The city is in the province of Ferrara, but is only 25 km from Bologna and 38 from Modena.
This small artistic, culinary and economic centre on the border between the provinces of Ferrara, Modena and Bologna is home to many works by Guercino (Cento, 1591 - Bologna, 1666), which can be found especially in the City Art Gallery.
The old town is wonderfully preserved with its long porticos typical of the Po Valley, important monuments and art treasures.
Cento has also become internationally famous for its Carnival.
Due to the earthquake of May 29th, 2012, all the museums and monuments have been temporarily closed.
Guercino's masterpieces, as well as the collections located at the City Art Gallery, have been moved, in order to restore the building, which was damaged by the earthquake. The same happened to all the works of art which were located in other buildings and churches.
Several exhibitions have been organized in Italy and abroad, in order to host these masterpieces before they come back to Cento.
The Jewish ghetto is located between the Via Provenzali and the Via Malagodi. It is possible to reach the inner courtyard from a long corridor on the street Provenzali, in front of the house bearing the same name. In Cento there was a very active Jewish Community since the beginning of the 14th century, which gave birth to an important commercial trade dealing mainly with hemp. Jewish people lived in the typical houses of the Ghetto since 1636. The only monumental building worth mentioning is the elegant Palazzo Modena in Neoclassical style (1820). Unfortunately the synagogue was destroyed, but rests of it, like a beautiful baroque Aron in polychrome marble, are housed inside the synagogue of Ferrara. Outside the town lies the cemetery, opened in 1818, but used before this by the Jews of Cento. It is reached along a road lined with cypress trees that crosses a large field before entering through the cemetery's high boundary wall.
Cento has acquired great international notoriety thanks to its spectacular Carnival, twinned with the famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival