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Stage

3

Monday 06
May 2024

166 km
Altitude Gain 750 m

Starting in

D ::

Novara -

Fossano

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technical info

Seemingly suited to sprinters, after a predominantly flat route this stage features a tricky 1.8-kilometer run-up to Fossano which might stand in the way of a fast finishers showdown. The peloton will cross the Po Valley and tackle simple climbs such as Lu and Cherasco.

  • profile
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  • technical info

tourist info

Host city:

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finish

Novara



Overview

Novara is a city rich in tradition, history, and artistic masterpieces. It was built up little by little, in a succession of stratifications and influences which have shaped it into a lively cultural centre, an ideal stop for a visit throughout the year. The true soul of the city shines bright in its historic centre, which revolves around the imposing structure of the Basilica of San Gaudenzio.

Speciality food

Surrounded by rice paddies, Novara’s traditional dish can only be rice-based: Paniscia, as a matter of fact, is a risotto with beans, cabbage and salame della duja (a salami preserved in fat) as well as pretty much anything that the vegetable garden offers at any time of the year.
Gorgonzola cheese, in both its sweet and spicy versions, is a constant element on Novara’s tables; the city is in fact the seat of its Protection Consortium and the bulk of production is concentrated in the area.
And to end on a sweet note, the city certainly has no shortage of desserts. Novara biscuits are an ancient treat: made only with eggs, sugar and flour, they have been delighting local residents for more than 500 years. During the Patron Saint’s day (22 January), on the other hand, tasting San Gaudenzio bread – a cake with sultanas or chestnuts, enclosed in a shortcrust pastry shell and with dried fruit grains on the surface – is basically a must.

Drinks

Not everyone knows that one of the world’s most famous aperitifs was invented in Novara! In the mid-19th century, Mr. Gaspare Campari bought the Caffè dell’Amicizia in the city centre, where he perfected the recipe for his “bitter”, which has remained unchanged ever since.
Just outside the city, the territory turns from plains to hills, and from rice we move on to wine. The mid-Novarese area is a succession of rows of vines dating back to Roman times, with increasingly satisfying and successful results. It is no coincidence that Italy’s first cooperative wine cellar was founded in the province of Novara, an area where viticulture has always been particularly favoured by the microclimate, thanks to the proximity of Monte Rosa, and mineral soils of morainic and volcanic origin. Here, it is Nebbiolo, the king of Piedmontese vines, which, vinified in purity or in a blend of indigenous grapes, gives rise to the area’s DOC and DOCG wines. These include the historic Ghemme Docg, Boca Doc, Fara Doc, Sizzano Doc and the Colline Novaresi Doc range. It should not be forgotten that the Colline Novaresi territory has obtained the prestigious recognition of European City of Wine 2024.

Points of Interest

Of ancient foundation, Novara presents itself as an elegant nineteenth-century centre. In fact, that was the golden era of its urban and economic development. The visitor’s gaze is immediately captured by the dome of the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, designed and built during the 19th century by Alessandro Antonelli, also architect of Turin’s Mole. Beneath the statue of the Saviour, the streets and squares of the city centre include the Basilica dedicated to Patron Saint Gaudentius, a precious gem of Baroque art, as well as the Church of Saint Mark; the majestic Cathedral of Santa Maria, another Antonellian masterpiece, with its characteristic colonnade, and the early Christian Baptistery, the city’s oldest monument; the monumental complex of the Broletto, once a place of public and civic life, now houses the Giannoni Modern Art Collection; the Castello Visconteo-Sforzesco, returned to the city following an impressive refurbishment, is the new museum centre, housing ExpoRisorgimento, a museum dedicated to the history of the Risorgimento in Novara, as well as temporary exhibitions that animate the city’s cultural life throughout the year; and the Coccia and Faraggiana Theatres, the musical and artistic hearts of the city.

Fossano



Overview

Fossano is immediately recognisable by the majestic Castle of the Princes of Acaja. The town, founded in 1236, boasts a first-class historic centre, with nooks, alleys and churches reminiscent of medieval and baroque atmospheres. A direct link between the Savoy fortress and the oldest part of the city is the Duomo, overlooking the porticoed Via Roma. Instead, the imposing 18th-century structure consisting of the Hospital and the Church of the Holy Trinity, known as the Church of the Battuti Rossi, one of the most striking examples of Piedmontese Baroque in the area, was designed by Francesco Gallo.

Food

Fossano is the capital of Piedmontese Fassona raw meat. Panettone and Fossanesi chocolates, Chiacchere di meliga, Brut and Bun pastries are also a must.

Wines and Beverage

Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Arneis and Favorita. All DOCGs.

Points of Interest

The city is dominated by the imposing Castle of the Princes of Acaja, built in the 14th century for defensive purposes by Philip I of Savoy and later transformed into an elegant noble residence. The evocative medieval atmosphere of the historic centre is the setting for some great examples of Piedmontese Baroque: the Cathedral of San Giovenale, the Hospital and Church of the Holy Trinity complex, the Church of San Filippo Neri and the Old Church of Salice. Don’t miss the Sacco Geological Museum and the Sanctuary of Cussanio, immersed in the Fossano countryside, where art and nature come together offering itineraries suitable for all ages.

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