Countryside and Culture

Ivrea

A World UNESCO city and museum of Adriano Olivetti’s revolutionary architecture.

Ivrea is an Italian town with a truly authentic character, it has two outstanding features, the Olivetti architecture and the fresh rush of the Po River with world class rapids for competitive kayaking.

Adriano Olivetti, the pioneer of typewriters and keyboards, was a visionary in environmental issues and social responsibility. He has been a true inspiration for the Vistaterra project. His architectural legacy and utopian ethos can be understood in a fascinating guided tour through the city’s Olivetti buildings. One building even has the structural appearance of a keyboard.

Ivrea’s historic centre has a castle distinguished by three red towers, a Duomo and the Roman Ponte Vecchio. The city centre is the scene of the great orange battle, a traditional Italian festival, which recreates the Piedmont people’s uprising, and more than half a million oranges are pelted across the divisions, and the streets are drenched in zesty juice.

 

Oropa

A sanctuary in the hills and a place of spiritual beauty

High up in Biella at 1,159 meters travellers find the peaceful sanctuary of Oropa set against an enchanting alpine backdrop, another UNESCO heritage site amongst the many wonderful places that Piedmont offers.

The Sanctuary of Oropa is a spiritual complex of basilicas with chapels and courtyards. The Basilica, erected on the site of the ancient church of Santa Maria, displays 13th century frescoes and the statue of the Black Madonna. There is a Museum of Treasures, the Royal Apartment and the Sacro Monte the library. If you visit between May and September, make a diversion to the Botanical Garden, a ‘WWF Oasis’.

 

Via Francigena

In the footsteps of the pilgrims

Tour along this ancient route, the Via Francigena, that connected the pilgrims of Canterbury, England with Rome, and onwards to the ports of Puglia, where crusaders embarked on ships bound for the Holy Land.

Our guide will take you through villages with charming churches and Roman ruins. Immersed in the Canavese countryside you will pass by cultivated fields, dense woodlands and a lattice work of vineyards. Lunch stops or a Vistaterra picnic can be arranged. 

 

Chiaverano

Cheese, grappa and a charming Canavese village

Chiaverano village dates from 1251, it is located at the extreme northern limit of the Canavese, in the Serra Morenic. Driving through the surrounding territory you will see chestnut woods, peaty fields and terraced vineyards. Nearby is the Sirio Lake which makes a pretty stopping point for a leisurely walk. 

Chiaverano is known throughout the Canavese for its tomini, a typical Piedmont cheese, and also the Revel Chion distillery, which transforms the marc into grappa, exported throughout the world. We will be delighted to arrange cheese and grappa tastings. 

 

Valchiusella

Discover the rustic beauty and history of the Valchiusella valley

Your guide will take you through this wonderful valley to visit castles, beauty spots by rivers and meadows at the foot of the Pelati Mountains. The Valchiusella offers a condensed historical, architectural and morphological heritage of unimaginable value.

The valley takes its name from the Chiusella river that runs through it, there are miles of ancient paths, mule tracks and woods to explore, villages full of character and the lakes of Alice Superiore and Meugliano.