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Cuneo is a substantial town situated in the southern part of the Piedmont region of northern Italy. As well as exploring the town itself, Cuneo is often used as a base for exploring the picturesque surrounding countryside, in particular along the valleys of the rivers Stura di Demonte and Gesso which meet in the town.
Cuneo itself is interesting to explore, with wide streets partly in renaissance style that are pleasant to amble along and a small historical old-town which is the remains of the 12th century fortified town around which Cuneo developed, which is interesting to explore.
Via Roma is among the most popular streets in the town and is also the street where you can find Cuneo Tourist Office.
Start your visit in the Piazza Galimberti, the large central square in Cuneo which is surrounded by arcades and historical buildings. Tuesday is the best day to visit, when Piazza Galimberti springs into life for market day.
There are various religious monuments in Cuneo, although most of these date from the 18th-19th centuries rather than from the medieval period. The Church of Saint Francis and associated monastic buildings is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Cuneo (although it is no longer used as a church and the convent is now home to the Town Museum).
The church facade includes a 15th century doorway and three rose windows inset in a rather austere stone wall. Inside there are decorated chapels, an attractive small cloisters, and also an interesting section of archaeology excavations that helps explain the history of the building.
Other notable religious monuments in Cuneo include:
- the baroque style cathedral,
- the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve (a baroque reconstruction of an older church),
- the neo-classical reconstruction of the Chapel of Santa Maria del Bosco,
As well as churches there are some other notable monuments in Cuneo including the Palace Casa Galimberti (at number 6, Piazza Galimberti), the Town Hall, the Bishop's Palace and Palace of the prefecture (all of these are situated n Via Roma).
Cuneo is also home to a popular music festival held each June, and its position at the foot of the Alps has made the town a frequent stage on the Giro d'Italia cycle race.
It is mainly the surrounding countryside, the attractive valleys and tradiional small towns that surround Cuneo that attract visitors to the town.
Dotted with ancient villages and ideal countryside for hikers there are many highlights to explore including the Valle Gesso and the Valle Stura (best known for the rare flowers that grow here) which are both found to the south and west of Cuneo towards France, and Valle Maira towards the north.
Among the local towns we suggest you visit Mondovi to the east and Vernante to the south.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Piedmont guide.