Novara (Nuara in the Novara dialect and in the western Lombard dialect, Noara in Piedmontese) is an Italian town of 104181 inhabitants, the capital of the province of the same name in Piedmont, the second largest city in the Region by number of inhabitants after Turin. It is a crossroads of important commercial traffic between the road axes that connect the Turin-Milan-Genoa industrial triangle to Switzerland.

It is an important industrial and commercial center favored by its strategic position.

The city's symbol is the dome of the Basilica of San Gaudenzio by Alessandro Antonelli.

The University of Eastern Piedmont is located in Novara, a tripolar structure shared with Alessandria and Vercelli.


How to orient yourself

The historic center of the city has an almost pentagonal shape and is largely surrounded by "bulwarks", tree-lined avenues that have taken the place of the ancient walls that surrounded the city.

The two main arteries are Corso Cavour-Corso Mazzini, with a north-south direction, and Corso Italia-Corso Cavallotti, with an east-west direction, corresponding to the layout of the ancient Roman Cardo and Decumanus.


Monuments and places of interest

The ancient city nucleus of Novara, almost pentagonal in shape, is located on a modest hilly relief (today the Historic Center, seat of the district of the same name) and still retains for the most part, despite the heavy tampering in a modern key and the many neoclassical architectures , the ancient medieval layout with cobbled streets and small squares (piazza delle Erbe and piazza della Repubblica).

In ancient times the city was equipped with a wall with a perimeter of 2200 meters, raised at the end of the 1st century AD. during the imperial age. Partially destroyed in 1110, the walls were subsequently rebuilt and finally demolished at the beginning of the twentieth century to allow city development. Two sections of the ancient Roman walls, unearthed after archaeological excavations, are visible today at Largo Cavour and in the green area behind the Gallarini Conservatory, between via Solaroli and via Dominioni. They appear to have been made with the opus mixtum technique using river pebbles linked together with mortar, placed flat and interspersed with low horizontal brick bands.

After their demolition, the walls gave way to the current bulwarks, large tree-lined avenues that surround the historic center.

As a Roman municipality, the road network of Novara was also characterized by a cardo and a decumanus which correspond, the first to the current Corso Cavour and Corso Mazzini (formerly Corso di Porta Sempione) and the second to Corso Italia (formerly Corso di Porta Torino ) and Corso Cavallotti (formerly Corso di Porta Milano). The two roads meet in the so-called Corner of the Hours.


Old Town

The most famous monument in Novara is the basilica of San Gaudenzio, built between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and characterized by the imposing neoclassical pinnacle dome (121 meters high) designed by Alessandro Antonelli and added to the body of the church in the second half of the nineteenth century. century, considered by many to be the tallest brick in the world.

Of particular interest is also the bell tower by Benedetto Alfieri (uncle of the more famous Vittorio Alfieri) and above all, inside the church, the Polyptych by Gaudenzio Ferrari.

The center of the city's religious life is the imposing Cathedral, in neoclassical style, also designed by Alessandro Antonelli and built in the mid-nineteenth century by demolishing the pre-existing Romanesque cathedral (it stands in the same spot where the temple of Jupiter once stood) , of which the lower part of the bell tower still belong, the Cloister of the Canonica and the Oratory of San Siro.

Opposite the Cathedral is the Baptistery, the oldest building in the city still existing and one of the oldest early Christian architecture in Piedmont.

Not far from the Duomo is the courtyard (or Arengo) of the Broletto, the ancient center of the political life of Novara, a free municipality. It is an architectural complex consisting of four historic buildings arranged in a quadrilateral, built in different eras with materials and decorative elements not consistent with each other, which overlook the central courtyard: the Palazzo del Comune (XII century) to the north, the Palazzo dei Paratici (12th century) to the west, the Palazzo del Podestà to the south and the Palazzo dei Referendari to the east (both late 14th-early 15th century).
The Broletto was also the seat of the prisons, then of the artisan guilds and today houses the civic museums, with art collections and archaeological finds from the history of Novara and the Giannoni Modern Art Gallery, which has been undergoing restoration for many years, a collection of paintings and sculptures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Not far from Piazza della Repubblica (formerly Piazza Duomo) is the triangular and characteristic Piazza Cesare Battisti (better known by the Novarese as Piazza delle Erbe). It constitutes the perfect center of the city of Novara which is indicated by a small triangular tile on the pavement, recognizable because it is different from the others that make up the pavement of the square.

In the square named after Giacomo Matteotti there is Palazzo Natta-Isola, seat of the Province and the Prefecture, characterized by the beautiful Clock Tower, while in the nearby via Fratelli Rosselli is Palazzo Cabrino, seat of the administrative offices of the Municipality.

The largest square is Piazza Martiri della Libertà (formerly Piazza Castello, later Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II), dominated by the equestrian statue dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy, crowned in Novara. The Visconteo-Sforzesco Castle, the work of the Milanese lords, the current venue for events and art exhibitions, and the Coccia Theater, the most historic theater in Piedmont, overlook Piazza Martiri. The Castle, once much larger than the complex that remains today, is surrounded by the Alea, one of the largest public gardens in Novara.

Other important squares are:
Piazza Cavour, dominated by the statue of the same name and restored between the 1990s and the 2000s.
piazza Garibaldi, the square of the Novara station, also restored, characterized by the statue of the same name, by that of the mondina and by a fountain.
piazza Gramsci, formerly piazza del Rosario, which houses, after the restoration in 2005, the particular statue of Icarus.
piazza Puccini, located between the east side of the Coccia Theater and the entrance to the Canonica. It houses the statue of Carlo Emanuele III, the first Savoy ruler to rule Novara.


Religious architectures

In addition to the Cathedral and the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, the main churches of the city are:

Chiesa di Ognissanti (early 12th century), is the only surviving Romanesque church in the city, already mentioned in 1124. It is a simple construction with three naves, with four bays each, a choir with a semicircular apse and an elegant and valuable lantern. octagonal illuminated by single and mullioned windows. Inside there are traces of 15th century frescoes, including a Madonna del Latte attributed to Giovanni de Campo. The current appearance is the result of the restorations carried out in the fifties which eliminated the heavy adaptations of the Baroque era, bringing the building back to its original Romanesque style.
Abbey of San Nazzaro della Costa (1441-1470), a complex consisting of the homonymous church together with the adjoining convent, already documented in 1124 and remodeled in the fifteenth century at the behest of San Bernardino da Siena. It stands on a hill near the city cemetery, beyond the ramparts.

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, better known as the church of San Martino (second half of the fifteenth century), built starting from 1477 by the Lateran canons, it is internally made up of a single nave with side chapels and paintings attributable to artists of the fifteenth century, including Tommaso Cagnola and Daniele De Bosis. In one of the frescoes the humanist Paolo Maffei is represented.
Church of San Pietro al Rosario (1599-1618), located in Piazza Gramsci was the Novara seat of the Dominican Order before the Napoleonic suppressions. Internally it has a single nave with six side chapels. It preserves some important works such as the statue of the Madonna del latte, dating back to the fifteenth century but obtained from a pre-existing Roman monument, the Virgin of the Rosary by Giulio Cesare Procaccini (1625) and the cycle of frescoes on the life of San Pietro di Giovanni Mauro Della Rovere (1637).
Church of San Marco (17th century), built to a design by Lorenzo Binago starting from 1607. It preserves important works from the 17th and 18th centuries by artists such as Giulio Cesare Procaccini, Daniele Crespi and Moncalvo, as well as refined carving works which are the confessionals and the pulpit. In 1634 it was joined by a convent, the current seat of the Bank of Italy.
Church-Oratory of San Giovanni Decollato (1637-1657), seat of the brotherhood of San Giovanni Battista Decollato.
Church of Santa Maria della Salute (17th century), in Baroque style is located in the Bicocca district. Completed in 1658, it was built on the site of a small chapel dedicated to the Madonna and Child (called "degli Spagnoli") which today constitutes the altarpiece.
Church of Sant'Eufemia (1666-1698).
Chiesa del Carmine (XVIII-XIX century), located near the basilica of San Gaudenzio, has the oldest Romanesque bell tower in the province.


Civil architectures

Arengo del Broletto (XII-XV century).
Casa Della Porta and Casa Rognoni (second half of the 15th century), in Gothic style.
Palazzo Tornielli-Bellini (early 16th century), has been the headquarters of the Banca Popolare di Novara since 1905.
Palazzo Natta (16th century), building attributed to Pellegrino Tibaldi, extensively remodeled in the 19th century with the raising of a floor, today houses the offices of the provincial administration and the prefecture. The grand staircase of honor leading to the upper floor, the frescoes in the halls on the first floor and the internal courtyard enclosed by Doric columns stand out. At the left corner stands the civic clock tower of medieval origin.
Maggiore Hospital of Charity in Novara, built starting from 1628 and enlarged in the following centuries by various architects including Alessandro Antonelli, in the mid-nineteenth century.
Palazzo Cabrino (1661-1664 and later centuries), now the seat of the city administration, was a noble palace built in the Baroque style by the Cabrino family. Some rooms on the first floor are decorated with eighteenth-century frescoes by Giovanni Stefano Danedi.
Barriera Albertina (1837), a complex of two identical neoclassical buildings, on a single floor, placed symmetrically opposite each other. It is located at the end of the ancient royal road coming from Vercelli, the current viale XX Settembre, and was the western gateway to the city (formerly Porta Torino). The construction was carried out by demolishing the ancient entrance tower [4]. The buildings, originally intended for guard and duty offices, were designed by Antonio Agnelli and inaugurated in 1837; they are quadrangular in shape enriched by a pronaos with six Gothic columns; the tympanum is decorated with allegorical statues, sculpted by Giuseppe Argenti, depicting virtues or civic activities.
Palazzo del Mercato (1817-1842), the work of the architect Luigi Orelli, was the seat of the forum for the trading of grains and today the seat of the Agricultural Exchange. It is a square-plan building of simple architecture, enriched by a loggia running along all sides. It stands on the northern side of Piazza Martiri but the main facade is the one facing Corso Italia, characterized by two flights of stairs and a pediment decorated with a sandstone and marble high relief.
Palace of the Guard Corps, located on the western side of Piazza della Repubblica, next to the baptistery of the cathedral, is so called because it was the seat of the troops of the urban police. It was built starting from 1835, on a project by the architect Aresi, and inaugurated on November 4, 1837.
Novara railway station (1854).
Casa Bossi (19th century), large manor house designed by Alessandro Antonelli.
Gallarini College (19th century), houses the “Guido Cantelli” Music Conservatory.

Coccia Theater (late 19th century), inaugurated on 22 December 1888. The current building stands on the remains of the 18th century Morelli theater (later dedicated to Carlo Coccia), demolished to allow for the new construction, the work of architect Giuseppe Oliverio. In addition to illustrious personalities such as Arturo Toscanini and the late Guido Cantelli, in more recent years it has hosted the television program Bravo Bravissimo, conducted by Mike Bongiorno. Even today it is a popular theater of Tradition, which hosts high-level opera seasons.
Casa Quaroni, built between 1905 and 1907 on a project by the engineer Mario Rosina, a relative of Otto Wagner. Emblematic testimony of liberty architecture in Novara.
Casa Fiorentini, built between 1907 and 1910 on a project by the engineer Roberto Passeri, stands at the corner of via XX Settembre and via Dante Alighieri and represents one of the most interesting examples of Novara liberty architecture. The façade, surmounted by three balconies full of ornaments, is located in the corner area and follows a curvilinear course. The external decoration is of considerable value and visual impact.
Palazzo "Renzo Piano", designed by the Genoese architect's studio and built between 1985 and 1987, is located in the Sant'Agabio district, east of the historic center. Originally conceived as the seat for the Experimental Light Metals Institute, it now belongs to the Province of Novara and is the seat of the Novara Development Foundation and hosts the Novara Scientific Technological Center. The complex is made up of two buildings: the main 3-storey office building rises along the road and extends for a length of 85 meters; the structure is composed of an aluminum profile stiffened by reticular elements in order to make the most of the potential of this material; the continuous modular facade is made with the glazing simply glued and not mechanically fixed to the structure. After the inner courtyard is the secondary building, intended as a workshop, clad frontally and on the north side with a ribbed steel sheet.


Military architectures

Visconteo-Sforzesco Castle (XIII-XV century).
Casalgiate Castle (XV century), rises in the center of the homonymous locality to the west of the city, it was probably built in 1470 on the remains of a previous castle destroyed by the White Company in the years 1361-63. It has an irregular four-sided plan with an internal courtyard, it is still partially surrounded by a moat and partially by a garden. The entrance is located at the base of a tower on the southern side where the coat of arms of the Avogadro family, to which the castle belonged for a long time, is visible. The property passed in 1779 to the Ospedale Maggiore in Novara which today owns half of it together with a private individual. It is currently in a state of neglect.

Other monuments
The Ossario della Bicocca, with a characteristic pyramid shape, stands in the homonymous district in memory of the fallen in the historic battle of 23 March 1849 between the Piedmontese and the Austrians.



Museums of the rectory of the cathedral
Civic museums, housed in the Palazzo del Broletto
Faraggiana Ferrandi Natural History Museum
Museum of the Risorgimento


Getting here

By plane
The main airports of reference are the following:

Milan Malpensa International Airport - Terminal 1: 32 km
Milan Malpensa International Airport - Terminal 2: 35 km

By car
The city is served by two toll booths along the A4 Turin-Trieste motorway:
Novara Ovest (8 km from the centre), for those coming from Turin;
Novara Est (6 km from the centre), for those coming from Milan.
It can also be reached from the A26 Genova Voltri-Gravellona Toce motorway from the toll booth:

Vercelli east (15 km from the centre), for those coming from Genoa.
For those coming from Gravellona Toce it is advisable to take a stretch of the A4 to the Novara Ovest exit.

Novara is partially surrounded by a ring road which connects the State Road 32 of Lake Maggiore (towards Arona) to the north, with the State Road 11 (towards Turin) to the south-west of the city. The Strada Statale 11 also connects Milan with Novara.

Traffic restrictions
Since February 2013, a driving ban has been in force for all petrol vehicles that do not comply with at least the Euro 2 standard and for diesel vehicles that are lower than the Euro 3 standard. The ban applies from Monday to Friday in the time slots 8.30-12.30 and 14.30 -18.30. Motorists can leave their car in one of the free interchange car parks located on the outskirts of the city and continue by public transport.

On boat
The closest passenger port is that of Genoa, about 150 km away.

On the train
Novara is served by two railway stations:
Novara FS which has the Turin–Milan, Alessandria–Arona, Biella–Novara, Novara–Domodossola, Novara–Oleggio and Novara–Varallo lines (currently suspended).
Novara Nord, end station of the Novara–Milan Cadorna line.
There is also a third station in the Vignale district used only for local trains along the Novara-Arona line.

By bus
Troiolo Bus, Corso Garibaldi, 185 - Siderno, ☎ +39 0964 381325, fax: +39 0964 381325, The company allows the direct connection of Novara with Africo, Ardore, Badolato, Bianco, Bovalino, Brancaleone, Catanzaro, Catanzaro Lido, Caulonia, Davoli, Guardavalle, Isca sull'Ionio, Lamezia Terme, Locri, Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, Monasterace, Montepaone, Polistena, Riace, Roccella Jonica, Rosarno, Sant'Andrea Apostolo dello Jonio, Santa Caterina, Siderno, Soverato, Squillace, Taurianova and Vibo Valentia; not all connections are daily.


Getting around

By public transport
SUN S.p.A (Public transport company of the city of Novara), Via P. Generali 25, ☎ +39 0321 482811, fax: +39 0321 482890, €1.20.
Line 1: Olengo - Bicocca - Veveri - Cameri
Line 2: San Rocco - Via Chinotto
Line 4: Galliate/Romentino - Pernate - Station - V. Ancona
Line 5: V. dell'Artigianato - Torino - V. Perrone - Station - V. dell'Artigianato
Line 6: Quartara T. - Station - Vignale - Bonfantini
Line 8: Lumellogno - Via Ancona - Station - Via Casorati - Cerano - Sozzago
Line C: Station - V. Generali - V. Adamello - Cemetery - Station
SP Line: Casalgiate - S. Pietro Mosezzo - Station
Green Shuttle: Viale Verdi - Piazza Cavour - Viale Verdi

By taxi
Radio Taxi Novara Cooperative, Via Ettore Bossi, 16/a, ☎ +39 0321 691999, fax: +39 0321 691999, edit
Novara city taxi, Piazza Garibaldi, 1, ☎ +39 0321 611755.


Where to eat

Modest prices
1 Sesiko, Via dei Tornielli, 2, ☎ +39 0321 35793. Japanese restaurant.
2 Le Grandi Volte, Via dei Tornielli, 9, ☎ +39 0321 33324. Self-service restaurant.
3 Focacceria Al10 pizzeria, Corso Giuseppe Mazzini, 10, ☎ +39 0321 628086.
McDonald's Novara Sporting, Piazzale Giuseppe Fortina 1, ☎ +39 0321 697468. Mon-Sun: 07:00-22:00.
McDonald's Novara San Martino 2, Via Ugo Porzio Giovanola 7 (in the San Martino 2 Shopping Center), ☏ +39 0321 455720. Sun-Fri: 08:00-21:30; Sat: 08:00-22:30.

Average prices
4 Alibi restaurant, Via Paolo Solaroli, 68, ☎ +39 0321 393584.
5 Universo Vegano, Corso Giuseppe Mazzini, 8A, ☎ +39 0321 625136. Vegan restaurant.
6 Pizzeria restaurant A'Marechiaro, Via Fratelli Rosselli, 11, ☎ +39 0321 620237.
7 Centro pizzeria restaurant, Corso Felice Cavallotti, 9D, ☎ +39 0321 623232.
8 Il Broletto Food & Drink, Via Fratelli Rosselli, 20, ☎ +39 373 7485216.
9 Subway, Corso Italia, 24. Bulgarian restaurant.
10 Antica Osteria Ai Vini Restaurant, Largo Cavallazzi, 4, ☎ +39 0321 34346.
11 Hostaria I 2 Ladroni, Corso Felice Cavallotti, 15, ☎ +39 0321 624581.
12 Trattoria Cavallino Bianco, Vicolo Arco, 2, ☎ +39 0321 393908.
13 Nuova Santa Lucia Pizzeria, Via Cesare Magnani Ricotti, 15, ☎ +39 339 7436352.
14 La Locanda delle Due Suocere, Corso Trieste, 42, ☎ +39 0321 032310.


Where stay

Modest prices
1 Hotel Ristorante Cavallo Bianco, Corso della Vittoria, 6B, ☎ +39 0321 35633. Two stars.
2 Hotel Station, Viale Alessandro Manzoni, 4C, ☎ +39 0321 623256.

Average prices
3 Hotel Croce di Malta, Via Biglieri 2/a, ☎ +39 0321 32032. Three stars.
4 Hotel Residence Matteotti, Largo Buscaglia Carlo, 11A, ☎ +39 392 7876095.

High prices
5 Bella Italia Palace Hotel, Largo Donegani, 6, ☎ +39 0321 694346. Four stars.
6 Hotel Europa, Corso Felice Cavallotti, 38, ☎ +39 0321 35801. Four stars.
7 Hotel Cavour, Via S. Francesco D'Assisi, 6, ☎ +39 0321 659889. Four stars.



1 Invernizzi, Corso Italia, 42, ☎ +39 0321 629885.
2 Episcopal, Via Omar Giuseppe, 19, ☎ +39 0321 623388.
3 Agnelli, Corso Felice Cavallotti, 2A.
4 Mazzini, Corso Giuseppe Mazzini, 16, ☎ +39 0321 399513.
5 Fanello, Corso Cavour, 7, ☎ +39 0321 612363.
6 Chiabrera, Piazza Cavour, 7, ☎ +39 0321 611077.
7 Nigri, Corso Risorgimento, 33, ☎ +39 0321 477767.
8 Galli, Via Pietro Micca, 52, ☎ +39 0321 611370.
9 Fanchiotti, Via Andrea Costa, 1, ☎ +39 0321 612382.


Physical geography


Novara is 45 km as the crow flies or 50 km by car from Milan (15 km from the border with the Lombardy region, where the Ticino river marks the border between the two regions), 85 km as the crow flies or 95 km by car from Turin, 35 km from Lake Maggiore, 45 km from Lake Orta, 70 km from Lake Varese.

The city stands on a small hill and is bathed by the Agogna and Terdoppio streams which cross the western and eastern periphery of the city respectively. The north-eastern area is crossed by the Quintino Sella Canal, an emissary of the Cavour Canal which in turn flows to the northern border of the city, near the districts of Veveri and Vignale. The Arbogna torrent has its sources near the Bicocca district.

The landscape of the Novara irrigation plain is characterized and strongly conditioned by rice cultivation, deeply anthropized and regulated for production purposes, the result of the centuries-old reclamation and transformation work which has determined the morphological simplification of the territory, leveled and terraced even on the modest hills, and the presence of a dense irrigation network, with canals, irrigation ditches, ditches, springs.

The city center rises a few meters above the surrounding area, at the highest point of a ridge of fluvial-glacial origin, the last moraine offshoot of the Alpine glaciers, which slopes gently southwards as far as Vespolate (Arbogna Valley).

In addition to the cultivation of poplars, mainly in rows, there are residues of wooded areas along the watercourses.

Unlike other cities in Northern Italy, leaving Novara, the gap between the end of the town and the beginning of the countryside is very clear.



Novara has a temperate humid climate typical of the Po Valley, with cold and foggy winters (the minimum temperatures are close to zero between December and February) and hot and muggy summers (it is very frequent that the maximum daily temperature exceeds 30 degrees from June to September). The rainfall is greater than in the rest of the Piedmont plains and was equal to almost 1000 mm until 2010, but since 2020 it has decreased to about 850 mm. The seasonal snow average of the area was about 35 cm during the winter season now reduced to about 15 cm. These reductions are caused by climate change which has accentuated in the last decade: rainy days have in fact been drastically reduced, alternating periods of extreme drought with violent and abundant storms. The rainfall regime is characterized by two maxima (a main one in May with 127 mm, a secondary one in October with 110 mm) and two minima (main one in December with 50 mm, secondary one in July with 55 mm). In the period from 2000 to 2022, the driest year was 2005 (641.0 mm), the wettest 2014 (1750 mm). Summer and late spring rains tend to be more frequent than in the Piedmont capitals located south of the Po line, given that Novara is slightly more exposed to the summer Atlantic instabilities that regularly cross the Alps. According to data from the Torrion Geophysical Observatory Quartara, whose meteorological archive dates back to August 1999, the average annual temperature of the 21st century is attested at 13.9 °C. The extremes were recorded on February 7, 2012 (−17.6 °C) and June 27, 2019 (37.3 °C). For the characteristics described up to now and for the high atmospheric pollution, Novara, together with Pavia and Vercelli, has the worst climate quality index in Italy, also based on a recent analysis of historical climatic data collected starting from 1875 the province of Novara appears to be one of the Italian territories most affected by climate change: the increase in average temperature over the last one hundred and fifty years has in fact been equal to two degrees, or double that of one degree recorded on average in the other Italian provinces.



Historically, the city was founded around the year 89 BC. as a colony under Latin law, on the occasion of the granting of Latin citizenship to the Celtic tribes of Gallia Transpadana. In the imperial age Novaria was an important municipium and was located on the road between Vercellae (Vercelli) and Mediolanum (Milan). Its layout with perpendicular streets (which has remained intact) dates back to Roman times. After the city was destroyed in 386 by Magnus Maximus for having sided with his rival Valentinian II, it was rebuilt by Theodosius I. It was later sacked by Radagaisus (in 405) and by Attila (in 452).

From Novaria, the Latin name of Novara, began the via Novaria-Comum, a Roman road that connected the city with Comum (Como) passing through Sibrium (Castelseprio). In Roman times, the Via delle Gallie also passed through Novara, a Roman consular road built by Augustus to connect the Po Valley with Gaul.

During the domination of the Longobards Novara was part of the Duchy of San Giulio. With Carlo il Grosso the Novara area became a county. The city developed, then becoming a free municipality. In 1110 it was conquered by Henry V and destroyed, in 1167 it was part of the Lombard League. Between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century, the Municipality of Novara secured control of a large part of the Novara area, with the exception of the episcopal enclave of the Riviera di San Giulio. At the end of the 12th century it accepted the protection of Milan and thus became the domain of the Visconti and then of the Sforza. During the so-called Italian Wars, the city was the protagonist of two sieges: the first in 1495 and the second in 1500.

In 1706 Novara was occupied by the troops of the Savoy. With the Peace of Utrecht, the city, together with Milan, became part of the Habsburg Empire. After the occupation of 1734 by Carlo Emanuele III, the following year, it passed to the House of Savoy.

After Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Italy, Novara was the capital of the Department of Agogna, only to be reassigned to the House of Savoy in 1814. On 8 April 1821, it was the site of a battle in which regular Sardinian and Austrian troops defeated the constitutional liberals Piedmontese; in the even more terrible Battle of Novara on 23 March 1849, the Piedmontese army was defeated by the Austrians of marshal Radetzky; this fact led to the abdication of Carlo Alberto di Savoia and to the occupation of the city by the Austrians. The defeat of the Piedmontese can be seen as the beginning of the Italian Risorgimento.

With Royal Decree No. 3702 of 23 October 1859 ("Rattazzi Decree"), the province of Novara was established, which at the time also included the current provinces of Vercelli, Biella and Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.



Demographic evolution

The oldest assessment of the city population dates back to 1723, with a total of 8,963 registered inhabitants, of which 5,590 inside the walls and 3,373 in the suburbs. In 1776, the population had risen to 11,092 inhabitants of which 7,003 were inside the walls and 4,089 in the suburbs, then it reached 12,465 inhabitants in 1804 and 14,021 in 1826. In the following years, the population almost doubled which will be equal to 25 144 inhabitants recorded during the first national census of 1861. From this date the population growth is constant and in 1911 the city has 53 657 inhabitants. Subsequently, in the period between the two wars, growth suffered a setback, with a slight recovery which brought the number of citizens to 69,935 in 1951. In the 1950s and 1960s, citizenship returned to vigorous growth, reaching 1971 around 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that will remain almost unchanged until 2021.


Life quality

In the ranking drawn up by Italia Oggi in collaboration with La Sapienza University in 2022 Novara ranks 50th for quality of life out of 107 Italian provincial capitals. On the other hand, according to the Urban Ecosystem report by Legambiente, the city of Novara ranks 47th. Finally, according to the dossier on the quality of life in Italy by Il Sole 24 Ore, Novara in 2022 is 39th in the standings. The best position recorded by Novara for quality of life according to Il Sole 24 Ore dates back to 2000 (15th place) while the worst dates back to 2014 (66th). After the 2009-2018 period which saw Novara position itself in the lower part of the ranking, the city has regained positions since 2019.

In the ranking of "Recycling Municipalities", the waste collection and recycling agencies of the middle and lower Novara area are respectively in 13th and 18th place among the waste management consortia with over 100,000 inhabitants.



The city of Novara is home to the De Agostini Geographical Institute, which celebrated its centenary in 2001.



Chapter Library of Santa Maria
Carlo Negroni Civic Library, the second largest civic library in Piedmont
Library of the De Agostini geographical institute, founded in 1977
San Gaudenzio Episcopal Seminary Library, founded in 1788
Library of the Diocesan Historical Archive
Art library of the civic museums, founded in 1874
Library of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont, founded in 1993
Library of the Guido Cantelli State Conservatory of Music
Ascanio Sobrero Library of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont
Library of the Historical Institute of the Piero Fornara Resistance



The city is home to the University of Eastern Piedmont together with Vercelli and Alessandria. Four of the eight Departments that make up the University are located in Novara:
Department of Health Sciences
Department of Translational Medicine
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Economics and Business Studies
Furthermore, it is home to the Interdepartmental Center for Emergency Medicine, Disasters and Information Technology Applied to Medical Practice and Teaching (CRIMEDIM) and the School of Medicine is active, which has the objective of coordinating the teaching and research activity carried out by Departments of Translational Medicine and Health Sciences at the "Maggiore della Carità" university hospital.

Despite being recently established (1998), the University of Eastern Piedmont reached 14,761 students enrolled as of 15 December 2020. According to the annual ranking drawn up by Censis, UPO ranks twelfth in Italy among the sixteen medium-sized universities. Both the Department of Health Sciences and the Department of Translational Medicine were selected by MIUR in 2018 as two of the 180 Italian departments of excellence.



Local press
Corriere di Novara, independent biweekly of local information
Prima Novara, online newspaper
Tribuna Novarese's Friday, weekly local information via the web
Novara Oggi, local information weekly
La Voce di Novara online newspaper (since September 2017)
L'Azione, weekly magazine of the Diocese of Novara
Novaratoday, local section of the online head .today
La Stampa Novara, local section of the national newspaper of the same name



The patronal feast of San Gaudenzio is celebrated on 22 January each year. The celebration is a ritual that dates back to the 15th century: it begins with the civic procession that passes through the streets of the center up to the Basilica of San Gaudenzio where the "flower ceremony" takes place and then the solemn Eucharistic liturgy. During the flower ceremony, a large chandelier is lowered from the ceiling of the church and the metal flowers that compose it are replaced with others carried in procession by the municipal valets, in memory of the miracle performed by San Gaudenzio who, to pay homage to the visiting he would make the flowers in his garden bloom in January. Throughout the day it is possible to visit the saint's tomb in the basilica's darkroom and buy the typical "Marroni di Cuneo": smoked chestnuts, pierced and tied together.
The historical re-enactment of the Battle of Bicocca, fought in 1849, takes place on 23 March each year, with period costumes and weapons.
The Street Games, a sporting event held on the streets of the city in June. Composed of beach volleyball, basketball, soccer tournaments and much more.



Novara Jazz, international jazz music festival which takes place between the end of May and the beginning of June, with the participation of internationally renowned musicians (Michael Nyman, Dick Hyman, Trilok Gurtu, Paul D. Miller aka dj Spooky, Fabrizio Bosso, Gianluigi Trovesi, Ill Considered, Enrico Rava, John Surman, Marcin Wasilewski Trio) but also of DJs, visual artists and performers.
Novara Gospel Festival, held every year since 2005 in the period September-October, consists of workshops, tours of the area and concerts. Well-known contemporary gospel music artists including Kirk Franklin, Donnie Mc Clurkin, Richard Smallwood participate in the event.
Novara Reading Week, promoted by the Negroni Civic Library with the advice of the Novara Center for Literary Studies, draws attention to books through themes or characters treated from various angles (literature, art, cinema, theatre): from war to water, from Mario Soldati to Emilio Salgari.
Writers&Youths, an international literary festival launched in 2006 with the original formula of distributing free copies of writers' books in schools before meetings. Authors such as Luis Sepúlveda, David Grossman, Daniel Pennac, Adonis, Sebastiano Vassalli, Carlo Lucarelli have been guests in the various editions of the festival.