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Piedmont’s Canavese. Where harmony and natural beauty, history, sport and culinary delights abound

Monday, 11 April 2022 08:00
Piedmont’s Canavese. Where harmony and natural beauty, history, sport and culinary delights abound Ducal Castle of Agliè Mattia Bonavida

The Canavese, a land of extraordinary biodiversity and harmony where beauty, history, sport and culinary delights abound, is a splendid corner of Italy’s north-western Piedmont region, surrounded by gentle hills and green valleys.

Harboring a wealth of natural, historical and artistic treasures from castles, towers and ancient churches, to morainic mountain ranges, high-altitude meadowlands, lakes and vineyards, the nerve centre is the city of Ivrea. Just a few kilometres from Turin and an hour's drive from Milan, Ivrea was originally the Roman Eporedia, founded in 100 B.C. and today it is divided into the old town and the industrial Ivrea.

A city with traces of Roman and medieval days

The presence of man in the Canavese is very ancient and has left traces since prehistoric times. First populated by Celtic populations and then colonized by the Romans and later by the Longobards, the territory is deeply linked to the Middle Ages. Strolling along the alleys and streets of Ivrea’s old centre you can still find some traces of ancient walls and monuments that remind us of its Roman and medieval history.

The industrialist Olivetti built modern Ivrea from the 1930s

The industrial part of the city dates to between 1930 and 1960 and consists of architecture linked to Adriano Olivetti's industrial and socio-cultural project: a complex of buildings designed by the most famous 20th century Italian architects and town planners. Like the former Hotel La Serra and all the buildings located on Via Jervis, from the first factory of red bricks to the 50s and 60s settlements., You can also visit a museum with all the Olivetti products, from the typewriter to calculators and  PC.

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Oranges are used as weapons in Ivrea’s annual carnival 

Ivrea’s annual carnival is a unique event that brings history and myth, tradition and spectacle, emotions and great ideals to the streets and squares of the city. The highlight is a battle with oranges in memory of a legendary medieval episode of liberation from the tyranny of the lord who starved the city. Today the townspeople, divided into nine teams, re-enact the legendary battle, pelting each other with oranges which represent the stones thrown at the feudal lord’s castle in order to demolish it. 

The Savoy kings owned property in the Canavese

Another important historical period for tourism in the area was the 19th century period of the royal hunts and the presence of the Savoy royal family and Turin’s nobility. They had hunting lodges and splendid villas in the area and in particular in Ceresole, which then added Reale to its name and is in the Gran Paradiso National Park which is Italy's oldest park and is celebrating its first 100 years in 2022.  

mini Area palafitticola Viverone derfuPrehistoric pile dwellings of Lake Viverone

The region has four UNESCO World Heritage sites

The Canavese has four Unesco heritage sites: the prehistoric pile dwellings of Lake Viverone, the Ducal Castle of Agliè a former Savoy residence, the ancient sanctuary of the Sacred Mount of Belmonte, and the city of Ivrea with its extraordinary architecture and Olivetti cultural heritage. In summer the region is very popular for hiking, climbing and enjoying relaxing walks through alpine pastures or around the numerous lakes, enjoying the silence of the mountains and the sudden appearance of chamois, ibex, eagles and marmots. In the winter months it is a paradise for downhill and cross-country skiing, ski touring, ice climbing and snowshoeing.

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Gourmet lunches in a hot air balloon

For those who prefer more relaxing pastimes there is forest bathing, cooking, ceramics and painting courses, sensory trails and wine and spa experiences to relax with a glass of wine. And for a VIP experience you can fly in a hot air balloon with your own personal chef who will prepare a gourmet lunch or aperitif just for you high up in the sky.

The Tour Operators' Consortium promotes the area

The Valli del Canavese Consortium is made up exclusively of private tourism businesses (accommodation facilities, restaurants, producers of local products, tour operators and service businesses) and aims at enhancing the tourism, cultural, sporting and environmental heritage of the Canavese valleys.  Members attend trade fairs and workshops, organize events, promote the area through publications, and with online and offline promotional activities of places and itineraries of interest as well as providing a wide range of tourist services.

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Ph Credits: Mattia Bonavida

Packages and tours for individuals and groups

Established in 2012 the Consortium has some 60 members and counts 800 beds, 30 restaurants, 12 farmers and producers, seven tour operators and service companies. It can offer everything from simple hotel and restaurant accommodation to guided activities such as nature sports, sightseeing tours of villages and castles, museums, food and wine tastings, cookery courses etc. It also offers complete tailor-made packages for individuals and groups, bus and car transport, services and unique experiences to discover the area's history and art, nature, food and wines.

RPergolaErbaluce DSC3433Credits: Mattia Bonavida

Vineyard itineraries on foot or by bike

The Consortium recently launched vineyard itineraries to discover the beautiful landscapes and wine treasures of the Canavese area. On foot or by bicycle these ten itineraries cover the region’s fabled wine-growing areas, with fascinating routes leading to the discovery of natural, artistic and historical treasures. Varying in length from one to seven hours on foot, they also intersect with historical routes such as the ancient Via Francigena pilgrim’s way. The Consortium’s tourist packages or day trips by ebike or minibus are accompanied by expert tour guides, cycling guides and also sommeliers for the wine and food itineraries. And on the subject of gourmet experiences, what about dinner in a vineyard to enjoy the Canavese’s  excellent food and wine? 

Summer Voucher Vacanze Piemonte packages

This summer the Voucher Vacanze Piemonte will also be back - with a 50% discount for a 4-night stay and for one-day experiences. So what are you waiting for? Come and discover the beautiful Canavese region.



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