Pinerolo, Fr. Pignerol, city (1991 pop. 35,331), Piedmont, NW Italy, at the foot of the Alps. It is an agricultural and industrial center. Manufactures include paper, textiles, machinery, chemicals, and processed food. First mentioned in the 10th cent., Pinerolo was a strongly fortified citadel that passed to the house of Savoy in the 13th cent. It was often in French hands from 1536 to 1814, and the fortress was made a French state prison. Nicolas Fouquet, an official of Louis XIV, died in the citadel after 19 years of imprisonment (1680), and the Man with the Iron Mask was held there for some years after his seizure in 1679. The city has an 11th-century cathedral (frequently restored).
Pinerolo is a town and commune in north-western Italy, 40 kilometres southwest of Turin on the river Chisone.


In the Middle Ages, the town of Pinerolo was one of the main crossroads in Italy, and was therefore one of the principal fortresses of the dukes of Savoy. Its military importance was the origin of the well-known military school that still exists today. The fortress of Fenestrelle is nearby.

The earliest mention of Pinerolo is in the tenth century, when it belonged to the March of Turin and was governed by the abbot nullius of Pinerolo who ran the abbey of Abbadia Alpina , even after the city had established itself as a municipality (1247) under the government of Thomas Savoy. From 1235, Amadeus IV of Savoy exercised over the town a kind of protectorate which became absolute in 1243, and was continued thereafter either by the house of Savoy, or of Savoy-Acaia. When French troops invaded Piedmont (1536), Pinerolo was conquered and it remained under their control until 1574.

With the treaty of Cherasco it again fell to France (1631), and it remained under French rule until restored to the house of Savoy by the treaty of Turin, at the same time withdrawing from the league against Louis XIV.

Main sights

  • the Cathedral dates from the 9th century, and has an attractive bell tower
  • church of San Maurizio, in Gothic style.

Notable Pinerolesi

People born in Pinerolo include:

  • Lidia Poët (born 1855), the first Italian female lawyer and an important figure in female emancipation
  • Luigi Facta (1861 – 1930), politician, journalist and last Prime Minister of Italy before the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini
  • Ferruccio Parri (1890 – 1981), partisan and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy for several months in 1945


Twin cities

See also

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