Novara is the second most important city in Piedmont, is located on the border between Piedmont and Lombardy and is a very busy crossroads for all those traveling from Milan to Turin, but also from Genoa and neighboring Switzerland.
The city itself is gorgeous and fascinating, it will take not a lot of time to figure out that the city is pretty beautiful and worth to visit.
The only bad thing about this city is the dense fog during the winter, for the rest the food and the architectures are lovely and nice.
This city thanks to the humid and rainy climate is one of the only provinces in Italy where you can find rice fields.
It is very awesome to go visit the rice fields in the country during the summer or the winter. Also, the city center is full of beautiful architectures and some of them are definitely known worldwide.
We can start our tour in Novara from the famous Basilica di San Gaudenzio, this is the most famous building in Novara and its dome is more than 393 feet high (120 meters).
At the center of the nave, suspended on the ceiling, stands a beautiful wrought-iron chandelier, in memory of the historic meeting between Gaudenzio, then bishop of Novara, and Ambrogio, bishop of Milan.
Piazza Duomo is another great place to be in Novara, in fact, the dome of the city is completely different from many other domes in Italy.
Inside the Cathedral, you can find very important artistic treasures, including paintings by Gaudenzio Ferrari, Bernardino Lanino and Callisto Piazza, but also a bust depicting Saint Bernard of Mentone and several pipe organs dating back to the 20th century.
Visconti Castle is the most important military building in the area surrounding Novara. Probably dating back to 1200, when the then power of the city had a tower built with adjoining enclosure for the political control of Novara.
On the outskirts of Novara you can find the area called Bicocca and the monument of the Ossary Pyramid (also known as the Pyramid of Novara).
This was inaugurated thirty years later: created by the architect Broggi of Milan, the Pyramid is made of Sarnico hard stone and is about 16 meters.
Some other monuments and museum worth a visit are:
Lake Maggiore is not too far from Novara and together with Lake Como is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy.
La Paniscia is one of the top 5 typical dishes you will find in Novara, as I mentioned before this is the only city in Italy where you will find rice fields.
This dish is made of rice, beans, celery, savoy cabbage, liver, and many other ingredients. This is a dish that you will love so much during the winter.
If you like Risotto you will soon find out how different from a risotto is la Paniscia, it tastes completely different but still is made with rice.
Le Rane Fritte (fried frogs) is another very popular dish in this area, I never had the guts to try it but some people say that it is delicious.
Because of the rainy climate, there are frogs everywhere and the poor people back in the days thought that maybe eating all of these frogs was a nice idea and apparently it is.
The traditional recipe of Il Tapulone, uses horse meat or donkey meat, you can also make it with ground beef and it tastes amazing and similar to Vitello Tonnato.
If you want to check out some recipes here is a good link of these plates:
Novara is a very cool city that is going to offer a lot of things to visit and see. It is located in a very foggy area where you can find rice fields.
The city center is quite interesting, in fact here you will be able to find one of the nicest buildings called the Basilica di San Gaudenzio.
If you love to visit new cities this is a very good alternative, in fact, this city is located in a strategic position between some of the biggest cities in the north of Italy and Switzerland.
Food is another great thing about Novara, here you will be able to taste homegrown rice and a lot of traditional dishes.
There is no way that you will go to the restaurant and going out disappointed, the food here like everywhere in Italy is awesome.
I hope that by now you have developed some interest in visiting Novara and that this short guide was a little useful.
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