Ceva, the ancient Ceba, is a small Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 town in the province of Cuneo
Province of Cuneo
ayr is a province in the southwest of the Piedmont region of Italy. To the west it borders on the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur ....

, region of Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

, 49 km east of Cuneo
Cuneo is a city and comune in Piedmont, Northern Italy, the capital of the province of Cuneo, the third largest of Italy’s provinces by area...

. It lies on the right bank of the Tanaro
Tanaro River
The Tanaro , known as Tanarus in ancient times, is a 276 km-long river in northwestern Italy. It rises in the Ligurian Alps, close to the border with France and is the most significant right-side tributary to the Po in terms of length, size of drainage basin and discharge.-Source:The Tanaro proper...

 on a wedge of land between that river and the Cevetta stream.


In the pre-Roman period the territory around Ceva was inhabited by the branch of the mountain Ligures
The Ligures were an ancient people who gave their name to Liguria, a region of north-western Italy.-Classical sources:...

 known as Epanterii.

The upper Val Tanaro was Romanized
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 in the second century BCE and it is known that the area was organized around a municipium
Municipium , the prototype of English municipality, was the Latin term for a town or city. Etymologically the municipium was a social contract between municipes, the "duty holders," or citizens of the town. The duties, or munera, were a communal obligation assumed by the municipes in exchange for...

. However, it is not certain that this was Ceba: Mombasiglio
Mombasiglio is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 80 km southeast of Turin and about 35 km east of Cuneo....

 is also regarded as a candidate. In the first century CE Columella
Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella is the most important writer on agriculture of the Roman empire. Little is known of his life. He was probably born in Gades , possibly of Roman parents. After a career in the army , he took up farming...

 referred to a particular breed of cattle raised here, and Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 praised its sheep’s milk cheese in his Natural History. The town is on the site of the old Roman road from Augusta Taurinorum via Pollentia
thumb|250px|Church of San Vittore at Pollenzo.Pollentia was an ancient city the left bank of the Tanaro, known today as Pollenzo, a frazione of Bra in the Province of Cuneo, Piedmont, northern Italy....

 to the coast and it is probable that there was a market here from which the cheese produced in the region was exported with Rome via the Ligurian ports of Vada Sabatia (the modern Vado Ligure
Vado Ligure
Vado Ligure, in antiquity Vado Sabatia, is a town and comune in the province of Savona, Liguria, in northern Italy.- Economy :Vado has a large industrial and commercial port....

) and/or Albingaunum (Albenga).

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 it was the seat of a small marquisate
Marquisate of Ceva
The Marquisate of Ceva was a small independent state in north-western Italy, situated at the foot of the Apennines, in what is now a part of Piedmont.-Establishment:...

, which lasted until the late 15th century when it was acquired by Savoy
Duchy of Savoy
From 1416 to 1847, the House of Savoy ruled the eponymous Duchy of Savoy . The Duchy was a state in the northern part of the Italian Peninsula, with some territories that are now in France. It was a continuation of the County of Savoy...

. Ceva was home to a fortress defending the confines of Piedmont towards Liguria
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

, but the fortifications on the rock above the town were demolished in 1800 by the French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, to whom it had been ceded in 1796.

Ceva was heavily damaged by a flood of the Tanaro, Cevetta and Bovina rivers.

Main sights

The sixteenth-century castle of the Pallavicino stands in an area of green parkland between the Tanaro and the Cevetta and comprises two small palaces: the original, red palazzina rossa and the later, white palazzina bianca.

Remains of the 16th century fort are also present.

External links

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