Piemonte - Places to visit - Novara
Situated 159 m. above sea level on the irrigated plain between the Ticino and Sesia rivers, this town is a junction of important road and rail links with Turin, Milan, Genoa and Switzerland.
Probably founded by the Ligurians, it is the Roman Novaria (Roman remains can be seen in the old town centre). The history of Novara is an intricate weave of events involving the Lombards, the Franks, the Duchy of Milan, the Savoys, the Spanish, the French, the Austrians, then again the Savoys. The Spanish walls, demolished in 1841, today form the tree-lined belt called the `baluardi', beyond which the town has grown, following a progressive increase in population. The most recent areas flank the main thoroughfares and stretch beyond the railway which circles the town to the north.
Monuments: The Basilica of San Gaudenzio with its bold cupola by Antonelli, the Broletto, the Duomo with a paleochristian baptistry and the cloisters, the church of San Nazzaro della Costa (15th century), the church of Ognissanti.
The economy here has always tended to centre on Milan, and the trend is now towards the service sectors (commerce, credit and communications). Agriculture (rice) is a tradition, now partially stifled by a flourishing industrial sector (food, engineering, printing and publishing, chemicals, textiles, garment manufacturing and the electrotechnical industry.
Events: Opera Season at the Coccia Theatre, Novara Summer, Trades Fair (spring), Carnival with the Re Biscottino masque.
Famous People: Pier Lombardo (philosopher, 12th century), Bertolino da Novara (architect, 14th century), Giuseppe Prina (politician, 1766-1814), Giuseppe Ravizza (inventor of the typewriter, 1811-1885), Costantino Perazzi (politician, 1832-1896), Felice Casorati (artist, 1886-1963).
Cultural Institutions: Istituto della Resistenza, Negroni and Civica libraries, Conservatory of Music, University.
In the Province: Domodossola (industrial and transportation centre, Museo Galletti), Verbania (industry and tourism, Museo del Paesaggio-landscapes, the Villa Taranto Gardens), Borgomanero (Grape Festival in September), Arona (Lake Maggiore Fair in May), Stresa (Musical Weeks in September).