La Darbia blog

OUT and ABOUT in NOVARA

Thu, 16 March 2017
OUT and ABOUT in NOVARA
Set among plains and surrounded by rice fields, Novara welcomes visitors with style and reveals its charm slowly but surely. When I think of Novara, I recall my childhood and the times I would take the train with my grandmother and head towards the flatlands from Lake Orta : a landscape of paddy ..

Set among plains and surrounded by rice fields, Novara welcomes visitors with style and reveals its charm slowly but surely.

When I think of Novara, I recall my childhood and the times I would take the train with my grandmother and head towards the flatlands from Lake Orta : a landscape of paddy fields, characteristic canals and farmsteads would let me know that the city was close by.
Then you would catch a glimpse of the outline of the dome of San Gaudenzio, designed by the architect Antonelli, and to this day the unquestionable symbol of the city.

Dome of San Gaudenzio

The railway station provides easy access to the historic centre, which is really interesting and full of elegant boutiques, bakeries and trendy shops selling the latest in fashion and gadgets. Its pedestrianised streets lead in the direction of the Duomo and the Broletto courtyard, where political life was conducted in the Middle Ages. Piazza delle Erbe is regarded as the very centre of Novara, marked by one little triangular brick which is distinct from all the others in the pavement. The inhabitants meet up with pleasure beneath the Clock Tower or alternatively, they arrange to see each other inside the renowned theatre, Teatro Coccia, even if only to have breakfast in the newly established Cannavacciuolo Bistrot.

Cannavacciuolo Bistrot

I recommend you check out the historical Biscottificio Camporelli, somewhat hidden down a blind alley, which for centuries back has been making those exquisite biscuits typical of Novara, following an old, traditional recipe based on simple, genuine ingredients.

Biscottificio Camporelli

Another characteristic feature of the city is its tree-lined streets: they offer long relaxing strolls down the Allea, a green area around Castello Sforzesco, and the so-called “baluardi”, ramparts along the outer boundary of the ancient Roman walls.
The uncontestable homeland of gorgonzola, Novara boasts a rich and appetizing gastronomy. Typical products of the area include rice and frogs. It was in this city that the famous “amaro” or bitter, Campari, originated in a little bar called the «Caffé dell’Amicizia» at the end of the 1800s.
Various interesting events organized throughout the year attract a large number of visitors. I would like to draw your attention, in particular, to the "Festival degli Artisti di Strada", an important occasion for musicians and circus entertainers whose openair performances enliven the streets of the city for a whole week. In the last few years "Streetfood", held in Spring, has become an eagerly awaited food and wine festival, where specialities and delicacies from regions all over Italy are to be found.
Do not hesitate to ask for further information about anything mentioned above at the reception in La Darbia; you will discover many different opportunities for fun and excitement.

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