“Biella between the mountain and the verdeggiar de ‘plans”. Sometimes poets have the gift of synthesis, like this Giosuè Carducci take the picture of that “Bièla ”from Piedmont which, in the Middle Ages, dominated the plain, protected by the broad embrace of the Alps he was born in Monte Rosa which, even today, peeps out on beautiful days with blue skies, to show who really commands and how the guide from Biella talks about both the legacy of man’s work and the gifts of nature.
Biella guide: history and tradition
Biella is a portrait of a lady from the Italian province: grace, details and industriousness mark the hours. Art, nature and possibilities fill the visitor’s agenda. To the center of Piedmontto one about eighty km from Turin, tells its long history with evident traces of the medieval legacy. And the baptistery of San Giovanni with its mignon shapes, crunched by time, it is the most successful testimonial of this heritage as well as being one of the most significant buildings in the Piedmontese Romanesque. Built between the seventh and eleventh centuries, has a central plan with four semicircular apses divided by pilasters. Above the door there is a typical example of what was the art of reusing ancient material: and in fact, a Roman bas-relief depicting Hercules with a cupid stands out.
The welcome to Biella can only start from here: in “flat” city there are the basilica and the renaissance cloister dedicated to St. Sebastian, while the baroque is represented by the church of the Holy Trinity. Then you go up to the upper floors. Yes why Biella is a two-story magic, like many of the cities that try to hold their own against a mountainous and majestic setting. So here’s the village of Piazzo, a ancient medieval village which corresponds to the upper part of the city, reachable with a funicular. Center of Piazzo is piazza Cisterna, once the seat of the town hall and the market, with the Palazzo del Dal Pozzo, the medieval arcades and the Teccio house, one of the most evocative houses in the city. Here is also the Romanesque church of San Giacomo and near the church the Gromo Ternengo Palace, originally from the 16th century and restored in the 19th century.
The upper and lower cities
Then, it is time to let go of your legs and stroll around to discover the city center, strolling among stately buildings, arcades and paved streetsalong which we find the ancient gates that once closed the access to the upper city and go back down to the area called di Biella Pianothe obviously flat area, crossed by via Italy which is considered the main street in the center. And the commercial heart and its historic buildings host boutiques and shops and is the right place to take a relaxing break in one of its many cafes, perhaps a short distance from the tVillani Social Theaterthe beating heart of city culture.
After having explored the center, the Biella guide leads you to look out over the surrounding area which can boast many protected areas among which it is certainly necessary to mention the area ofOasis Zegna and the Burcina park. The latter is a protected area, rich in woods of over 57 hectares with an altitude ranging from 500 to over 800 meters. In addition to protecting the territory, this is an extraordinary observation point: from here you can enjoy a wide panorama from moraine hill of Serra at the plain of the Canavese until to rice fields in the Vercelli area. The point not to be missed then is the valley of rhododendrons which extends for over two hectares and which in May, during the flowering period, offers a unique floral show.
The Zegna oasis and its paths
Another chapter dedicated to the guide of Biella and its surroundings is what it presents the Zegna Oasis, a protected natural area born in the 1930s by the will of the entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna who wanted to protect a slice of the territory by offering the people of the area a space for sport and free time. To do this, a panoramic road was built and a complex reforestation work began with beyond 500 thousand between conifers, rhododendrons and hydrangeas. Now in that oasis, in addition to having a network of hiking and walking trails, you can practice many sports activities immersed in the greenery of theAlta Valsessera.
Not far from Biella then is the sanctuary of Oropaa place of devotion of particular importance where still, after six centuries, every year over 800 thousand faithful arrive and pilgrims. Its artistic heritage is very precious but the famous is at the heart of it all wooden statue of the Black Virgin which is the very symbol of the Shrine: it is for her that the pilgrims who flock to the shrine every day and it is to her that their prayers. It is preserved in the Old Basilica, in a chapel decorated with splendid 14th century frescoes. Near the Sanctuary is the Sacro Monte with 19 chapels which show the life of the Virgin, with hundreds of multicolored statues and which represent an extraordinary example of devotion since 1600.