Mondovi , Diocese of (MONTISREGALIS), in Piedmont, province of Cuneo, northern Italy. The city is built upon three hills, at a height of about 1600 feet above sea-level, and dates from the year 1000; but the suburb of Breo, the name of which recalls the Bredolensis colony mentioned in a Roman inscription found in that neighborhood, had a castle in the time of Charlemagne. The town, called Monsvici, also Monteregale, was under the bishops of Asti until 1198, when it established itself as a commune, but was compelled to struggle against the bishops of Asti, the marquesses of Saluzzo and of Monferrato, and the counts of Savoy, in turn recognizing and shaking off the suzerainty of one or another of those lords. The commune maintained a war against the marquesses of Civa (1240-50), and finally, Bressano di Vico, a powerful lord in Mondovi, attempted to make himself master of the city, which submitted to Charles of Anjou (1260), and from that time, with some interruptions, remained under the protection of the kings of Naples, until 1366. In 1396, having again changed lords several times, it came under the dominion of the Savoyard lords of Achaia, and in 1418, under that of the dukes of Savoy, in whose possession it remained. In 1476 and in 1533, the inhabitants of Mondovi attempted to give their allegiance either to the Marquess of Monferrato or to the Duke of Mantua, and the French contested for its possession with the imperialists (1536-43), and with the house of Savoy (1543-59). The city was at war with the Duke of Savoy for the salt monopoly (1678-99). Napoleon defeated the Piedmontese near Mondovi (1796), thereby assuring his way through the valley of the Po, and in 1799 it was pillaged by the French.
It was the birthplace of the pious Cardinal Bona, of the celebrated physicist Beccaria, and of Marquess Ormea, a statesman of the eighteenth century. Its cathedral contains paintings by Giulio Romano, Cambiaso, and others. The residence of the bishop is one of the noblest episcopal palaces in Italy. In the church of la Missione there are frescoes by the Jesuit Pozzi. Outside the city is the sanctuary of the Madonna del Pilone, dating from the fourteenth century, but finished later (1730-49). The palace of the counts of San Quintino contained the first printing office in Piedmont, and was the seat of a university (1560-1719) founded by Duke Emmanuel Philibert, the first institution of its kind in Piedmont. The city, at first part of the Diocese of Asti, became the seat of a bishop, suffragan of the Archbishop of Milan, but, since 1515, Turin has been its metropolitan. In 1817, the territory of Cuneo was detached from the See of Mondovi, and made a diocese. The first bishop of Mondovi was Damiano Zavaglia, a zealous and peace-loving prelate; among his successors were Percivallo di Palma (1429), Amadeo Romagnano (1497), who reconstructed the cathedral (1550); Michele Ghislieri, O.P. (1550), later Pope Pius V; Cardinal Vincenzo Lauro (1566), founder of the seminary, during whose incumbency the cathedral and other churches were torn down to make room for the citadel; Giovanni Battista Isnardi (1697), who restored the episcopal palace and the church of St. Dalmazio; Carlo Felice Sanmartino (1741), founder of the new seminary, and Giovanni Tommaso Ghilardi, O.P. (1842), a very pious and charitable man. The city contains 145 parishes, with 170,000 faithful, 6 religious houses of women, 10 educational establishments for boys and 15 for girls; it has three Catholic newspapers.