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Diocese of Saluzzo



(SALUCLIAE, SALUTIENSIS)

Diocese in the Province of Cuneo, Piedmont, Upper Italy. The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain. Iron, lead, silver, marble, slate, etc. are found in the surrounding mountains. The cathedral (1480- 1511), half-Gothic, contains a magnificent high altar, and is rich in sculptures. The church of St. Bernard, formerly belonging to the Conventuals, has interesting tombs of the counts della Torre; the church of St. Dominic contains several artistic tombs, especially that of the Marquess Lodovico II and his spouse (1504), and the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. St. Augustine's and St. Bernardino's are also worthy of note. The present town hall is the former Jesuit College, while the older one (1462), with a bold tower, is utilized by the Court of Assizes. It was the birthplace of Silvio Pellico, typographer Bodoni, Abate Denina, and Malcarne the anatomist. Saluzzo was a town of the Vagienni, or mountain Liguri, and later of the Salluvii. This district was brought under Roman control by the Consul M. Fulvius. In the Carlovingian era it became the residence of a count; later, having passed to the marquesses of Susa, Manfredo, son of Marquess Bonifacio del Vasto, on the division of that principality became Marquess of Saluzzo; this family held the marquisate from 1142 till 1548. The marquisate embraced the territory lying between the Alps, the Po, and the Stura, and was extended on several occasions. In the Middle Ages it had a chequered existence, often being in conflict with powerful neighbours, chiefly the Counts of Savoy.

Tommaso III, a vassal of France, wrote the romance "Le chevalier errant". Ludovico (1416-75) was a wise and virtuous prince. Ludovico II constructed a tunnel, no longer in use, through the Monviso, a remarkable work for the time. With the help of the French he resisted a vigorous siege by the Duke of Savoy in 1486, but in 1487 yielded and retired to France where he wrote "L'art de la chevalerie sous Vegèce" (1488), a treatise on good government, and other works on military affairs. He was a patron of clerics and authors. In 1490 he regained power. After long struggles for independence, this small state was occupied (1548) by the French, as a fief of the Crown. In 1588 Carlo Emmanuele I of Savoy took possession of it. Thenceforward the city shared the destinies of Piedmont with which it formed "one of the keys of the house" of Italy. Saluzzo was formerly part of the Diocese of Turin. Julius II in 1511 made it a diocese immediately dependent on the Holy See. The first bishop was Gianantonio della Rovere, who after eight months resigned in favour of his brother Sisto, later a cardinal. Other bishops were: Filippo Archinti (1546), a celebrated jurisconsult; the Benedictine Antonio Picoth (1583) a learned and pious man, founder of the seminary; he was succeeded by St. Giovenale Ancina (1597-1604) of the Oratory of St. Philip, the apostle of Corsica; Francesceo Agostino della Chiesa (1642); Carlo Gius. Morozzo (1698), who had built the high altar of the cathedral. The diocese, since 1805, has been suffragan of Turin; it contains 91 parishes with 170,000 inhabitants; 300 secular and 30 regular priests; 31 religious houses; 4 institutes for boys and 3 for girls; and has a Catholic newspaper.

CAPPELLETTI, Le Chiese d'Italia, XIV; CARUTTI, Il Marchesata di Saluzzo; GABOTTO, I, marchesi di Saluzzo (Saluzzo, 1901).

U. BENIGNI








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