Cuneo is the capital of the province located in Piedmont, which happens to be the third largest by area.
Its name came from its position, where the two rivers, Gesso and Stura di Demonte: cuneo, in fact, means edge, and it due to its shape.
The history of the place is pretty much interesting for tourists, especially the Americans, since it is very old.
It was founded in 1198 by the local population who declared its independence from the very close marquis of Saluzzo.
But not so many years later, people from Saluzzo occupied Cuneo, and after about 30 years, in 1238, the city was declared a free commune thanks to the Emperor Frederick II.
Later in the 14th Century, it became to grow and grow, until it became the main Angevine possession in the Northern part of Italy. Here and there the city was once again under the control of Saluzzo and another big power, the Savoys. In fact, in 1382, they acquired Cuneo.
Its destiny was not that bad after all, since it became a strong powerful place thanks to the expansion of the Savoy state.
During the Napoleonic wars, the city got acquired by France and it became the capital of the Stura area.
While the Italian country got unified, Cuneo became a province in 1859.
It played a very decisive role during WWII, especially from 1943 to 1945, when it was a very significant and strategic partisan resistance center.
Nowadays the city is a very important center in Piedmont and hosts one of the best Fashion Design Academies in the country.
What is funny about Cuneo is that it is recalled in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather: in one scene, in fact, they are talking about a fictional New York Mafia Family called the Cuneo Crime Family, whose boss is some Don Othello Cuneo gangster.