In the Middle Ages, a pieve was a rural church with a baptistery, upon which other churches without baptisteries depended.
The Italian word pieve is descended from Latin plebs which, after the expansion of Christianity in Italy, was applied to the community of baptized people. Many pievi began to appear in the 5th century, as Christianity expanded in the rural areas outside the main cities. In the 9th-10th centuries they were often designed with bell towers.
Pieve is an Italian and Corsican term signifying a medieval ecclesiastical/administrative territory and, by extension, the mother church of the territory. It has thus become a common component of place names and of the names of churches.