Reading time: 5 minutes
Welcome to the city of Ivrea, located in the heart of the Canavese region, in eastern Piedmont. This article will serve as a simple guide to seeing the most fascinating and important sights in Ivrea, a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From ancient castles and churches to spectacular river and mountain landscapes, Ivrea offers a variety of attractions worth exploring. Get ready for an unforgettable experience!
History and Culture
Start your visit to Roman Ivrea, or Eporedia as it was called in Latin, by exploring the remains of the Roman amphitheater built in the 1st century AD just outside the city center walls.
The historic center is largely medieval with several monuments and churches to visit including the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, an imposing Romanesque church with a decorated facade and internal frescoes that tell the history of the city; the Torre di Santo Stefano from the 11th century; and the church of Sant’Ulderico.
Don’t miss Ivrea’s most famous landmark, its Castle, a majestic fortress with medieval towers that offers a panoramic view of the city and the Dora Baltea River. It was built in the 14th century and commissioned by Amedeo VI of Savoy for defensive purposes. In 1676 it was struck by lightning and severely damaged.
At the moment the castle remains closed for a major renovation. It’s scheduled to reopen to the public in 2026.
Don’t skip the P.A. Garda Civic Museum located in the former fourteenth-century monastery of Santa Chiara, which houses many works of art and above all, a vast archaeological collection belonging to Count Francesco Perrone.
Modern Ivrea and the Olivetti Company
Ivrea is the birthplace of the typewriter industry in Italy. In 1908, Camillo Olivetti opened the first typewriter factory and as they say, the rest is history. In 2018, the city of Ivrea was included in the list of Unesco world heritage sites for its contribution to design. To delve deeper into this topic, we recommend a visit to the MaAM, the Olivettian Open-Air Museum of Modern Architecture.
Take part in one of Ivrea’s most famous traditions, Carnival. Every year, during the Carnival period, the city transforms into a lively and colorful stage. The highlight is the “Battle of the Oranges” inspired by a 12th-century revolt, in which participants divide into teams and throw oranges at each other.
Read more about Ivrea’s Carnival here.
Nature and Landscapes
Explore the banks of the Dora Baltea River and enjoy a pleasant walk along the river. Like Florence, Ivrea also has its famous Ponte Vecchio, dating back to Roman times, and subsequently rebuilt in the 18th century. Admire the beauty of the landscape and the view of the surrounding mountains.
Visit the Gran Paradiso National Park, located near Ivrea. This park is beautiful in any season and offers opportunities for hiking, climbing, and observing wildlife.
For a break from the city, another option is visiting the Parco del Castello di Masino, which is home to a stunning Renaissance castle surrounded by Italian gardens.
Savor the rich Piedmontese cuisine while enjoying some local specialties. Try the boiled meat, accompanied by a variety of sauces. Cabbage is the queen of Canavese cuisine and is stuffed with meat, found in soups, and in the classic “supa mitonà” prepared with bread, broth and cheese. And finally, a dish that is found on everyone’s table, bagna caoda prepared with anchovies, oil and garlic and used as a sauce for fresh autumn vegetables.
Just 45 km from Turin, and easily accessible by public transport, Ivrea is a city that offers a complete experience to its visitors, combining rich history and culture with beautiful natural landscapes. We hope that this travel guide has inspired you to visit this gem of the Canavese area.