Novara showcases the unique history, cultural heritage and renowned cuisine of the Piedmont region. The city features a charming Old Town filled with centuries-old churches, palaces and plazas. Visit one of the most beautiful basilicas in Italy and feast on local specialties like risotto, Gorgonzola cheese and Barolo wine.
Things to do in Novara
Castello di Novara towers over the city and dates back to the 13th century. It’s set in a picturesque urban park, where you can also see the remains of the city’s ancient Roman walls. Tour the beautifully renovated interior and attend wine tastings, food festivals and other community events in the castle courtyard.
Magnificent rose windows and an enormous ceremonial door welcome you to the Basilica of San Gaudenzio. Step into the nave to see the soaring central dome designed by celebrated Italian architect, Alessandro Antonelli. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Novara and the surrounding countryside. A 75-metre-tall belltower built from granite and terracotta crowds the basilica and is one of the highest points in the city.
Stroll through the Old Town and admire a jewel box of historic churches and palaces. Via Fratelli Rosselli is one of the most beautiful streets in the city and is lined with handsome arcades and townhouses. The lower levels house stylish cafes, boutiques and galleries. Streets fan onto picturesque plazas like Cortile del Broletto and Piazza Cesare Battisti, both excellent places to sip espresso and people-watch.
From rustic trattorias to fine-dining restaurants, Novara is a great place to sample the culinary delights of the Piedmont region. Try local specialties like “risotto alla novarese” rice flavoured with saffron and “tajarin” fresh egg pasta tossed with Gorgonzola cheese. Local wines like Barolo and Barbaresco pair perfectly with the rich cuisine.
Getting around Novara
The Novara historic centre is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The city is in the Piedmont region, a 45-minute drive from Milan and 30 minutes by train. Milan Malpensa Airport is a one-hour drive away.