Discover Novara: History, Customs & Festivals

Discover Novara: History, Customs & Festivals

Discover Novara: History, Customs & Festivals

Welcome to Novara, a charming city located in the Piedmont region of Italy. Known for its rich history, vibrant customs, and exciting festivals, Novara offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you're interested in exploring historical landmarks, immersing yourself in local customs, or indulging in delicious cuisine, Novara has something for everyone.


Novara boasts a fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. The city was originally founded by the Celts and later became an important Roman settlement. Over the centuries, Novara has been ruled by various powers, including the Lombards, Franks, and Visconti. Its strategic location made it a coveted territory, resulting in numerous battles and conflicts.

During the Middle Ages, Novara thrived as a flourishing trade center. The city's historical center is a testament to its prosperous past, with well-preserved medieval architecture and narrow cobblestone streets. Visitors can explore landmarks such as the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, the Broletto (medieval town hall), and the imposing Castello Visconteo.


Novara is proud of its cultural heritage and has preserved many traditions and customs over the years. One beloved custom is the "Sbandieratori," a traditional flag-throwing performance that dates back to the Middle Ages. This captivating display of skill and artistry takes place during festivals and special celebrations.

The locals of Novara are also known for their love of good food and wine. Traditional dishes, such as risotto alla novarese (a creamy rice dish) and panettone (a sweet bread), can be savored in the city's charming trattorias and osterias. Don't forget to pair your meal with a glass of local wine, as the Piedmont region is renowned for its exceptional vineyards.

Another fascinating custom in Novara is the "Festa dell'Uva," or Grape Festival, held every September. During this lively event, the streets come alive with parades, music, and dancing as locals celebrate the grape harvest. Visitors can sample different varieties of grapes, enjoy traditional music performances, and witness the traditional grape-pressing ceremony.


Novara is home to a variety of vibrant festivals throughout the year, showcasing the city's cultural richness and lively spirit. One of the highlights is the "Carnevale di Novara," held in February. This colorful carnival features elaborate costumes, masked parades, and lively street performances. Visitors can join in the festivities and immerse themselves in the energetic atmosphere.

In June, Novara hosts the "Festival Piazze in Musica," a music festival that takes place in various squares throughout the city. This event brings together local and international musicians, providing a platform for both established and emerging talents. From classical concerts to jazz performances, there's a genre for every music lover to enjoy.

During the summer months, Novara also hosts the "Novara Jazz Festival," attracting jazz enthusiasts from around the world. This popular event showcases the best of contemporary jazz, with renowned artists taking the stage and creating an unforgettable musical experience.

Plan Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to Novara, it's a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance. Start by exploring the city's historical center, walking along the medieval streets, and discovering its architectural gems. Visit the Basilica of San Gaudenzio to admire its stunning frescoes and climb to the top of the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.

Indulge in the local cuisine by trying traditional dishes at local restaurants and trattorias. Don't forget to sample the famous local wines, such as Barolo and Barbera, which perfectly complement the regional flavors.

Check the festival calendar to see if any events align with your visit. Attending a festival is a wonderful way to experience the vibrant spirit of Novara and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Overall, Novara offers a delightful blend of history, customs, and festivals that will captivate any visitor. From its ancient Roman roots to its modern-day celebrations, Novara has something to offer travelers of all interests. Come and discover the charm of this enchanting Italian city!