|Comune di Cento|
|• Mayor||Piero Lodi (since June 2011) (PD)|
|• Total||64 km2 (25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||15 m (49 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2008)|
|• Density||540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Blaise Bishop and Martyr|
|Saint day||February 3|
The name Cento is a reference to the centuriation of the Po Valley. Cento's growth from its origin as a little fishing village in the marshes to an established farming town took place in the first few centuries in the second millennium.
The Bishop of Bologna and the Abbot of Nonantola established the Partecipanza Agraria, an institution in which land would perpetually be redistributed every twenty years among the male heirs of the families who constituted the initial core of the community in the 12th century.
In 1502 Pope Alexander VI took it away from the dominion of the Bishop of Bologna and made it part of the dowry of his daughter Lucrezia Borgia, betrothed to Duke Alfonso I d'Este and was later returned to the Papal States in 1598.
South-east of the city lies the small historic fortification of Pieve di Cento.
- Palazzo del Monte di Pietà (18th century), housing the Civic Gallery. It has paintings by the local artist Guercino. The latter's works can be seen also in the Basilica Collegiata San Biagio, Santa Maria dei Servi, the church of the Rosary, also designed by him, and, in the frazione of Corporeno, the 14th-century church of San Giorgio.
- The Rocca (Castle), a massive square building with square towers. Built in 1378 by the bishop of Bologna, it was enlarged by Giulio della Rovere, the future pope Julius II, in 1460.
- Palazzo del Governatore (Governor's Palace, 1502). It is home to the Galleria d'arte moderna Aroldo Bonzagni.
- Porta Pieve (14th century), the sole surviving gate of the four once existing.
Cento is the European's city of Carnival and it is twinned with Rio carnival.
Some notable people from Cento
- Marco Zoppo (Cento 1433 – Venice 1478), painter
- Benedetto Gennari (16th century – Cento 1610), painter
- Cesare Cremonini (Cento 1550 – Padova 1631), philosopher
- Giovan Francesco Barbieri best known as Il Guercino (Cento 1591 – Bologna 1666), painter
- Bartolomeo Gennari (Cento 1594 – Bologna 1661), painter
- Ercole Gennari (Cento 1597 – Bologna 1658), painter
- Benedetto Gennari II (Cento 1633 – Bologna 1715), painter
- Cesare Gennari (Cento 1637 – Bologna 1688), painter
- Benjamin D'Israeli (Cento 1730 – England 1825), grandfather of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
- Antonio Lamberto Rusconi (Cento 1743 – Imola 1825), cardinal
- Bartolomeo Campagnoli (Cento 1751 – Neustrelitz 1827), violinist
- Giuseppe Alberghini (Cento 1770 – Rome 1847), cardinal
- Ugo Bassi (Cento 1801 – Bologna 1849), patriot
- Leone Carpi (Cento 1810 – Rome 1898), political, economist and journalist
- Giuseppe Borgatti (Cento 1871 – Reno di Leggiuno 1950), tenor
- Aroldo Bonzagni (Cento 1887 – Milano 1918), painter
- Giovanni Malagodi, (London 1904 – Rome 1991) statesman and economist
- Ferruccio Lamborghini (Renazzo 1916 – Perugia 1993), industrialist
- Jessica Rossi (Renazzo 1992), sports shooter
The nearby center of Renazzo is known in the astronomical community because of the Renazzo meteorite, which fell in 1824 and it is considered the prototype of a class of carbonaceous chondrites known as "CR group" (where the "R" comes from the name Renazzo).
Twin towns – Sister cities
Cento is twinned with:
- Statute of Partecipanza Agraria (Italian)
-  Meteoritical Bulletin Database
- Bozsoki, Agnes. "Partnervárosok Névsora Partner és Testvérvárosok Névsora" [Partner and Twin Cities List]. City of Székesfehérvár (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2013-08-05.