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The Piemonte Region of Italy

 

Piemonte's Major Cities

 

PiemoteCities

The major cities of Piemonte include Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Torino, Verbania and Vercelli. They are all capitals of the provinces in which they are found. By far the largest and most industrialized is Torino.

 

Torino TorinoCoatofArms

 

Torino is the capital of the Piemonte region and its largest city. Its history dates back from the 3rd century BC, when the first tribes of the "Taurini" settled along the banks of the Po river. It has had a long history of conquering and being conquered by the Romana, the Goths, the Lombards and the Franks. In the early 15th century it was ruled by the Savoia's who unified the provinces and established Torino as the capital. It was the capital city of Italy and today it has become a mecca for art and technology. Definitely worth a visit. It would take pages to do justice to the many sites of interest in Torino. here we cover just a few.

 

SanCarloStatue

The equestrian statue which crowns the Piazza San Carlo is the centerpiece of the piazza depicting Emanuele Filiberto of Savoia sheathing his sword after the decisive victory in the Battle of San Quinitino enabling him to reconquer the Duchy. the Torinese call it "caval d'brons".

 

Piazza San Carlo exhibits perfect harmony in its dimensions, its proportions and its pleasing, sober appearance.

 

PalazzoCarignanoPalazzo Carignano (left) was built in 1679-1685. It has an undulating Baroque facade, a majestic atrium and lovely gardens in the rear. The Palazzo Carignano is in the centre of Torino and currently houses the Museum of the Risorgimento. It was once a private residence of the Princes of Carignano, after whom it is named. It is famous for its unique rounded façade. It is located on the Via Accademia delle Scienze.

the museum exhibits include weapons, flags, uniforms, printed and written documents (including the original manuscript of the song Il Canto degli Italiani, dated November 10, 1847 by Goffredo Mameli, now Italian national anthem since 1946), and artworks. The new exhibition, opened on March 18, 2011, occupies about 3500 square metres across 30 rooms, and covers the real Risorgimento period, stretching from the late 18th century revolutions to the beginning of the First World War. It includes a specialized library, a prints cabinet and a documentary archive.

 

ShroudofTurinThe Shroud of Turin  (ItalianSindone di Torino) is a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. There is no consensus yet on how the image was created. It is believed by some to be the burial shroud ofJesus of Nazareth, despite radiocarbon dating tests from 1988 dating it to the Medieval period. The image is much clearer in black-and-white negative than in its natural sepia color. The negative image was first observed in 1898 on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited in the Torino Cathedral. The shroud is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist inTorino,

 

DuomoThe Duomo of Torino or Cathedral of St.John the Baptist houses the Sindone. The Chapel of the Holy Shroud (ItalianCappella della Sacra Sindone) is a Baroque-style Roman Catholic chapel in  located outside the Duomo and connected to the Royal Palace of Torino. The chapel was designed by the architect Guarino Guarini and built at the end of the 17th century (1668–94), during the reign of Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy. The chapel was constructed to house the Shroud of Turin (Sindone di Torino), a religious relic believed by some to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.

A rare exhibition of the famous Shroud of Turin orHoly Shroud, in the Cathedral of Torino, has been announced for April 19 - June 24, 2015 with the theme The Greatest Love. The Holy Shroud has only been displayed 18 times in the past and the last exhibition was in 2010 so it's a unique chance to see the Holy Shroud. During the 2010 exhibition period, more than 1.5 million people came to Torino to see the Shroud. While there's no cost to view the Shroud, you must have a reservation. Tickets are now available and can be reserved online or by calling +39 011 529 5550 from Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 19:00 or Saturday, 9:00 - 14:00, Italian time.

 

Torino itself is a treasure of numerous works of art, palaces, churches and museums to many to list here, but you can find other information on this site.

 

Alessandria

 

StemAlessandria

Alessandria  (Lissandria in Piedmontese) is a city and comune in the Piemonte region and it is also the capital of the Province of Alessandria. The city is located on the alluvial plain between the Tanaro and the Bormida rivers, about 56 miles southeast of Torino. Alessandria is also a major railway hub.

 

Alessandria was founded in 1168 with a charter as a free commune; it was located on a preexisting urban site serving as a stronghold for the Lombard League, which defended the freedom of the communes of northern Italy against the Imperial forces of Frederick Barbarossa. Alessandria was included in the territories of the marchese of Montferrat, a staunch ally of the Emperor It was called Alessandria to honor the Emperor's enemy, Pope Alexander III. Alessandria engaged in conflicts with the older communes of the region, in particular with Asti. In 1348, it fell into the hands of the Visconti and passed with their possessions to the Sforza of Milan, until 1707, when it was ceded to the House of Savoia and became part of Piemonte.

When Napoleon won the Battle of Marengo (1800), Alessandria fell to France and became the capital of the Napoleonic Département of Marengo.

In 1814 Alessandria was again under the House of Savoia as part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

 

Alessandria was a tactical military target during World War II and was subjected to intense Allied bombing, the most serious being the raids of April 30, 1944, with 238 dead and hundreds wounded, and April 5, 1945, with 160 deaths, among them 60 children from the children's asylum in Via Gagliaudo. By month's end the city was liberated from the German occupation (1943–1945) by the partisan resistance and troops of Brazilian Expeditionary Force.

On November 6, 1994 the Tanaro flooded a good part of the city, causing major damage, especially in the Orti quarter.

 

Alessandria Cathedral (below) (ItalianDuomo d'Alessandria, Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Marco) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Alessandria, dedicated to Saints Peter andMark. It is the seat of the Bishop of Alessandria.

 

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Alessandria has a long Jewish history. The first known Jews in Alessandria, Abraham (son of Joseph Vitale de Sacredoti Cohen) opened a loan bank in or about 1490. In 1590, the Jews were expelled from the Duchy of Milan, and one of Abraham's descendants travelled to Madrid, which ruled the Duchy, and was permitted to stay in the town due to a large sum owed him by the government. Of the 230 Jews living in the city in 1684, 170 were members of the Vitale family. The Jewish Ghetto was established in 1724. Between 1796 to 1814, along with the rest of Italian Jewry, the city's Jewish congregation was emancipated, under French influence. According to Benito Mussolini's census in 1938, the town had 101 Jews.[2] On December 13, 1943, The synagogue on Via Milano was attacked by supporters of the German-imposed Italian Social Republic. Books and manuscripts were taken out of the synagogue and were set on fire at Piazza Rattazzi. In total, 48 Jews were sent from the province of Alessandria to death, most of them in Auschwitz. Alessandria was one of the first Italian cities to erect a monument to the fallen Jews. Information about the monument to the Fallen Jews can be found on Alessandria's website above.

 

Asti

 

StemAsti

Asti  is a comune of about 75,000 inhabitants located in the Piemonte region, about 34 miles east of Torino in the valley of the Tanaro River. It is the capital of the province of Asti and it is deemed to be the modern capital of Monferrato (Montferrat in English).

 

Asti is world renowned for its wines including Asti Spumanti, Moscato d'Asti and Barbera d'Asti, Freisa d'AstiGrignolino d'AstiBonarda and Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato. These wines and many others can be sampled during the week-long Douja d'Or wine exhibition which is held at the same time as the Palio and Sagre.

 

Palio

While the Paglio di Siena is more celebrated, Asti's Palio is the oldest recorded in Italy. The famous Palio di Asti is a competition in which all the old town wards, called "Rioni" and "Borghi, " plus nearby towns compete in a bare-back horse race. This event recalls a victory in battle against the rival city Alba, During the Middle Ages after the victorious battl, e a race was held around Alba's walls, Since then, it is held every year in Asti in the triangular Piazza Alfieri, preceded by a medieval pageant through the old town on the 3rd Sunday of September.

 

The area to the NW of the city, between the centre and the Cathedral, is very rich in medieval palaces and merchants houses, many with monumental towers. Asti was known as the city of 100 towers (although there were 120 in total) of which several still remain today within the old city walls. The most known are the Tower of the Comentini (13th century), the octagonal Torre de Regibus and Torre Troyana (13th century), as well as the ancient Rossa di San Secondo, built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus.

 

Biella

 

StemBiellaBiella located in Piemonte,is the capital of the province of the same name, with a population of 43,733  as of 2012. It is located about 50 miles northeast of Torino and about 50 miles west-northwest of Milano. It is in the foothills of the Alps, in the Bo mountain range near Mt. Mucrone and Camino, an area rich in springs and lakes. The heart of the Biellese Alps is irrigated by several mountain streams: the Elvo to the west, the Oropa and the Cervo to the east. Nearby there are notable natural tourist attractions including the Zegna Viewpoint, the Bielmonte Ski Resort, Burcina Natural Reserve, and the moors to the south of town. The Sanctuary of Oropa is a site of religious pilgrimages. In 2003, the Sacred Mountain of Oropa was inserted by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.

Biella is an important wool processing and textile centre. There is a small airport in the nearby town of Cerrione.

 

Duomo

The interior of the Cathedral of Biella is a masterpiece of baptistrytromp-l'oeil.The Cathedral is located to the right of the Baptistry. It was begun on the 3rd of March in 1402 by Giovanni Bori.

The church is dedicated to S. Maria Maggiore e S. Stefano.It was built in the Gothic style with three naves divided by pilasters.

The Baptistry (right) is one of the most characteristic constructions of romanesque/lombardy art. It was erected in the 2nd half of the tenth century on the remains of a Roman grave. the walls were made using roman materials that was recovered.


The Official Website of the Region of Piemonte

The Official Website of the City of Torino


The Official Website of the City of Alessandria

The Official Website of the City of Asti


The Official Website of the City of Biella

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