Cunevo’s Early History

An old house in Cunevo

An example of one of the old residential houses in Cunevo badly in need of restoration (note the wooden balcony, steps, walls).

Name Origin: One theory is that the Cunevo name is derived from a Celtic mythological figure named “Cuaser” , which evolved into the early form “Cuneu”. The village name has been documented to writings of the 13th century: “Cunedo” in 1214 and “Cunevo” in 1251.

First Inhabitants: Based upon archeological findings, there is evidence that the Gauls, Venetians, and Longobards settled in the Cunevo area. It is thought that the first inhabitants of the area lived in the caves of Cunevo’s Mt. Corno, which afforded protection against man and beast. An additional theory presumes that Cunevo developed during the residency of the Gauls (circa 3rd century B.C. to the beginnings of the Roman invasion).

One of the most spectacular archeological findings was made in the area known as “Plagi” in 1890, on lands belonging to Luigi Iob (son of Giuseppe Iob-sicher). Two graves were unearthed containing pieces of skull, vases, cups, plates, and buckles. Archeologists have determined that the graves were Roman, dating from the end of the 3rd to the beginning of the 4th centuries. Additional relics traceable to the Longobard have been found in the area of Cunevo, dating from the 6th to the 8th centuries.

The Rustic War of 1525 — the farmers and villagers of Val di Non, as did other areas of Trentino, bore the burden of taxes and tribute imposed by the nobles. Although termed a “war”, it was actually an uprising of the common people against the wealthy landowners and noble classes. Residents of Cunevo participated in this conflict, together with the villages of Flavon and Terres under the name “i sudditi di Flavon”. The “sudditi” armed themselves, and helped assault local castles. The uprising was surpressed by force.

Cunevo, as most communities in Val di Non, had its own local laws called “Carta di Regola”, although the original document has not been found. A”regolani” (or administrator) was elected to oversee town affairs. Over time, the title of this official was changed to “sindaco“, “capocomune” or “podesta“.

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