Discover Cento

Risen between the Reno and Panaro rivers, the territory of Cento blends into a unique landscape, where hamlets and the capital are fused into a territorial identity dominated by the fertile plain and waters. The uniformity of the rural landscape corresponds to the unified matrix of the urban environment, which develops around the church and the square, and in which the sunny colors of brick and terracotta, typical materials of Po Valley architecture, stand out.

The historic center of Cento is characterized by the restful course of the porticoes, which are both perspective escapes and welcoming shelters for the visitor.
It is the portico that is the privileged point for a perfect view of the town's art and history: a perspective telescope that projects figures into the luminous infinity of the backgrounds, or brings out contours and plastic masses. Small glimpses onto larger landscapes, openings onto defined forms or unstable, quickly suggested contours, atmospheric distances and details blurred in the mist.

These forms, emerging at the surface of the light or plunging into the shadows of the backgrounds, recall the chiaroscuro play of the master of the Italian Baroque, the Cento artist Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as "Il Guercino."

Cento, with its monuments and landscapes influenced the colors and atmospheres found in Guercino's works. Guercino, with his unmistakable and intense, vibrant and emotional painting, celebrated the landscapes, colors and faces of Cento and elevated it to the capital of art.

Brown, ochre, sand, terracotta, sienna, clay, mustard: these are the colors that materialize in the city streets and accompany the vision of the places, just as, under the porticoes, the harmonious alternation of arch and column accompanies the quiet proceeding of passersby to discover the main monuments of Cento.