Servi, the church of the Rosary, also designed by him, and, in the frazione of Corporeno, the 14th century church of San Giorgio.
  • The Rocca (Castle), a massive square building with square towers. Built in 1378 by the bishop of Bologna, it was enlarged by Giulio della Rovere, the future pope Julius II, in 1460.
  • Palazzo del Governatore (Governor's Palace, 1502). It is home to the Galleria di Arte Moderna Aroldo Bonzagni.
  • Porta Pieve (14th century), the sole gate survived of the four once existing.


Cento is the European's city of Carnival and it is twinned with Rio carnival.

Twin towns

External links

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