|— Comune —|
|Comune di Chieri|
|Frazioni||Pessione, Madonna della Scala|
|• Mayor||Francesco Lancione|
|• Total||54.3 km2 (21.0 sq mi)|
|Elevation||305 m (1,001 ft)|
|Population (30 April 2009)|
|• Density||660/km2 ( 1,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Santa Maria delle Grazie|
|Saint day||September 12|
Chieri is a town and comune in the province of Turin, Piedmont (Italy), located about 11 km southeast of Turin (15 km by rail and 13 km by road). It borders the following municipalities: Baldissero Torinese, Pavarolo, Montaldo Torinese, Pino Torinese, Arignano, Andezeno, Pecetto Torinese, Riva presso Chieri, Cambiano, Santena, Poirino.
The city was founded around the 1st or 2nd Century AD as the Roman settlement of Carreum Potentia, which was sited nearby a prominent hill which later became known as San Giorgio and which grew to be the geographical focus of the city centre.
Roman historian Pliny the Elder made reference to "Carreum quod Potentia cognominatur" in his work Naturalis Historia, within his list of fortified settlements which then abounded in the section of Cisalpine Gaul located between the River Po and the Ligurian Apennines. The portrait he painted therein was of the city as a prosperous Roman walled city, surrounded by cultivated farmlands and scattered agricultural settlements.
The city underwent conversion to Christianity sometime in the 5th century, as recorded on a funeral slab dated from 488 AD.
Early Medieval 
No further historical records exist regarding Chieri until the 10th century, when it came under feudal subjection to the Bishop of Turin. During the first half of the 11th century the city had an encircling defensive wall erected around the San Giorgio Hill (known as the Castrum Sancti Georgi, which still constitutes the city nucleus), under direction of Bishop Landolfo: these long-demolished Mura Landolfiane still clearly trace the outline of the pattern of narrow streets around the hill (known as the Chiocciola, "snail"). The work included a strengthening of the fortifications and tower atop the hill, now incorporated into the Church of San Giorgio which occupies the hilltop and overlooks the city.
Outside the walls, on the plains surrounding the city, a church was erected dedicated to Santa Maria (Virgin Mary): this site was likely that of an earlier and more primitive Church dating from the 4th century, which had itself replaced an earlier Roman Temple to the goddess Minerva which originally occupied the same site.
This period also experienced the construction of numerous quadrilateral towers, inside the perimeter of the walls, by the powerful families of the city, hence it became known as Cittá delle Cento Torri ("city of one hundred towers"): a handful of these Towers still survive to this day.
During the 12th century the city allied itself with the more powerful city of Asti in fighting against the marquis William V of Montferrat, himself allied to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa: in revenge for this rebel alliance, Barbarossa besieged the city and in January 1155 conquered it, decimating its towers and fortifications, as well as massacring a significant portion of the population.
Popular legend has it that its present-day name was given by Barbarossa who, upon departing the city after ransacking it, looked back upon its ruins and asked Ma tu, chi eri? (Italian for "And you, who were you?") - although this story is most likely apocryphal.
Over the remainder of the 12th century, the city gradually gained independence from the rule and authority of the Bishop of Turin, and this resulted in the emergence of the free Republic of Chieri, which grew to have its own autonomous judicial and administrative institutions, similar to the numerous other Free Republic cities which existed in Italy during this period.
Late Medieval 
In the course of the 13th century, the Republic of Chieri experienced a period of substantial prosperity, and at that time was comparable in splendor and importance to the great medieval cities of Genoa, Asti and Pisa.
In 1238 the Republic was granted the status of camera speciale (Italian: "special chamber") by Emperor Frederick, which meant that the only authority the Republic would be subject to was that of the (very remote) Emperor.
Following growing violent internecine struggles between city factions to the end of that century, the Republic of Chieri, despite asserting its dominion over adjacent lands and castles and constructing a secondary ring of city walls, decreased in power and autonomy to the point that in 1339 the city made itself subject to Robert of Anjou, King of Naples: in doing so, it granted half of its lands and territories as feudal possession to Prince Iacopo of the house of Savoy-Acaia. The city eventually passed in its entirety to the House of Savoy, when the line of Acaia died out.
The 15th century brought Chieri a period of economic prosperity and a flourishing of the Arts with, among other endeavours, the rebuilding of the Church of Santa Maria into its present form as the Duomo. During this time the hill-top church of San Giorgio was also rebuilt into its current incarnation, and several works of Flemish art were brought into the area by rich city merchants.
The 16th century covered a period of succeeding plagues, epidemics, and wars, and (from 1551 to 1562) also brought French domination. During this period some of its citizens became followers of the Protestant Reformation started by Martin Luther, but this was quashed by strong opposition from Duke Emanuele Filiberto: it was in order to honour him, along with Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy, that the city towards the end of this century constructed a Triumphal Arch, still present on the main street (currently Via Vittorio Emanuele II).
The year 1630 saw a terrible outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, which is still commemorated every September the 12th with the ceremony of the Madonna delle Grazie. Despite this, the remainder of the 17th century also covered a flourishing of artistic achievement, with the building of several churches and chapels in the Baroque style of architecture, as well as numerous paintings and sculptures.
Modern era 
In 1785 Chieri became a Principality under the control of the duke of Aosta. The late 18th century again brought French domination, this time under the conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte; but this period also witnessed the establishment of a major Textile mill, which consolidated and built upon the city's base as a medieval centre for Textile trade and manufacture.
Numerous other textile factories followed in the late 19th century, with textile manufacture originating from Chieri playing a prominent role even in international Textile Fairs. The year 1850 saw the demolition of the old medieval city gates and the privatisation of the city walls, which at that time still demarcated the limits of the entire city.
In 1871 a railroad link was constructed to the city, partly due to contributions from the municipality and from wealthy citizens, in the form of the Chieri-Trofarello branch line: this was to serve the now very significant Textile industry of the city, with the building of the railway station also serving to initiate in the surrounding area the erection of the first city quarter built outside its walls.
The early 20th century brought the electrification of the Textile industries (1909), but also the rise of Fascism in Italy. World War II caused no direct bombardments to the city despite the relocation, from the nearby major industrial centre of Turin, of numerous factories and heavy industry manufacture; German occupation of the city followed the fall of Benito Mussolini in 1943, until its liberation by American forces.
The post-war period experienced a huge increase in Chieri's population, as massive migration occurred between the 1950s and 1970s from the Veneto region and from Southern Italy (Italian: "Il Mezzogiorno"), to the major industrial centres of Northern Italy such as Milan and Turin and adjacent areas: this resulted in a population boom from approximately 14,000 immediately after the War, to 30,000 inhabitants in just under three decades.
The later years of the 20th century also witnessed the decline of Textile industry in the city, as numerous Factories were forced to close from competitive pressure from the cheaper manufacturing centres of the Indian Subcontinent and the Far East. This is being counteracted by the establishment of a new industrial area outside the city, and also by a rediscovering and redeveloping of Chieri's significant cultural and historical heritage.
Today Chieri is a growing center for the provision of a varied portfolio of commercial, retail, financial, and tertiary services.
Main sights 
- The Gothic Duomo (cathedral), founded in 1037 and reconstructed in 1405, is the largest in Piedmont, and has a 13th century octagonal Baptistery which includes a fine collection of 13th century frescoes. Its glass stained windows are the work of renowned glass artist Silvio Vigliaturo.
- The hill-top church of San Giorgio, dominating the historical centre and offering commanding views of the entire city.
- The church of San Filippo, on the principal Via Vittorio Emanuele, boasting a noteworthy example of Italian Baroque-style face-brick church façade.
- The Arco (Triumphal Arch), dedicated to Charles Emmanuel I and Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy.
Notable natives 
- Giuseppe Avezzana (1797–1879), Italian general and politician who previously fought under Napoleon from 1813–14
- Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo (1786–1842), Catholic priest and saint, died in Chieri
- David Levi (1816–98), Italian poet and patriot
- Giovanni Perrone (1794–1876), theologian
- Roberto Rosato (1943–2010), football player
Notable events 
At 08:30am on Tuesday 15th October 2002, Chieri experienced one of Italy's worst civilian massacres outside of wartime when unemployed craftsman Mauro Antonello (40), a gun enthusiast with a history of mental illness, went on a shooting rampage in Via Parini street, within the Borgo Venezia quarter on the outskirts of the city.
Using four weapons (including three semi-automatic), the perpetrator killed seven people, starting with his ex-wife Carla Bergamin, at whose house the tragedy occurred. His other victims included her widowed mother Teresa Gobbo; Carla's brother Sergio Bargamin and his wife Margherita Feyles, who operated a textile workshop on the ground floor of their house; next-door neighbour Decio Guerra along with his wife; and Pierangela Gramaglia, a friend of Margherita's who also worked for them at their workshop.
The perpetrator then finally took his own life before the forces of law and order arrived on the scene.
Twin cities 
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.