The Italian town of Mondovi is located between the mountains, hills and plain; on the one hand the city overlooks the plain crossed by the Po River, which leads to Turin; from the other, it is situated on a hill that marks the border of the “Langhe”, the land of truffles and wines.
Mondovi is also conveniently placed a short distance from Savona and the Italian Riviera.
The heart of Mondovi is the arcaded 'Piazza Maggiore', which is also a good place to start your visit.
Among the buildings here, and rich in history and art, is the Church of the Missione, with its baroque façade. Built by the Jesuits in the 17th century, it passed in 1773 to the Monks of the Mission then was confiscated by Napoleon in 1803 and returned to the monks from 1815.
The church, a work by Giovenale Boetto da Fossano, is an example of the Jesuit baroque style and contains precious frescoes by Andrea Pozzo* and two marble side altars, one of which is also the work of Andrea Pozzo.
Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709) was an artist very accomplished at using perspective to create open spaces and giving a painting the illusion of great depth.
Also interesting close to here in Mondovi is the Church of Mercy, the first church built by Francesco Gallo in his hometown (in the 18th century). It was built for the Carmelite Monks, who in 1606 had occupied the adjoining convent.
Gallo drew the altars, directed the stucco decoration and entrusted the painting to Bisone di Locarno and Pietro Antonio Pozzo.
Among the civic buildings in Mondovi note in particular the Governor's palace, the ancient Palace of Justice, and Bressani Palace, with its gothic style brick façade and the typical swallow-talled battlements.
More important monuments await visitors in the so-called “Rione di Piazza”, such as the Church of St. Chiara del Gallo, the Synagogue and the Citadel, built by Emanuele Filiberto in 1573 on the ruins of the Renaissance cathedral.
Just off this square is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, with its 15th century frescoes.
The district of “Breo”, along the Ellero River, contains further important monuments, such as the Church of Saint Philip, an example of Piedmontese baroque style, and the Church of SS. Peter and Paul.
This church was re-built several times between 1449 and 1755 and enriched by the addition of the dome by Bernardo Vittone (1704-1770) with its scenographical staircase.
On top of the façade and sheltered by the canopy you can see the “Moro”, which is an automaton designed in the 17th century and which, at the stroke of the hour, gets up to beat with a hammer which it has in his right hand.
From the Breo district a shady avenue of plane trees leads to Carassone, which offers the visitor the tranquility of low arches and the medieval square tower of St. Evasio. Just outside Carassone there is the Chapel of Santa Maria delle Vigne, which has some 15th century frescoes in the apse.
Crafts and traditions in Mondovi
On the opposite side there is a village which an ancient centre of crafts. Mondovi is quite famous for its local crafts, which still follow ancient traditions.
Among the most popular products and features are fine hand-painted ceramics, the subject of which is the classic rooster, the symbol of the craft production of Mondovi.
Attractions and activities near Mondovi
A few kilometers from the Langhe area and near "Bastia Mondovi” the Church of San Fiorenzo is a jewel of gothic art situated in the green countryside.
This ancient church was built over the grave of the Saint at the beginning of the second millennium, as evidence of a deep faith. It was originally known as the "pilgrim's chapel”, inviting travelers to stop awhile.
The visit to Mondovi is an excellent opportunity to sample the local cuisine, which has many surprises. Among the cheeses, there is the “Raschera”, a typical product of the Alps of Mondovi (it is a table cheese with a light taste). Among the desserts, we suggest you try the "risole" (puff pastry with apricot jam).
Among the wines we should mention the Langhe “Dolcetto”, which is now recognized as one of the most representative of the red wines of this area.
See also history of Mondovi