province

protorino.altervista.org

province

READING GUIDE

TORINO AND PROVINCE pages 2-22

ALESSANDRIA AND PROVINCE pages 23-27

ASTI AND PROVINCE pages 28-32

BIELLA AND PROVINCE pages 33-35

CUNEO AND PROVINCE pages 36-44

NOVARA AND PROVINCE pages 45-47

VERBANIA AND PROVINCE page 48

VERCELLI AND PROVINCE pages 49-51

The aim of this publication, produced for the Exposition of the Holy Shroud (Torino,

10 April – 23 May 2010) is twofold: as a guide it can be perfectly relied on for

travelling though the Piemonte of religion. But more than this, it is also a tribute

to the spirituality of this area and to those who, over the centuries, have left

enduring works bearing witness to their belief in the Christian message.

In Piemonte there are 1,206 municipalities, every one of which showing evidence of

the centuries of Christian faith embodied in works of exceptional artistic value.

This guide to the most important places of worship is a way for viewing Piemonte

through the “lens” of faith and religion. By means of these spiritual paths, a clear

understanding can be gained of the historic context of this region whose events

through the centuries have been a consequence and outcome of its geographical

situation, a glorious blend of the plains, hills and mountains that have always

marked these terrains – so different from each other in their structure – as Italy’s

gate to the West.

We are thus offering a means for better understanding the mix of spirituality,

religion, history and art in a land that has plenty to recount.

SACRI MONTI pages 52-53

SAINTS AND BLESSED OF PIEMONTE pages 54-55

TORINO • PIEMONTE: THE PATHS OF FAITH is a project by the City of Torino,

Cultural Department, City Communication and Promotion – Communication

Division, Public Relations and City Marketing; Regione Piemonte, Cultural Division,

Tourism and Sport; in collaboration with Provincia di Torino and Turismo Torino e

Provincia.

Graphic project: Bagarre s.r.l – Torino

Photos:

Archivio Fotografico Città di Torino, Archivio Fotografico Provincia di Torino,

Archivio Fotografico Regione Piemonte, Museo Diocesano di Torino, web editor for

www.comune.torino.it, Marco Saroldi Pho-to.it

http://www.storiaolivetti.it/ Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea, Italy,

Comune di Carmagnola and Comune di Moncalieri


2

3

TORINO

Duomo

di San Giovanni Battista

Begun in 1491, this Church was

the city’s first example of

Renaissance architecture. The

inside has the form of a basilica –

a Latin cross layout with three

naves and Gothic elements. At the

end of the 17th century, there was

added the dome by Guarino

Guarini which connects the

cathedral with the Royal Palace.

The Duomo holds the cabinet

encasing the Holy Shroud, the

funerary sheet which retains the

image of the «Man of Sorrows».

Cappella della Sindone

Damaged by fire in 1997, this Chapel is a wonderful example of Baroque architecture

by Guarino Guarini, built at the end of the 17th century. Circular in form, it is

covered by black marble and features a bright conical dome. At the centre of the

Chapel is the altar which contained the silver casket holding the Holy Shroud.


4

5

TORINO

Museo Diocesano

Built in the Lower Church of the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, this museum

was created not just as a place for containing historic and artistic items but also

describes the progress by the Turin church in twenty centuries of history in the

scope of worship, from evangelisation to charity, through the works of numerous

artists, sculptors and architects.

Reale Chiesa

di San Lorenzo

This was the first place where the Holy

Shroud was displayed in 1578 on

arriving from Chambéry: it was

positioned on the altar of the ancient

Chapel of San Lorenzo. Architectural

drawings were produced for the church

by Ascanio Vitozzi and the architects

Amedeo and Carlo di Castellamonte

between 1634 and 1680, but only

Guarino Guarini was able to complete

the building. The interior, which has an

octagonal layout, is richly decorated

with multicoloured marble, stuccoes

and gilding, over which soars a dome of

crossed ribs. The facade is 19th century,

and styled to be in keeping with the

other buildings in Piazza Castello.

Museo della Sindone

The Museum is in the crypt of the SS. Sudario Church and provides information

about the studies and research into the Holy Shroud from the 16th century to the

present day, revealing its history, scientific background, the faith and artistic

aspects. The objects on display include the photographic plates of Giuseppe Enrie

from 1931 and the precious casket of silver and semiprecious stones in which the

Holy Shroud arrived in Torino in 1578 and where it was held until 1998.

Santuario

della Consolata

Built on a basilica structure dedicated

to S. Andrea, over the centuries the

church has undergone many

renovations. Guarino Guarini was

behind the extension (1678) while

Filippo Juvarra added an oval

presbytery (1729). The city’s devotion

to the Vergine Consolata (Blessed

Virgin Mary Comforted) can be seen in

the collection of votive offerings.


6

7

TORINO

Chiesa di San Carlo

Named after San Carlo Borromeo, construction of this church began in 1619.

The facade was completed in 1834 by Ferdinando Caronesi who based his project

on the design of that of neighbouring church of Santa Cristina by Juvarra.

Chiesa di Santa Cristina

Positioned next to the Church of San Carlo, these are known as the twin churches

of Piazza San Carlo. Commissioned by Cristina of France, it was designed by Carlo

di Castellamonte and built in 1639. The facade, designed and built by Filippo

Juvarra between 1715 and 1718, features double columns with statues of saints

and allegories of the virtues. Inside are precious stuccoes and the high altar in

white marble by Ferdinando Bonsignore.

Cappella della Pia

Congregazione dei

Banchieri e dei Mercanti

Built in 1692, this church is an

important example of community

dedication.

Some of the most significant works

are the high altar designed by Filippo

Juvarra and the frescoes in the sacristy

produced by Antonio Milocco.

Chiesa

del Santo Sudario

Built between 1734 and 1764, this

gem of Piemonte Rococo can only

be viewed on appointment.

The inside, with a single nave,

retains on the ceiling the fresco

depicting the “Transfiguration”

by Antonio Michele Milocco. The

crypt houses the Holy Shroud

Museum.

Chiesa

del Corpus Domini

This church was built to a design by

Ascanio Vitozzi between 1603 and

1675 in memory of the “Eucharist

miracle” of 1453. The inside of the

church is decorated with black and

red marble to a design by

Benedetto Alfieri (1753). The altar

in the second chapel on the right is

the work of Filippo Juvarra.

Chiesa

di San Filippo Neri

This is Torino’s largest church,

designed and built by Filippo

Juvarra. The interiors are all very

fine, including the high altar, the

organ loft and the sacristy basin.

Chiesa di San Domenico

Dating back to the second half of the

13th century, this church has been

extensively altered over the centuries.

In Gothic style, it has pointed arches

and, in the Chapel of the Grazie, it has

a cycle of 14th century frescoes with

an Annunciation surrounded by the

Twelve Apostles.


8

9

TORINO

Chiesa di Santa Teresa

Dedicated to Santa Teresa d’Avila,

this church was built between

1642 and 1674 on the wishes of

Cristina of France whose ashes are

held there. The two chapels at the

ends of the transept were designed

by Filippo Juvarra.

Chiesa di Santa Chiara

Adjoining the monastery of the

Clarisse, this church was built in 1745

to a design by Bernardo Vittone.

Significant features are the eight -

sectioned dome over the building and

the stucco decorations.

Chiesa di Santa Croce

This church, built according to

designs attributed to Filippo Juvarra,

was made for the Augustinian nuns.

The facade – also designed by Juvarra

– was only finished in the second half

of the 19th century. It is currently

closed to the public for restoration.

Chiesa della Madonna del Carmine

Chiesa della SS. Trinità

Designed by Ascanio Vitozzi, this church

was built between 1598 and 1606. The

frescoes in the dome are by Francesco

Gonin and Luigi Vacca, while the marble

decoration and furniture are attributed to

Filippo Juvarra.

Built to a design by Filippo Juvarra, in the presbytery is contained a precious altar

piece showing the Madonna del Carmine painted by Claudio Francesco Beaumont.

Chiesa

della SS. Annunziata

The new church was rebuilt in the

early 20th century to replace the older

one of the 17th century. Of particular

importance is the polychrome

sculptural group of Our Lady of

Sorrows. Also worth seeing, from

mid - November to mid - January is

the mechanical nativity scene

consisting of 200 characters of which

over 100 in movement, all operated by

a single electric motor dating back to

the 19th century.

Chiesa

di San Massimo

Built between 1844 and 1853 in

neoclassical style, inside is the

altarpiece of the Nativity of Mary by

Legnanino and the fresco by

Francesco Gonin showing San

Massimo reciting in the Cathedral

to the people of Torino.


10

11

TORINO

Chiesa di Sant’Agostino

The construction of the current church took place between 1551 and 1582 on the

floor plan of an older, 9th century church. In the early 1900s, Carlo Ceppi made

radical changes, altering the presbytery and chancel in order to put in the large

altar in an eclectic style, surmounted by an elliptical frescoed ceiling. Inside, among

the many sepulchres, there is an interesting funeral monument for Cassiano del

Pozzo (1578), made by Ludovico Vanello.

Basilica Magistrale dei

Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro

Chiesa San Dalmazzo

This church is next to the former

monastery of the Barnabites and

has a 16th century facade which

was restored in 1702. It is in the

form of a basilica with three naves

and, at the sides, there are eight

niches with altars.

Chiesa della Visitazione

Built in the second half of the 17th

century in a Greek cross shape,

this church is attributed to the

talent of Francesco Lanfranchi.

There is a beautiful fresco in the

dome of the presbytery and the

altar in the left-hand chapel was

designed by Filippo Juvarra.

Also known as the "Mauriziana", this

basilica was built on the foundations

of an earlier temple between 1679 and

1699. The neoclassical facade by

Carlo Bernardo Mosca (1835-36) is

decorated by the statues of the saints

to which the church is dedicated.

Chiesa della

Gran Madre di Dio

This church, inspired by the Pantheon

in Rome, was built between 1827 and

1831 to celebrate the return of king

Vittorio Emanuele I (1814) after the

defeat of Napoleon. A large staircase,

flanked by statues of Religion on the

right and Faith on the left, leads

through the portico to the inside

which is circular in shape. The crypt

houses the Ossuary of those killed in

the First World War.

Chiesa

della Madonna del Pilone

Commissioned by Cristina of France in 1645

to commemorate a miraculous event, this

church takes its name from a votive pillar

depicting the Annunciation of the Virgin

Mary, to whom the miracle was attributed.

Chiesa di Santa Maria

del Monte dei Cappuccini

This church began being built in

1584 to a design by Ascanio

Vitozzi, and was consecrated in

1656. The layout of the building is

in the form of a central Greek cross,

crowned by a dome with an

octagonal tambour. The high altar

is the work of Carlo and Amedeo di

Castellamonte.


12

13

TORINO PROVINCE

Basilica di Superga

On 2 September 1706, Vittorio

Amedeo II, standing on a vantage

point on the hill of Superga, was

watching Torino under siege from the

French. He there and then took a vow:

if victory were achieved, he would

have built on that spot a grand

basilica. The Piemonte army won and,

in 1717, work began, started by the

architect from Messina, Filippo

Juvarra. The Basilica, designed to be a

mausoleum for the House of Savoy,

has a large staircase leading up to the

portico. Inside, the circular form is

topped by a tall dome.

Sacra di San Michele

The Sacra di San Michele, one of the best known Benedictine abbeys, is now

considered one of Europe’s top Romanesque architectural complexes.

To reach the Porta dello Zodiaco it is necessary to climb 243 steps. The architectural

structure of the abbey is very unusual: the uneven rock of the mountain blends and

becomes one with the foundations of the edifice, the stairs and the buttresses.

The Sacra is home to cultural events but, above all, it is a place that has never

ceased housing those that knock at its doors, whether pilgrims or simple

travellers. And still today it is possible to stay in the cells, experiencing for a night

the same feelings as those perceived in the past by Sant’Anselmo d’Aosta and

the monks of Cluny.

Chiesa del Santo Volto

Inaugurated in December 2006 on a

former and reclaimed industrial area,

this is Torino’s most recent religious

architecture. Inside receives plenty of

light from the rays falling

perpendicularly from the 35 metre tall

towers around the perimeter. It can

hold about 1000 people. Behind the

altar is an impressive Face of the Holy

Shroud, depicted by a stylised pixel

effect using the technique of small

blocks in relief.

Basilica di Maria Ausiliatrice

This church, built in the second half of the 19th century, was modified in 1935-38

and holds the remains of its founder, San Giovanni Bosco. At the apex of the large

dome is a statue of the Madonna, while the single-nave interior has the altarpiece

representing Maria Ausiliatrice, painted by Tommaso Lorenzone.


14

15

TORINO

PROVINCE

Abbazia di Novalesa

Surrounded by an exceptional natural

amphitheatre, this abbey rises from a

high point of 828 metres. Founded in

726 by the Cistercian monks, the

abbey is one of the most important

historic and artistic places in the

western Alps. It was dedicated to the

saints Peter and Andrew and, for over

1000 years, it was one of the most

important abbeys in Europe,

particularly around the 11th century

when the frescoes were painted in the

Chapel of Sant’Eldrado, which still

today are astonishing for the

freshness of their colours.

Cattedrale di San Giusto a Susa

Museo diocesano

di Arte Sacra a Susa

The collections include works of art

dated between the 6th and 19th

centuries, which belonged to the

Treasure of the Cathedral of San

Giusto, the Church del Ponte and to

various parishes in the Diocese.

Unique pieces are on display in the

museum, such as the Madonna del

Ponte (12th C), the Trittico del

Rocciamelone (1358), the Cross said

to be of Charlemagne (1360/70).

Consecrated in 1027, it became the Cathedral of the Diocese of Susa in 1772. In

the apsidal area, the building was given a Gothic finish in 1321, while the pinnacles

and the terracotta decorations of the tower date back to the 15th century. There

are many traces of pictorial decorations.

Precettoria

di Sant’Antonio

di Ranverso

Of the original ancient monastic

complex there has been retained the

church with the bell-tower and the

sacristy, one side of the cloister, the

hospital, the monastery and the

farmhouses. The church is one of the

world’s most celebrated monuments

to Gothic art and consists of three

naves with 15th century decorations.

On the high altar there is a large

polyptych by Defendente Ferrari which

portrays the Nativity scene with San

Rocco and San Bernardino da Siena to

the sides and, to the right,

Sant’Antonio and San Sebastiano. On

the left wall of the presbytery there is

“Madonna on the throne and the

Saints John the Baptist, Antonio Abate,

Marta, Margherita, Nicola and Martino

and the Prophets" by Giacomo

Jaquerio; in the sacristy there can be

seen frescoes by Jaquerio "The Four

Evangelists", the "Oration in the

Garden" and the impressive "Climb to

Calvary”.


16

17

TORINO

PROVINCE

Chiesa di San Giovanni

di Avigliana

Built in the 13th century, the interior

of the church has preserved its

medieval frescoes, works by the late

medieval artist Defendente Ferrari and

a splendid wooden pulpit carved in

the 16th century.

Certosa

di Monte Benedetto

Situated at 1160 metres, above the

village of Villar Focchiardo, it was built

by the Carthusian monks from the

Certosa della Losa. The church is well

conserved as a result of recent

restoration works.

Abbazia di Santa Maria

di Casanova a Carmagnola

e Museo di Arte Sacra

The Cistercian abbey (founded in

about 1150) was an important point of

reference until the 18th century. Of

the original foundations there only

remains the church, whose facade was

remodelled in the 17th century. The

inside is in Romanesque-Gothic form

with fabulous Baroque works. It is

possible to visit the “rediscovered

crypt” which contains precious 17th

century frescoes by Domenico

Guidobono and the museum of the

abbey with furnishings, vestments and

objects connected to the history of

this religious complex.

Chiesa di Santa Maria

Maggiore di Avigliana

This church has very ancient origins

and, when Pope Alessandro II raised it

to the level of minster, it achieved its

maximum splendour.

In the past it was called the Chiesa

Ducale (Ducal Church) and still has

memories of the Blessed Humbert III,

Count of Savoy. Inside is housed a

permanent exhibition of sacred art.

Abbazia di Santa Maria a Cavour

Founded new by the Bishop of Torino, Landolfo, in 1037, and despite being

damaged several times, it is still possible to recognise the various levels of the

Church, the octagonal pillars, the stupendous crypt with Piemonte’s oldest altar

and, above all, the precious building materials of a previous epoch which were

reutilised, and suggest the existence of an earlier structure.


18

19

TORINO

PROVINCE

Duomo di San Donato di Pinerolo

This dates back to the 10th century, but was built in Gothic style in the 15th

century. In the 17th century, it acquired its Baroque lines and, in the 19th century,

the original Gothic was restored with decorations and a new facade.

Cattedrale

di Santa Maria di Ivrea

This is in the upper part of the city and

was rebuilt in about the 10th century

on the foundations of a previous

pagan temple. It retains the crypt, the

ambulatory and the Romanesque

towers, the dome and the richly

decorated Baroque vaults and the

neoclassic facade. Inside the Diocesan

Archive there are held precious

illuminated, autographic manuscripts,

including the Sacramentario di

Varmondo.

Museo Diocesano

di Pinerolo

This reveals 250 years of life of the

Diocese. History, worship and beauty

sum up the content of the Museum:

three words that can be seen in the

painting and sculpture, in the fabrics

and metal of the ecclesiastical objects,

in the sacred vases, and in the archive

papers.

Santuario Madonna

delle Grazie di Pinerolo

Along the interior walls of the church

there is an endless row of votive

offerings which not only testify to

people’s faith but, in some cases, are

true works of art. The sanctuary with

its peaceful, refined interior, centrallyplanned,

dates back to 1584.

Chiesa di San Maurizio

di Pinerolo

This is the symbol of the city and is

found at the top of the hill overlooking

the town. Built in about the year 1000,

in Gothic style with five naves, it

houses beautiful frescoes and the

tombs of the princes of Acaja. The belltower

is notable with its curious clock

of just one hand showing the hours.

Santuario

di Sant’Ignazio

a Pessinetto

This is the main and best known

sanctuary in the Lanzo Valleys. The

destination of retreats and spiritual

exercises, this Sanctuary – at 931m

height – began in the 18th century as

religion for the people, but became

accredited mainly by the upper clergy

and middle-classes of Torino, as can

be seen in the rich collections of

votive offerings where the scenes are

not of naive peasant life but images of

urban and affluent society.

Chiesa di San Bernardino di Ivrea

This 14th century church, situated in the industrial area of Olivetti, is a place of

artistic interest due to the large roodscreen with frescoes of the Stories of Life and

Christ’s Passion by Giovanni Martino Spanzotti painted between about 1485

and1490.


20

21

TORINO

PROVINCE

Duomo di San Giovanni Battista a Ciriè

The architectural layout of the building complies with the standards of the most

widespread Gothic model in 14th century of Piemonte. Only the apse, to which was

added the altar designed by Bernardo Vittone, was renovated in the 18th century.

Abbazia di Santa Fede

a Cavagnolo

In the heart of Monferrato there is the

abbey which, at one time, was a place

of rest for pilgrims.

Built in the mid-12th century, it is

one of the most representative

Romanesque monuments in Piemonte.

Abbazia di Fruttuaria

a San Benigno Canavese

Founded in 1003, this abbey is

dedicated to Santa Maria, San Benigno

and all Saints. It has three short naves,

cut across by a transept from which

open five apsidal chapels. During recent

restorations, the remains of the original

Romanesque church came to light.

Duomo di Santa Maria

della Scala a Chieri

Built in its present form between 1405

and 1436, this is certainly one of the

most significant Gothic buildings in

Piemonte. The main door is very

characteristic, topped by a

“wimperg” and by vegetal

decorations of French derivation.

Inside the church there are 15th

century frescoes and paintings of the

16th and 17th century.

Chiesa di San Giovanni

Battista di Carignano

This Baroque church was built to a

design by Benedetto Alfieri between

1757 and 1764. Within the single,

spectacular nave there are held many

precious works of art.

Duomo di Santa Maria

Assunta di Chivasso

Built in the 15th century, the facade of

this building in is transalpine Gothic style,

full of friezes and figures in terracotta.

Inside is held a Deposition by the artist

Defendente Ferrari who was born here

and worked with Martino Spanzotti in the

first half of the 16th century.

Collegiata

di Santa Maria

della Scala a Moncalieri

The church of Santa Maria was built

between 1270 and 1330, in a

Romanesque and Gothic style of

Lombard provenance. At its side is the

bell-tower.

Inside there are important works of art

and an organ considered to be one of

the best to be found in Piemonte.


Piazza

Statuto

Porta

Susa

15

Via Val della torre

30

Via Piave

Via Santa Chiara

Via Giuseppe Barbaroux

Via Cernaia

Corso Palestro Corso Palestro

Corso Galileeo Ferraris

Corso Regina Margherita Corso Regina Margherita

Via Bligny

Via Santa Maria

Via Santa Teresa

Porta

Nuova

24

Palazzo

Carignano

Piazza

San Carlo

Via Carlo Alberto

Via 20 Settembre

Piazza

Castello

Via Giovanni Giolitti

Corso Vittorio Emanuele Corso Vittorio Emanuele

Corso Re Umberto

12

29

Corso Svizzera

18

14

Via Borgaro

Via Garibaldi

7

8

Via Andrea Doria

Via Roma Via Roma

TORINO PROVINCE

Piazza

della

Repubblica

22

6

21 13

16

10

23

1

11

2

3

Giardino

Reale

4

5

Via S. Francesco da Paola

AVIGLIANA page 16

CARIGNANOpage 21

CARMAGNOLA page 17

CAVAGNOLOpage 20

CAVOURpage 17

CHIERIpage 21

CHIVASSOpage 20

CIRIE’page 20

IVREApage 19

MONCALIERIpage 21

Susa

VILLARFOCCHIARDOpage 16

NOVALESApage 14

PESSINETTOpage 19

PINEROLOpage 18

SAN BENIGNO CANAVESEpage 20

SANT’AMBROGIOpage 13

SANT’ANTONIODI RANVERSOpage 15

SUSApage 14

Corso Palermo

Via Giuseppe Verdi

Via Po

Via Principe Amedeo

9

17

Via Maria Vittoria

Via dei Mille

Via Giuseppe Mazzini

Piazza

Vittorio

Veneto

Via della Rocca

Fiume Po

Corso Novara

Via Bologna Via Bologna

Corso San Maurizio

Corso Regio Parco

20

Via Sant’Ottavio

Via Guastalla

Fiume Dora

via Michele Buniva

27

Via Giulia di Barolo

Monte

dei Cappuccini

Via Murazzi del Po

25

Piazza

Gran Madre

Fiume Po

22

Corso Regio Parco

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Corso Novara

Cimitero

Monumentale

Corso Tortona

Corso Belgio

Fiume Dora

19

Corso Tortona

Via Murazzi del Po

Corso Casale

28

Basilica

di Superga

26

Madonna

del Pilone

• Chiesa di Sant’Agostino page10

• Basilica Magistrale dei

Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro page10

• Chiesa della Visitazione page10

• Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio page11

• Chiesa della Madonna del Pilone page11

• Chiesa di Santa Maria

delMonte dei Cappuccini page11

• Basilica di Superga page12

• Chiesa del Santo Volto page12

• Basilica di Maria Ausiliatrice page12

Pessinetto

Castellamonte

Novalesa

Lanzo

Torinese

San Benigno

Ciriè Canavese Montanaro

Caselle Leinì Volpiano Chivasso

Val della

Torre

Torinese Brandizzo

Settimo

Venaria Torinese

Reale

Casalborgone

Villar Sant’Ambrogio

Alpignano

San Mauro

Focchiardo

Torinese

Avigliana Sant’Antonio Rivoli

diRanverso

TORINO

Pino

Beinasco Torinese

Giaveno

Chieri

Moncalieri

Volvera

LaLoggia

Vinovo

Santena

Pinerolo

Carignano

Cavour

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

TORINO

• Duomo di San Giovanni page2

• Cappella della Sindone page3

• Museo Diocesano page4

• Museo della Sindone page4

• Reale Chiesa di San Lorenzo page5

• Santuario della Consolata page5

• Chiesa di San Carlo page6

• Chiesa di Santa Cristina page6

• Chiesa di San Filippo page6

• Chiesa del Santo Sudario page7

• Chiesa del Corpus Domini page7

• Cappella della Pia Congregazione

dei Banchieri e dei Mercanti page7

• Chiesa di San Domenico page7

• Chiesa della Santa Trinità page8

• Chiesa della Madonna

del Carmine page8

• Chiesa di Santa Chiara page8

• Chiesa di San Massimo page9

• Chiesa di Santa Teresa page9

• Chiesa di Santa Croce page9

• Chiesa della SS.Annunziata page9

• Chiesa di San Dalmazzo page10

Ivrea

Carmagnola

Cavagnolo

23

ALESSANDRIA

Cattedrale di San Pietro

Built following the destruction of the ancient

Duomo by Napoleon, on the remains of the

complex of San Marco, the current Cathedral

contains many works by Guglielmo Caccia

(known as Moncalvo) and the statue of

Madonna della Salve, patron saint to the

city. On the facade there is the Romanesque

statue of Gagliaudo Aulari, the Alessandria

denizen who was able to defend against

Barbarossa. Next to it is the tall bell-tower.

ALESSANDRIA PROVINCE

Abbazia di Santa Maria

di Rivalta Scrivia

Of Cistercian origin, the foundations of this

abbey date back to the mid-12th century. It

has a simple, linear shape, typical of Gothic

architecture, and a facade apparently

unfinished. The inside, in the form of a

Latin cross with three naves, is decorated

with frescoes executed between the end of

the 15th and the early 16th century.

Chiesa dell’Oratorio della Maddalena di Novi Ligure

The church was built in the 15th century and contains in the apse, behind the high altar,

a large sculptural group consisting of 23 wooden statues, and 8 terracotta figures

depicting the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, both of which date back to the second

half of the 16th century.

Collegiata di Santa Maria

Assunta di Novi Ligure

The Minster is the city’s cathedral and has

early Christian origins. However, it was

transformed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The inside, with three naves, holds important

paintings and a sculptural group depicting

the Hill of Calvary: four statues and the

Crucifix, dating back to the 15th century.


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25

ALESSANDRIA

PROVINCE

Cattedrale

di Santa Maria Assunta

di Acqui Terme

This began being built in the 10th

century in Romanesque forms and was

consecrated in 1067. Renovated in later

periods, it retains an interior of five naves

– originally there were three – with three

semicircular apses, the transept and the

bell-tower in terracotta. It contains

valuable wood furnishings from the

Baroque period.

Chiesa di Santa Croce di Bosco Marengo

e Casa Natale di San Pio V

This is one of the most significant Italian architectures of the second half of the

16th century. Commissioned by Pope Pius V who was born in Alessandria, in the

year in which he was elected to the papal throne, he decided to construct a large

convent and the church which was to house his remains. The home where Antonio

Ghislieri was born, who was later to become pope with the name Pius V in 1566,

has been turned into a small museum. Inside there are relics, parts of the Pope Pius

V’s vestments, books from the period and church fittings. In one of the rooms on

the upper floor there is a frescoed chapel in which the faithful join in prayer to the

Saint every year, on the anniversary of his death.

Chiesa dell’Assunta di Ovada

An imposing building of the late Baroque

period at the end of the 18th century, it is

characterised by a dome and the severe

facade between two towers. The high

altar, in polychrome marble, was

designed by the architect Antonelli.

Oratorio della S.S. Trinità di Ovada

Museo Casa Natale

di San Paolo

della Croce di Ovada

This has been a national monument

since 1918, and is on three floors with

an attic, with much of the original

structure remaining intact. The

museum houses various relics of

Paolo Danei, known as San Paolo della

Croce, the found of the religious

order, the Passionists.

Inside the oratory there is the wooden processional group representing the

Decollation of St John the Baptist, produced by Anton Maria Maragliano, an

important example of Baroque from Liguria-Genoa.


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27

ALESSANDRIA

PROVINCE

Abbazia di Santa

Giustina di Sezzadio

This abbey, founded in 722, is one of

Piemonte’s most important medieval

monuments. The church has a

Romanesque structure with Gothic

elements, and a striking facade in

terracotta separated by pilasters and

crowned by Lombard bands. The 15th

century interior has three naves over

which there is a cross vault. Beautiful

frescoes can be found in the apse, and

in the crypt there is a mosaic floor that

dates back to the 11th century.

Chiesa di San Francesco

di Cassine

Built in Lombard Gothic style, it has a

facade of terracotta, decorated with

Lombard bands. The first bell-tower

was built at the same time as the

church, while a second one was added

in 1644. The interior has three naves,

and a fourth consisting of various

chapels built at different times. Of

considerable interest is the former

monastery close by, which has frescoes

from various periods, a Gothic entrance

and a picturesque cloister of two orders

of loggias.

Cattedrale di Sant’Evasio

di Casale Monferrato

In addition to the outer wall of the

building, of the old church, consecrated

in 1107, there remains the large room

of the narthex, the most interesting part

of the construction, which retains in the

ceiling an exceptional and unusual

architecture resembling that of

Armenian constructions. At its sides are

galleries which, at one time, were

reserved to women, in which there open

mullioned windows with Romanesque

capitals. At the centre of the transept

there is a wooden Crucifix covered by

silver leaf which dates back to the

second half of the 17th century and was

produced by Lombard artists.

Chiesa di San Domenico

di Casale Monferrato

Begun in 1472 in Gothic style, the works

continued until the first years of the 16th

century when, on the facade, there was

inserted the Renaissance entrance. The inside

is a mixture of Gothic style in the three

magnificent naves with cruciform columns,

and the Baroque of the presbytery. Such is the

quantity of works of art the church contains,

it can be rightly considered a museum.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta di Tortona

Built in the second half of the 16th century on top of a previous church, the facade of this

cathedral is in neoclassical style. The raised rectangular presbytery is enclosed by a

semicircular apse. In an altar at the side, there is a fragment of the True Cross that is

celebrated by one of the most important festivals in the town, on the second Sunday of May.

Duomo di Santa Maria Maggiore di Valenza

Mentioned in a parchment of 1096, it was fully rebuilt at the beginning of the 12th

century. In the late 19th century, the facade was added together with the decorative

structure of the splendid, three nave interior.


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29

ASTI

ASTI PROVINCE

Cattedrale di Santa Maria

dell’Assunta

This is Piemonte’s largest church and

one of the most important examples

of Gothic in northern Italy. Together

with the Battesimale di San Giovanni

Church and the Chiostri dei Canonic,

these form the “episcopal complex of

the Cathedral”. Built in Lombard

Romanesque style with three naves

and covered by a spacious gallery, as

was usual for the customs of the time

it would host the meetings of the

Town Council.

Collegiata

di San Secondo

The current church, in Romanesque-

Gothic style, dates back to the mid-

18th century, while the facade in

terracotta was added later. Separated

into three naves by twelve pillars that

support arches and cross-vaults, it

contains works of significant artistic

value produced by painters of the

16th and 17th centuries. In one of the

chapels there is the Carroccio

(chariot), symbol of the town, which is

celebrated at the time of the Palio

(horse race).

Complesso di San Pietro in Consavia

Consisting of four buildings dating from between the 12th and 14th centuries, it

has a round church (early 12th century), next to which is the Valperga chapel (mid

15th century), the 15th century cloister and part of the priory church (14th century).

It is home to the Paleontological and Archaeological Museums.

Abbazia di Vezzolano

(Albugnano)

Nestling in a valley, between hillsides

covered in vines, there is the most

important Romanesque monument of

Piemonte. According to legend, the abbey

was founded by Charlemagne in 773 who,

struck down by an epileptic fit during a

hunt close to Albugnano, once he

recovered, ordered that an abbey be built

in honour of the Madonna. The twocoloured

facade in brick and sandstone is

embellished by three orders of small

columns with, in the centre, a large

mullioned window in which there is the

figure of Christ surrounded by the

archangels Michael and Raphael. The

main doorway is richly decorated with

small square pillars of vegetal and

geometric patterns. Inside it is

Romanesque-Gothic style with French

influences. The cloister is reached from

the church and has elements from

different periods and frescoes from the

13th and 15th centuries. A door flanked

by two double pillars leads to the Sala

Capitolare.


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31

ASTI

PROVINCE

Chiesa di San Secondo

di Cortazzone

Chiesa di San Lorenzo

di Montiglio

The oldest structures belong to the

period of Romanesque architecture’s

greatest development, between the

12th and 13th centuries.

Of great interest inside the church

are the capitals with decorations of

plants, geometric forms,

interwoven bands, animals, and

human or mythical figures of

allegorical meaning.

This is one of the most interesting

examples of the Romanesque in the Asti

and Monferrato areas. Built along the Via

Francigena, the route taken by the

pilgrims on their way to Rome, the

Church of San Secondo is one of the most

interesting both in esoteric terms and for

the rich symbolism of the decorations,

such as those of the upper order of the

apses, which continue along the entire

length of the side, enriched by natural

and fantastic motifs and which are also

repeated inside, in the decorations of the

capitals.

Chiesa di San Nazario e

Celso di Montechiaro d’Asti

This Romanesque parish church of the

11th century has elegant friezes on the

doorway and the windows and a

semicircular apse. The alternation of

terracotta with pale stone in the tall belltower

in front of the church provides an

excellent chromatic effect.

Santuario di Don Bosco

di Castelnuovo Don Bosco

Next to the birthplace of San Giovanni

Bosco there is the complex of the

Salesian Institute, with the small church

of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, the Temple of

Don Bosco, the Ethnographic Museum of

the Salesian Missions in the world and the

Museum of 19th century farm life.

The epicentre of the architectural

whole is the immense Sanctuary,

which includes the Upper and

Lower Churches. These are recent

buildings, put up in the second

half of the 20th century but built in

the classic style with a

contemporary touch. Before them

is a large square where the crowds

of faithful gather at the times of

pilgrimages. At the entrance to the

upper church is a bronze

monument of Don Bosco,

dedicated to him by the Italian

teaching body in 1929.


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33

Certosa di Valmanera

The monastery of San Giacomo di Valleombrosa, now deconsecrated and partly

used as a school and as a restoration workshop (Arazzeria Scassa), at one time was

home to the Vallumbrosan monks and then, later on, the Carthusian monks until

1801 when, with the arrival of Napoleon, its religious functions were suppressed.

Battistero

di San Giovanni Battista

Built in the early years of the 11th

century, it was constructed of round

stones and brick.

It has a quadrilateral form with four

semicircular apses separated by

sturdy buttresses that support the

octagonal dome cladding.

The entrance has a marble bas-relief

of Roman period portraying a couple

of cherubs. Inside can be seen traces

of two frescoes, one of which by the

Maestro di Oropa (1318-1319).

BIELLA

Chiesa di San Francesco

di Moncalvo

The church retains the thirteenth century

apse, while the facade is of 1932. Inside,

apart from a fresco portraying San Rocco

coming from a country chapel, there are

precious canvases by Guglielmo Caccia,

known as “Moncalvo”, of his daughters

and of his school. In the left-hand nave

there is a beautiful sculpted confessional.

Cattedrale

di Santo Stefano

The structure is 15th century, but

it was partly renovated in 1773 and

in the early years of the 19th

century. It is in a neo-Gothic style

of three naves separated by pillars

with a cruciform base and ogival

arches, ribbed vaults and

octagonal dome. Many works of art

are found within.

Chiesa di San Sebastiano

The building of the San Sebastiano

monastery complex began in the first

half of the 16th century, but was only

completed in 1887. The church has

three naves and an unusual

“grotesque” decoration on all the

ceiling of the building.

Chiesa della S.S. Trinità

Built in 1626 in Baroque style, its

facade was applied in 1956 by the

architect Nicola Mosso. Inside there is

a beautiful wooden altar full of

statues, made by Giovanni Antonio

Vaglio of Pettinengo between 1682

and 1684.


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35

BIELLA

PROVINCE

Santuario di Oropa

e Museo dei Tesori

This is at 1200 metres above sea

level and is the most important

Marian Sanctuary of the Alps. The

majestic complex is the outcome

of designs by the greatest

Savoyard architects that helped to

design and create the ensemble of

buildings between mid-17th

century and the 18th century. From

the primitive sepulchral chapel to

the imposing Upper Basilica,

consecrated in 1960, the building

and architectural development has

been splendid. Structured over

three terraced squares, the

complex hinges on two major

places of worship: the Ancient

Basilica, completed in the early

17th century, where the Black

Virgin is worshiped, and the New

Church. The Museum of Treasures

has four rooms in which are

displayed gold items, jewellery, the

liturgical vestments and the

documents that bear witness to the

Sanctuary’s centuries of history.

BIELLA PROVINCE

Chiesa di San Lorenzo di Andorno Micca

This church is divided into three naves and has a tall and commanding bell-tower.

Built in the 16th century, it holds the tomb of Bernardino Galliari, born in Andorno,

together with some of the paintings by the major set designer of La Scala, and a

precious 13th century stoup in marble.

Santuario di Graglia

The initial project was to have built a

hundred chapels, but only two were

completed in the end: the one

dedicated to Madonna della Neve and

the other on Colle San Carlo. The

Sanctuary, whose origins date back to

the 17th century, is surrounded by a

hospice for pilgrims, and has a Greek

cross layout crowned by an octagonal

dome 38 metres tall.

Santuario di San Giovanni

d’Andorno a Campiglia Cervo

Built at a height of just over 1000 metres, the Sanctuary consists of a parish church,

a chapel hewn out the rock, a hospice and a college that all overlook a large square.

Built between 1602 and 1606 to a design by the architect Bernardo Vittone, the

Church of San Giovanni is the heart of the entire religious complex.


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37

CUNEO

Cattedrale

di Santa Maria del Bosco

The design of the current cathedral, the

work of Giovenale Boetto, dates back to

1662 when it was reconstructed on the

previous medieval construction, while

the neoclassical facade - the result of a

major renovation in the 19th century –

was constructed in 1865. The large

dome was frescoed by Giuseppe Toselli

in 1835.

CUNEO

Chiesa di Santa Croce

Built in 1709 by Antonio Bertola

and Francesco Gallo, the church

has an unusual and impressive

convex facade, embellished by

stuccos and frescoes. Inside there

is held the throne of San

Bernardino and the canvas of the

Madonna with Child and Saints

painted by Moncalvo.

Chiesa

di Sant’Ambrogio

Although the origins of this church date

back to 1231, during the 18th century it

was completely rebuilt to a design by

the architect Francesco Gallo.

Santuario

di Santa Maria

degli Angeli

The construction of this building, the

work of the architect Francesco Gallo,

was completed in 1718. The interior

of the Sanctuary has a single large

nave over which there is a dome

decorated with frescoes portraying

the Assumption.

Chiesa

di San Sebastiano

The initial building is thirteenth century,

but it was radically altered in the 17th

century which drastically changed its

appearance, as did the facade which was

built in 1880. Inside there is the chancel,

executed by Tommaso Fontana at the end

of the 16th century.

Ex Chiesa

di San Francesco

This is one of the most important

medieval buildings in Cuneo. The church

and bell-tower are in Gothic style with a

15th century facade of terracotta.


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39

CUNEO

PROVINCE

Abbazia

di Staffarda a Revello

Founded by the Cistercian monks

in the first half of the 12th century,

this abbey complex includes the

church with the cloister of small

twin columns (only preserved on

the north and western sides), the

monastery buildings (the guest

room, refectory and the capitular

room are of considerable interest)

and nine farmhouses. The church,

in Romanesque-Gothic style, has

three naves. The interior is austere:

the cross vault and the pillars, all

differing from each other, are

decorated in alternating colours

going from red to grey. Above the

high altar is a sixteenth century

polyptych by Pascale Oddone in

painted, gilded wood. The Life of

the Virgin is on an open panel,

while St Benedict, the Archangel

Gabriel, St Bernard of Clairvaux

and the Annunciation are in the

closed panels.

CUNEO PROVINCE

Cattedrale

dell’Assunzione

di Maria Vergine

di Saluzzo

Built between 1491 and 1501 in

Lombard Gothic style, this large

construction is strongly characterised

by the facade of exposed brickwork

with a central section in white render on

which there are the frescoes by Hans

Clemer, an artist from Picardy working

in the service of the Marquises of

Saluzzo. The interior has three naves

and the altar of S. Sepolcro or the

Deposition with a polychrome

terracotta group sculpture from the

16th century.

Chiesa di

San Giovanni di Saluzzo

Prior to the Cathedral’s construction,

this was the town’s most important

church. Home to the Dominicans from

1325, its structure was extensively

altered over the centuries: from the

modifying of the direction of the

entrance with a simple, projecting

facade, to its extending to enclose

three naves, richly decorated in

subsequent centuries, and the

founding of the monastery complex

and subsequent building of the side

chapels. In the apse there is the

funerary chapel of the Marquises of

Saluzzo, made in grey stone with

inserts of green stone.

Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena

di Costigliole di Saluzzo

Founded in the early part of the fifteenth century, it was destroyed and restructured

several times. Inside it retains a cycle of early sixteenth century frescoes in the

“grisailles” technique. In a below-ground room no longer used for worship, there

is a fresco known as “Cristo di Pietà” or “Cristo della Messa di San Gregorio”

attributed to Hans Clemer, a Flemish artist known as Maestro di Elva.


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CUNEO

PROVINCE

Santuario

di Sant’Anna di Vinadio

This is Europe’s highest Sanctuary:

positioned at over 2000 metres above sea

level, it is surrounded by beautiful natural

scenery. It started out as a mountain

refuge offering assistance to wayfarers as

they crossed the Alps, and even now

performs this mission, providing

hospitality to those who wish to devote

themselves to prayer in peace.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria e San Giovenale di Fossano

Designed by Mario Ludovico Quarini and built at the end of the 17th century on the

foundations of a previous minster dating back to the 13th century, it has an

imposing facade in neoclassic style with exposed brick. Inside there are 19th

century frescoes and a precious reliquary of San Giovenale, the town’s patron

saint. The bell-tower, of 15th century origin, was modified in the 17th century by

the addition of an octagonal spire.

Museo Diocesano

di Fossano

The museum is housed inside the

Bishop’s curia building, close to the

Cathedral, and holds precious

treasures of icons and sacred art,

reconstructing the local history of the

diocese between the 17th and 18th

centuries.

Certosa di Pesio

di Chiusa Pesio

The deed for founding the Certosa is

dated 1173, but it was considerably

enlarged over the centuries by

building a large cloister on the upper

floor and a church which, over the

years, became a treasury of precious

works of art. In 1802, the Certosa was

abolished by the Napoleon

Government which seized all the art

works and, in 1840, it became a

hydrotherapy establishment of

considerable renown.

n the early years of the 20th century

this establishment closed down, and

the building was semi-derelict until

1934 when, with the arrival of the

Consolata Missionary Fathers, it once

again became an important centre of

religion.

Santuario di Vicoforte

This monumental church, commissioned

by Charles Emmanuel, Duke

of Savoy in 1596 and designed by

the court architect Ascanio Vitozzi,

has the world’s largest elliptical

dome, designed and built in the

first half of the 18th century by

Francesco Gallo, in Baroque style.

Inside there is a single central nave

and a marble shrine that holds the

historical pillar with the 15th

century fresco portraying the

image of Madonna with Child,

which gave rise to the constructing

of the sacred complex in the

medieval period.


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CUNEO

PROVINCE

Cattedrale di San Donato di Mondovì

Santuario di Santa Lucia

di Villanova Mondovì

The complex of the Sanctuary is

divided into two parts: a nineteenth

century building called Opera Pia

Bernardi with triple arches, and another

dating back to the early 16th century

which projects out over the cliff of the

mountain and is characterised by

arches that act as the hallway to the

cavern of the Sanctuary. In addition

there is an elegant, small Baroque

bell-tower in triangular shape.

This was to be the last architectural work designed by Francesco Gallo and was built

between 1743 and 1753: it is a classic example of Baroque architecture.

The monumental facade is in sandstone with a tall doorway embellished with

statues. The inside, with numerous works of art, frescoes, paintings and sculptures,

has three naves with a large chapel dedicated to the Holy Sacrament, under which

there is the burial crypt for the bishops.

Santuario di San Magno a Castelmagno

The initial constructing of the Sanctuary dates back to the end of the 15th century,

with further additions in the Baroque period which concluded in 1716. It consists

of two chapels: the Old one, frescoed by Giovanni Botoneri di Cherasco in 1514 and

the Allemandi one, with frescoes from the latter half of the 15th century attributed

to Pietro da Saluzzo.

Cattedrale

di San Lorenzo di Alba

Built in Romanesque style in about

the tenth century, it was

considerably modified in the late

Gothic period until the

constructing of its current facade

in 1878. Inside, of great value, are

the chancel in carved wood and

inlaid by Bernardino Fossati

between 1512 and 1517, the large

Baroque closets in the sacristy

made in the 18th century, and the

elegant, polychrome bas-relief of

the “Madonna with Child, St John

the Baptist and St John the

Evangelist” produced in 1507 by

the Como artist Giovanni Lorenzo

Sormani. The bell-tower with twolight

windows in Romanesque style

dates back to the early decades of

the 13th century, and inside has

the original ancient belfry.

Chiesa

della Maddalena di Alba

This church is one of most interesting

examples of Baroque architecture in

the town, as well as one of the most

significant by Antonio Bernardo

Vittone. It has recently been restored

and forms part of the complex known

as “della Maddalena”, an ancient,

18th century convent of the

Dominican nuns. In the dome there

are frescoes attributed to the Torino

artist Michele Antonio Milocco.

Chiesa

di San Domenico di Alba

Built towards the end of the 19th century

beside the convent of the Dominicans,

this is a rare example of primitive Gothic

architecture in Piemonte. The facade is

divided into three sections by pilasters.

On the inside, three naves are formed by

columns topped with Romanesque

capitals and covered by cross vaults.

During the Baroque period, the side

chapels were added. The polygonal apse

is from the 13th century.

Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista di Alba

This building in Baroque style has a valuable coffer ceiling and holds many

paintings including one by Barnaba da Modena (1377) of “Madonna of the Graces”

and an “Adoration of the Madonna and Saints” by Macrino d’Alba (1508).


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Cappella delle Brunate

a La Morra

Also known as Chapel of Barolo, this was

the ancient chapel of Santa Maria delle

Grazie, a small church just outside the

village of La Morra that was abandoned

even before being consecrated.

The building was purchased in 1976 by

a family of wine producers who engaged

the artists Sol Lewitt and David Tremlett

for its renovation: the result was highly

coloured decorations on the outside

walls.

Chiesa di San Pietro

di Cherasco

This is the oldest building of the period

when Cherasco was founded. Constructed

in Romanesque style in the 12th and

13th centuries, making use of material

from the church of S. Pietro di Manzano, it

was variously remodelled between the

18th and 19th centuries. The

Romanesque facade, divided into three

sections by pilasters, is decorated by an

open gallery with blind arches

embellished with majolica and sculpted

head of Roman era. The middle doorway

(the only original one) has a marble frieze.

Chiesa

di Santa Chiara di Bra

This church was built in Baroque style

between 1742 and 1748 to a design by

Bernardo Antonio Vittone. It has a

harmonious curving facade in rococo

style, with a neoclassical door. Inside it

has a quadrilateral layout with four large

columns rising to support a double

pierced dome and lantern. The side

branches have balcony openings and are

covered by four smaller domes.

Chiesa di Santa Maria

degli Angeli di Bra

This building, which began construction

in 1752, has an elliptical layout with six

side altars. Inside it has frescoes by the

Bra painter, Pietro Paolo Operti. In 1795 it

was requisitioned by the Savoyard State

and granted for use as military quarters,

arsenal and warehouse for storing salt.

After a long period of being abandoned,

in 1906 it was acquired by the Capuchin

Fathers who, after careful restoration,

reopened it for worship.

Basilica

di San Gaudenzio

Built between 1577 and 1690 to a

design by Pellegrino Tibaldi, following

the destruction of the ancient basilica

existing since the 9th century, it has

become the city’s symbol as a result

of the imposing 122 metre dome built

by Alessandro Antonelli between 1844

and 1878.

Inside, above a richly decorated altar,

there is a large silver and glass urn

containing the body of San

Gaudenzio, first bishop of the city.

The chapels house important

paintings by Gaudenzio Ferrari,

Tanzio da Varallo, Moncalvo,

Morazzone, and Fiammenghino. The

bell-tower, standing separate from

the church, is the work of the architect

Benedetto Alfieri.

NOVARA

Duomo Cattedrale

di Santa Maria Assunta

This striking building in neoclassical

style was constructed in the second

half of the 19th century to a design by

the architect Alessandro Antonelli.

Inside there are three naves with

powerful marbled stucco columns in

ochre yellow colours, together with

valuable works of art such as the

“Marriage of St Catherine” by

Gaudenzio Ferrari.

Battistero

This is the town’s oldest building and

one of the most ancient early Christian

architectures of Piemonte. Inside are

the remains of the primitive octagonal

baptismal font and the frescoes

showing scenes from the Apocalypse

painted at the end of the 10th century,

and of the Last Judgement.


46

47

NOVARA

PROVINCE

Abbazia dei

Santi Nazario e Celso

a San Nazzaro Sesia

NOVARA PROVINCE

This is one of the most important

fortified abbey complexes in northern

Italy, founded in the 11th century by

Bishop Riprando. The complex is

surrounded by high defence walls. The

bell-tower with a square base was made

of river stones from the Sesia River laid in

a herringbone fashion. The 15th century

church is an example of Lombard Gothic

architecture. Both inside the church and

the cloister are decorated with frescoes

contemporary to the building.

Chiesa di San Michele

a Oleggio

This is within the cemetery and is

in Romanesque style with three

naves, the central one being the

largest, which end in three

semicircular apses. The facade is in

projecting steps with pilasters.

Inside, the presbytery is raised,

and beneath there is the crypt.

There are beautiful pictorial cycles

to be found within, some of the

few examples of Romanesque

painting still in existence in

northern Italy.

Basilica

di San Giulio a Orta

Tradition has it that this is the

hundredth church built by San Giulio

in around 350 AD, on his namesake

island on Lake Orta. The inside of the

basilica, decorated with frescoes

showing the Saints, has a perfectly

preserved pulpit, in serpentino d’Oira

marble. This pulpit, considered one of

the highest examples of Romanesque

sculpture, has rails embellished by a

dense array of sculptures that portray

images of Christian symbology, the

symbols of the evangelists and a

probable depiction of the Benedictine

abbot Guglielmo da Volpiano.

Badia di Dulzago

a Bellinzago Novarese

Founded in the first years of the 12th

century by the canons of the Rule of St

Augustine on the remains of a very

ancient Roman centre, this started out as

a place of prayer and farming. The church

dedicated to San Giulio of Orta is the

same age as the abbey complex.

Santuario della Bocciola ad Ameno

This has an elegant neoclassical facade built by the architect Giovanni Molli in

1840. The large dome dominates the apse which houses the white marble altar,

also neoclassical, as is the portico of four columns in Baveno granite. Frescoed in

the early 19th century, the Sanctuary has a cycle of 36 “paintings” that illustrate

episodes from the Old Testament.


48

49

VERBANIA PROVINCE

VERCELLI

Collegiata dei S.S. Gervasio

e Protasio a Domodossola

The current building is the result of

the renovations during the 15th and

18th centuries on the structure of

an earlier Romanesque church of

which remain the central door

and, inside, an architrave decorated

with a bas-relief of “The Dream of

Charlemagne”.

The facade is embellished by the 17th

century vestibule with frescoes of

musical angels painted by Carlo

Mellerio, an artist from nearby Val

Vigezzo.

Santuario della Madonna

del Sangue di Re

Dedicated to the Madonna del Sangue

(Madonna of blood), it was built in the

1950s. The Sanctuary was built next

to the place in which a miracle took

place: in 1494, a small fresco of the

Nursing Madonna, struck by a stone,

began to bleed. The sacred relic was

kept in a tabernacle behind the altar.

Revealing the great general devotion

are the hundreds of votive offerings

covering the walls of the Sanctuary.

Museo

del Tesoro del Duomo

The museum is in the Bishop’s Palace

and contains pieces unique in

the world such as the “Vercelli Book”,

a famed codex written in ancient

English; the “Medieval World Map”, an

ancient 12th century parchment in oval

form showing the globe in medieval

times; the “Codex Vercellensis

Evangelorum”, a manuscript dating

back to the 4th century, which contains

the first translation of the Gospel from

Greek to Latin.

Basilica di Sant’Andrea

Built between 1219 and 1227, this is one

of Italy’s architectural pieces that is

closest in spirit and form to the French

style of Gothic.

The facade, striking for its balance

of colour, blends Lombard-Emiliano

patterns (saddle roof, round arched

doorways, cornices, double orders of

galleries). The inside is in the form of the

Latin cross, divided into three naves, and

holds valuable works of art including the

16th century marquetry of the chancel.

Cattedrale di Sant’Eusebio

Built in the second half of the 16th

century to a design by Pellegrino

Tibaldi on the foundations of an

ancient early Christian basilica, it was

modified in the 17th and 18th

centuries with work in the side

chapels. Inside there is a Romanesque

crucifix in silver leaf of the 11th

century. The walls were frescoed by

Carlo Costa to show episodes in the

life of Sant’Eusebio, the town’s

patron saint, while his bones are held

in an urn.


50

51

VERCELLI

PROVINCE

Chiesa di San Paolo

The most ancient part of the church is

dated 1253, but it was only completed

in the following century. The

characteristic tower was built in the

early 15th century, while the Baroque

modifications are the work of the

architect Giacomo Vincenzo

Canavasso in 1792. It houses

important frescoes and some of the

oldest documents of Vercelli wall

painting.

Chiesa di Santa Chiara

Designed by Bernardo Vittone, this is

a brilliant example of Baroque of

Piemonte. The building formed part of

the convent of Clarisse nuns, and was

restored and turned into a cultural

centre.

Chiesa di San Cristoforo

Of the original 16th century structure

there remain the apse and the dome

cladding, while the rest of the original

building was modified in the 18th

century. The interior has a precious

cycle of frescoes by Gaudenzio Ferrari.

Chiesa di Santa Maria

delle Grazie a Varallo Sesia

This church, which was built at almost

the same time as the huge

architectural complex of Sacro Monte,

started life in 1486. On the wall

dividing the presbytery from the apse,

it has an impressive cycle of frescoes

painted between 1512 and 1513 by

Gaudenzio Ferrari, representing the

life of Christ in 21 panels.

VERCELLI PROVINCE

Abbazia di Santa Maria di Lucedio di Trino Vercellese

This is a large abbey complex founded in the 12th century by some Cistercian

monks, on land needing reclaiming given by the Marquis Ranieri I of Monferrato.

The abbey was built as a fortified structure: between the 12th and 14th centuries,

its fame and riches constantly grew due to the abbots that were able to combine

spirituality with zeal for works.

Santuario di Sant’Anna

a Borgosesia

For the faithful, this is the “Piccolo

Sacro Monte”. Along the climb to the

Sanctuary there are 14 shrines in

niches, or stations, painted in 1753 by

Lorenzo Peracino, originally from

Valsesia. Although the true fame of

the Sanctuary lies in the six chapels

dedicated to episodes in the Life of

the Virgin Mary, there are also 150

multicoloured terracotta statues by

the architect Giovanni d’Enrico who

was also active in Varallo.


52

53

I SACRI MONTI

Sacri Monti

SACRI MONTI

The Sacred Mounts of northern Italy are a

complex of chapels, shrines and sanctuaries

made between the end of the 15th century

and the end of the 17th dedicated to various

aspects of Christian faith, evidence of the

people’s religiousness, together with

composite works of art. Apart from their

symbolic significance they are of great

importance and beauty since they cleverly

blend architectural elements into the natural

surrounding landscapes of hills, forests and

lakes. They also contain particularly

important works of art: cycles of frescoes,

paintings, sculptures, wooden chancels,

which make them a truly unique artistic

heritage. And this is the reason why, in 2003,

UNESCO registered the “Cultural landscape

of the Sacred Mounts of Piemonte and

Lombardia” in the List of World Heritage

Sites. The Sacred Mounts of Belmonte in the

province of Torino, Crea in Alessandria

province, Domodossola and Ghiffa in

Verbania province, Oropa in Biella province,

Orta in Novara province and Varallo – the

most ancient – in Vercelli province, have

been included in the network of Protected

Areas of the Regione Piemonte, which

ensures the conservation of items of artistic

and architectural interest, and the

maintenance and protection of the

surrounding environment.

Sacro Monte di Crea

Sacro Monte

di Belmonte

Sacro Monte

della S.S. Trinità

a Ghiffa

Sacro Monte di Oropa

Sacro Monte Calvario

a Domodossola

Sacro Monte Orta

Sacro Monte di Varallo


54

55

SAINTS AND BLESSED OF PIEMONTE

In Torino and the Piemonte area lived some of the best loved saints and blessed for

their great commitment to educational actions or for having founded important

works of charity. An important role was held by the “Social Saints” who lived

among the people whose needs they met in the practical ways typical to the

subalpine character, finding in God’s love an inexhaustible source for their

ceaseless dedication to their fellow man.

San Giovanni Bosco

1815 - 1888, founder of the Salesian congregation and of the Daughters of Mary,

Help of Christians

San Giuseppe Cafasso

1811 – 1860, he dedicated himself to instructing and training new clergy and

conducted an intense mission among prisoners. He is buried in the Sanctuary of the

Consolata

San Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo

1786 – 1842, founded the religious community that is still today dedicated to

welcoming and caring for the underprivileged. His birth home can now be visited and

has been turned into a Museum

San Pio V

1504 – 1572, he was the 225th Pope of the Catholic church from 1566 to 1572

San Domenico Savio

1842 – 1857, founder of the Compagnia dell'Immacolata – Society of the

Immaculate Conception

San Leonardo Murialdo

1828 - 1900, founder of the Congregation of San Giuseppe, he is buried in the

church of Salute di Borgo Vittoria in Torino

San Luigi Orione

1872 – 1940, founder of the Piccola Opera della Divina Provvidenza- Little Work of

the Divine Providence - known also as the Piccolo Cottolengo, and of the Church of

Madonna della Guardia in Tortona

Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati

1901 - 1925, committed to Catholic political activism and help to the needy, his

coffin rests in the Cathedral of Torino

Blessed Giacomo Alberione

1884 - 1971, founder of the Society of San Paolo

Blessed Michele Rua

1837 – 1910, successor to Don Bosco, to whom he acted for many years as

secretary and then vicar

Blessed Secondo Pollo

1908 - 1941, educator and army chaplain

Blessed Teresa Tracco

1924 – 1944, vergine e martire

Blessed Luigi Boccardo

1861 – 1936, founder of the Suore Figlie di Gesù Re – Daughters of the Lord King

– forming part of the Congregazione delle Povere Figlie – Congregation of Poor

Daughters – of San Gaetano

Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo

1848 – 1913, founder of the Congregation of Poor Daughters of San Gaetano

Blessed Teresa Grillo Michel

1855 - 1944, founder of the Little Sisters of Divine Providence

Blessed Anna Michelotti

1843 – 1888, founder of the Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Blessed Enrichetta Dominici

1829 – 1894, committed to the Congregation of the Sisters of Sant’Anna and of

Providence

Blessed Caterina Mattei Ricci

1486 – 1547, proclaimed Blessed in 1808 by Pope Pius VII

Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno

1825 – 1888, officer in the Savoyard army, architect and mathematician, advisor to

the Royal Household


ALESSANDRIA page 23

ALESSANDRIA PROVINCE pages 23-27

56

ASTI page 28

ASTI PROVINCE pages 29-32

BIELLA page 33

BIELLA PROVINCE pages 34-35

CUNEO pages 36-37

CUNEO PROVINCE pages 38-44

Domodossola

Bardonecchia

NOVARA page 45

NOVARA PROVINCE pages 46-47

VERBANIA

VERBANIA PROVINCE page 48

VERCELLI pages 49-50

VERCELLI PROVINCE pages 50-51

SACRI MONTI pages 52-53

SAINTS pages 54-55

Susa

Lanzo

Torinese

Vinadio

Torre Pellice

Castelmagno

Dronero

TORINO

Pinerolo

Cuorgnè

Rivoli

Rivarolo Canavese

Ciriè

Moncalieri

Savigliano

Saluzzo

Ravello

Busca

Ivrea

Belmonte

(Valperga)

Fossano

Chieri

CUNEO

Borgo

San Dalmazzo

Chivasso

Oropa

Graglia Campiglia

Cervo

Andorno

Micca

VERBANIA

BIELLA

Santhià

Ghiffa

VERCELLI

Castelnuovo Montechiaro

Don Bosco d’Asti

Carmagnola

Moncalvo

Valmanera

Cherasco

Pesio

Mondovì

Vicoforte

Varallo

Bra

Alba

La Morra

Ceva

Re

Borgosesia

Lucedio

Crea

Vezzolano

Cortazzone

Montiglio

ASTI

Nizza

Monferrato

Ameno

Bellinzago

Novarese

Orta

Nazzaro Sesia

Oleggio

Casale

Monferrato

NOVARA

Bosco

Marengo

Spinetta

Marengo

ALESSANDRIA

Sezzadio

Cassine

Acqui

Terme

Valenza

Tortona

Novi Ligure

Ovada

Rivalta

Scrivia

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