For other uses see Novara (disambiguation).
|Official Name:||Comune di Novara|
|Area Total Km2:||103|
|Population As Of:||December 2007|
|Frazioni:||Lumellogno, Olengo, Pernate, Torrion Quartara, Agognate, Casalgiate, Cascina Montà, Cascina Roggia Mora, Gionzana, Pagliate|
Novara (Nuara in Western Lombard) is the capital city of the province of Novara in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy, to the west of Milan. With c. 102,862 inhabitants, it is the second most populous city in Piedmont after Turin and it is the second urban area of the Region Piedmont with 190,000 inhabitants. It is an important crossroads for commercial traffic along the routes from Milan to Turin and from Genoa to Switzerland. Novara lies between the rivers Agogna and Terdoppio in northeastern Piedmont, 38 km from Milan and 95 km from Turin.
Ancient Novaria, which dates to the time of the Ligures, was a municipium and was situated on the road from Vercellae (Vercelli) to (Mediolanum) Milan. Its position on perpendicular roads (still intact today) dates to the time of the Romans. After the city was destroyed in 386 by Magnus Maximus for having supported his rival Valentinian II, it was rebuilt by Theodosius I. Subsequently, it was sacked by Radagaisus (in 405) and Attila (in 452).
Under the Lombards, Novara became a duchy; under Charles the Fat, a countship. Novara came to enjoy the rights of a free imperial city. In 1110 it was conquered by Henry V and destroyed, but in 1167 it joined the Lombard League. At the end of the 12th century, it accepted the protection of Milan and became practically a dominion of the Visconti and later of the Sforza. In the Battle of Novara (1513), Swiss mercenaries defending Novara for the Sforzas of Milan routed the French troops besieging the city. This defeat ended the French invasion of Italy in the War of the League of Cambrai.
In 1706 Novara, which had long ago been promised by Filippo Maria Visconti to Amadeus VIII of Savoy, was occupied by Savoyard troops. With the Peace of Utrecht, the city, together with Milan, became part of the Habsburg Empire. After its occupation in 1734, Novara passed, in the following year, to the House of Savoy.
After Napoleon's campaign in Italy, Novara became the capital of the Department of the Agogna, but was then reassigned to the House of Savoy in 1814. In 1821 it was the site of a battle in which regular Sardinian troops defeated the Piedmontese constitutional liberals. In the even larger Battle of Novara in 1849, the Sardinian army was defeated by the Austrian army of Field Marshall Joseph Radetzky von Radetz. This defeat led to the abdication of Charles Albert of Sardinia and to the partial occupation of the city by the Austrians. The defeat of the Sardinians can be seen as the beginning of the Italian unification movement.
The city of Novara had a population of 25,144 in 1861. Industrialisation during the 20th century brought an increase in the city's population to 102,088 in 1981. The city's population has changed little in subsequent years.
Probably the most notable Novarese of modern times is Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, former president of Italy and Italian senator for life. Scalfaro was born in Novara in 1918.
Novara's sights can be divided into two groupings. The city's most important sights lie within its historic centre, the area once enclosed by the city walls. However, several important sights also lie outside the line of the former city walls.
The old urban core makes up the "Historic centre", situated in the district of the same name. Novara once had an encircling wall, which was demolished to permit urban development. Of the old wall there remains only the Barriera Albertina, a complex of two neo-classical buildings that constituted the gate of entry to the city, the required passageway for those who traveled from Turin to Milan. After their removal, the walls were replaced by the present-day baluardi, the broad, tree-lined boulevards that surround the Historic Centre.
The most imposing monument in the city is the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, with a cupola 121 metres in height, designed by Alessandro Antonelli and constructed in 1888. The bell tower is also of particular interest; it was designed by Benedetto Alfieri, uncle of the more famous Vittorio Alfieri.
The centre of the religious life of the city is the Duomo (Cathedral), in the neo-classical style, also designed by Alessandro Antonelli. It rises exactly where the temple of Jupiter stood in the time of the Romans. Facing the Duomo is the oldest building in Novara today: the early Christian Battistero (Baptistry).
Close to the Duomo is the courtyard of the Broletto(the historic meeting place of the city council), the centre of the political life of the imperial free city of Novara. Overlooking the courtyard of the Broletto are the Palazzo del Podestà ("Palace of the Podestà"), Palazzetto dei Paratici ("Little Palace of the Paratici Family"), site of the Civic Museum and of the Gallery of Modern Art, the Palace of the City Council, and a building of the 15th century.
Not far from the Piazza della Repubblica (formerly Piazza Duomo) is the Piazza Cesare Battisti (known to Novaresi as the Piazza delle Erbe, "Herbs square"), which constitutes the exact centre of the city of Novara.
In Piazza Giacomo Matteotti stands the Palazzo Natta-Isola, seat of the province and of the prefecture of Novara. The landmark feature of this palace is its clock tower. Extending from this square is the via Fratelli Rosselli, along which is the Palazzo Cabrino, the official seat of the administrative offices of the city. As it was a Roman city, the street network of Novara is characterized by a cardo and a Decumanus Maximus, which correspond respectively to the present-day Corso Italia and Corso Cavour. The two streets cross at the so-called "Angolo delle Ore" (Corner of the Hours).
The largest square is Piazza Martiri della Libertà (formerly Piazza Castello) dominated by the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy. Overlooking the Piazza Martiri are the Castello Visconteo-Sforzesco, built by the Milanese dukes Visconti and Sforza, and the Teatro Coccia. The Castello Visconteo-Sforzesco, once much larger than the complex that remains today, is surrounded by the Allea, one of the largest public gardens in Novara.
Other important squares are
Places of interest situated outside of the belt of the baluardi include the Church of San Nazzaro della Costa, with its attached abbey, restored in the 15th century by Bernardino of Siena, and the Ossuary of Bicocca, in pyramidal form, which stands in the neighbourhood of Bicocca, in memory of the fallen soldiers of the historic battle of 23 March 1849 between the Piedmontese (Sardinia) and Austrians. Worthy of note are the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Saints Martino and Gaudenzio), built beginning in 1477 by the Augustinians, whose interior consists of a single nave with lateral chapels and paintings attributed to artists of the 15th century, among them Daniele de Bosis.
|ISTAT 2007 http://demo.istat.it/|
|Median age||44 years||42 years|
|Under 18 years old||16.4%||18.1%|
|Over 65 years old||21.6%||20.0%|
|Births/1,000 people||9.15 b||9.45 b|
In 2007, there were 102,862 people residing in Novara, located in the province of Novara, Piemonte, of whom 49% were male and 51% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 16.35 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 21.6 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Novara residents is 44 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Novara grew by 1.64 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent. http://demo.istat.it/bil2002/index.html http://demo.istat.it/bil2007/index.html The birth rate in Novara is 9.15 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. Approximately 1 in every 6 children born has at least one foreign parent. Persons of Albanian and Moroccan ancestry made up the largest foreign births.
As of 2006, 92.37% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations: 2.94%, North Africa (Arab): 2.23%, and Latin America: 0.71%. http://demo.istat.it/str2006/index.html Novara is predominantly Roman Catholic, but also has sizeable numbers of Jehovah's Witnesses, Protestants and Muslims.
Novara is an important commercial centre of the Padan plain and is the seat of the Centro Intermodale Merci (CIM: Goods Intermodal Centre). Economically, it is affected by the proximity of Milan, and in fact many Milanese firms have offices in Novara.
The main economic products and services are
The city of Novara is a member of the TOP-IX (Torino-Piemonte Exchange Point) internet exchange consortium, a consortium to create an Internet Exchange Point for northwestern Italy.
The local public transportation agency is the SUN.
The city is served by two railway stations:
Novara is linked to Turin and Milan by the A4 motorway (via the junctions Novara Ovest and Novara Est). The A26 motorway crosses most of Novara province, but there is not a junction that links it directly with Novara. To reach Novara from the A26, one must exit at Vercelli Est, but one can also reach Novara by way of the A4, which crosses the A26 at a junction. Novara is served by a system of dual-carriageway bypasses. The oldest such bypass is the Tangenziale Est, directly linked with the motorway junction Novara Est. In 2003 road works were completed on the Tangenziale Sud.