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Discovering the Canavese
Discovering the Canavese, where lakes, castles and traditions abound, is an extraordinary experience. Unforgettable surprises await you, from the mountains to historic castles and from sport to art.
The Canavese (Canavèis in Piedmontese language) is a geographical area located in the northern part of the province of Turin, to the north-east of the town. Its main town is Ivrea and takes its name from the ancient city of Cuorgnè, Canava, located on Orco stream. The inhabitants of this area are known as Canavesani.
Ivrea is a city of Celtic origin and was the seat of a Roman colony, Eporedia, from which the inhabitants, the Eporediesi, take their name.
Canavese was the capital of a Lombard duchy and a Frankish county and was very important under Arduino, King of Italy between 1000 and 1015. Near the square of the castle of Ivrea is the Cathedral and the Episcopal seminary, built from a design by Filippo Juvarra.
Surrounded by the gentle hills of the regions, only 35 km far away from Turin, stays Romano Canavese, an ancient rural village which still retains valuable vestiges of its past history: the impressive tower of the castle, the “recetto”, churches and noble small buildings, the old town; together with the forests and vineyards of the morainal hill, they make this village a beautiful spot of the Old Canavese
Located on the ancient road that linked Aosta to Turin, Romano Canavese benefits from an excellent position, from which it is easy to reach fascinating destinations. One of these is by sure Agliè, an ancient medieval village where you can visit the baroque church of Santa Marta and the Ducal Castle of the Savoy Family, which recently became popular as a scenario for a very successful TV fiction entitled “Elisa di Rivombrosa”.
Only 7 kilometers away you can visit the Masino Castle for ten centuries residence of Valperga Counts and now owned by the FAI (Italian Environment Fund) which houses fascinating frescoed halls, richly decorated between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the apartments of Madame Reale.
Not far from Romano Canavese is Arnad, a land of genuine flavours, such as lard, wine, honey, chestnuts and the typical products of the most authentic Valle d'Aosta culinary tradition.
At only a few kilometres from Arnad, you can visit the Forte di Bard, which has remained virtually unchanged since its construction and is one of the best examples of a barrage fortress built at the start of the 1800s. The fortress consists of three main buildings placed at different levels, between 400 and 467 meters: from the lowest, the Opera Ferdinando, through to the median, the Opera Vittorio, and reaching the highest, the Opera Carlo Alberto, which house a total of 283 rooms.
It is definitely worth visiting the Palace of Venaria Reale, one of the outstanding Savoy’s residences in Piedmont. Probably the largest in size, its structure is comparable to the French palace of Versailles which was erected having the design of the Piedmontese royal residence in mind. After two centuries in a state of neglect and thanks to an extraordinary works of renewal which lasted eight years, the Venaria Reale complex has once again become an important cultural and contemporary tourist attraction.
Nearby, the Gran Paradiso National Park, whose 70,000 hectares are a protected area for animal species, can easily be reached.
Special attention should be paid to the local gastronomy in Canavese with its typical dishes of mushrooms, truffles, chestnuts and cheeses, not to mention a wide variety of desserts. Typical of Piedmont is the “merenda sinoira”, an afternoon meal which, being so plentiful, tends to replace dinner (this is why it is called "sinoira" from Italian "cenare", meaning "to dine"). Usually it takes place on holidays and will be laden with cheeses and meats (Toma cheeses, ham and salami...); it can be completed by any other specialty, sweet or savoury ... provided that it is typical of Piedmont!
The Canavese is also known for the tradition of its craft, which for centuries has passed down the art of pottery and copper forging. For over 40 years the Castellamonte ceramics has produced objects and ornaments in terra cotta, in addition to its famous stoves in various shapes and designs and copper objects.
During the year, there are various events connected to the tradition of the place. The most famous event is the Carnival of Ivrea with the battle of the oranges.