Cento is a city and comune in the province of Ferrara, part of the region Emilia-Romagna (northern Italy). In Italian "cento" means 100.
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, an institution in which land would perpetually be 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, betrothed to Duke Alfonso I d'Este and was later returned to the Papal States in 1598.
South-east of the city lies the small historic fortification of Pieve di Cento.
Palazzo del Monte di Pietà (18th century), housing the Civic Gallery. It has paintings by 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 surviving gate of the four once existing.
Cento is the European's city of Carnival and it is twinned with Rio carnival.
Some notable people from Cento
Marco Zoppo (Cento 1433 – Venice 1478), painter
Benedetto Gennari (16th century – Cento 1610), painter
Cesare Cremonini (Cento 1550 – Padova 1631), philosopher
Giovan Francesco Barbieri best known as Il Guercino (Cento 1591 – Bologna 1666), painter
Bartolomeo Gennari (Cento 1594 – Bologna 1661), painter
Ercole Gennari (Cento 1597 – Bologna 1658), painter
Benedetto Gennari II (Cento 1633 – Bologna 1715), painter
Cesare Gennari (Cento 1637 – Bologna 1688), painter
Benjamin D'Israeli (Cento 1730 – England 1825), grandfather of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
Antonio Lamberto Rusconi (Cento 1743 – Imola 1825), cardinal
Bartolomeo Campagnoli (Cento 1751 – Neustrelitz 1827), violinist
Giuseppe Alberghini (Cento 1770 – Rome 1847), cardinal
Ugo Bassi (Cento 1801 – Bologna 1849), patriot
Leone Carpi (Cento 1810 – Rome 1898), political, economist and journalist
Giuseppe Borgatti (Cento 1871 – Reno di Leggiuno 1950), tenor
Aroldo Bonzagni (Cento 1887 – Milano 1918), painter
Giovanni Malagodi, (London 1904 – Rome 1991) statesman and economist
Ferruccio Lamborghini (Renazzo 1916 – Perugia 1993), industrialist
Jessica Rossi (Renazzo 1992), sports shooter
The nearby center of Renazzo is known in the astronomical community because of the Renazzo meteorite, which fell in 1824 and it is considered the prototype of a class of carbonaceous chondrites known as "CR group" (where the "R" comes from the name Renazzo).
Twin towns – Sister cities
Cento is twinned with:
Vicente Lopez, Argentina
Official website (Italian) (German) (English)
Other information (Italian)