Biella Journals

Buono Pasqua from Piedmonte!

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An April 2011 trip to Biella by Wildcat Dianne

Santuario di Oropa Photo, Biella, Italy More Photos
Quote: The second leg of my 2011 European adventure took me to my friend Monica's home in the Piedmonte region of northern Italy. Here, I toured several hilly old villages and experienced Easter Sunday and Monday only the way the Italians do--lots of food and fun!

A Brief Stop in Novara

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Story/Tip

Rotunda of Basilica of San Gaudenzio Photo, Novara, Italy
Quote:
I left Italy for the Netherlands on 28 April 2011, two days before my 44th birthday. The best way for me to get to Milano Malpensa airport was to take the train from Biella to Novara, a small city in Piedmonte that is second in population to the Piedmontese capital of Torino. Then I would take the bus from Novara to Milano Malpensa and from there fly to Amsterdam. WHEW!The train trip from Biella to Novara was crowded even though it was 6 in the morning but it was uneventful. I could see a church cupola as we pulled into the train station and I learned that was the main sight of Novara, The Basilica of San Gaudenzio, a church whose cupola reaches 121 meters and is a younger construct...Read More

Town of Orta San Giulio

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Attraction | "Lago d'Orta and The Town of Orta San Giulio"

Village of Orta San Giulia, Italy Photo, Orta San Giulio, Italy
Quote:
I like staying with my friends when I visit Europe because you get to see places that are not seen if you take a guided tour or tour bus. The busses and tours just want to go to the tourist traps and you do not see how the people of places you visit live and the culture on a firsthand basis. After three days of day trips with either Monica's husband Luca and their son Alberto, Monica decided to leave her father in charge of her tabaccheria in Camburzano and her son with his grandmother, her mother, at her parents house in Camburzano near the tabaccheria. Monica suggested we visit Lago d'Orta and the town of Orta San Giulio, whose claim to fame is the Church of San Giulio on an island ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 14, 2011

Town of Orta San Giulio
Piazza Motta
Orta San Giulio, Italy

The Day The Circus Came to Champorcher!

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Story/Tip

Park where we had lunch at Champorchet, Italy Photo, Champorcher, Italy
Quote:
After our trip to Forte di Bard, we jumped back in the car for our next destination, a picnic lunch in the mountaintop village of Champorcher. After a short ride up the mountain and more ear blockage, we arrived at Champorcher, which is a little village dominated by a little castle, an inn for tourists wanting to ski or hike in the Alps, and two parks for picnicking and other lazy fun, the Parc Abbe Pierre Chanoux and Parc Diane Chardonney. We chose to have lunch in Parc Abbe Pierre Chanoux, and we unloaded our stuff out of Monica's car.After hiking around Forte di Bard and the village of Bard, I was a little hungry and dug into Monica's homemade fried chicken (Italian fried chicken h...Read More

Fort Bard (Forte di Bard)

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Attraction | "Magic Mushrooms Are Needed To Get Through That Door!"

Fort Bard (Forte di Bard) Photo, Bard, Italy
Quote:
Easter Monday is a big holiday in Italy and Europe. Stores are closed for the whole weekend and kids are on vacation from school for one to two weeks. This allows families to take trips and go on picnics and enjoy the Easter holiday with their loved ones. Monica and Luca decided to take me on a picnic to Champorcher, a village near the French border at the foothills of the Italian and French Alps. But before we could dig into cold fried chicken and other goodies, Monica and Luca took me to the clifftop fortress of Forte di Bard (Fort Bard) in the old village of Bard in Valle d'Aosta.Monica, Luca, their son Alberto and I got an early start for the Valle d'Aosta. The weather w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 13, 2011

Fort Bard (Forte di Bard)

Bard, Italy

Santuario di Oropa

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Attraction | "How Do You Say "Stairway to Heaven" in Italian?!"

Santuario di Oropa Photo, Biella, Italy
Quote:
When Monica and I first became penpals about 11 years ago, she sent a picture and a postcard of her visit to the Santauro di Oropa, a beautiful Catholic sanctuary located high in the Italian Alps near her home in Mongrando, Biella, Italy. The sight of the place is enough to make one who isn't religious, like me, want to go to church every Sunday. HA HA! Monica, Luca, Alberto and I had just finished the feast of all Easter feasts at Ristorante Ioris on that Easter Sunday, and Monica had promised me in letters before I arrived in Italy that we would visit Santaura di Oropa (or Sacro Monte di Oropa--Sacred Mount of Oropa) while I was there. The postcards and pictures I ha...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2011

Santuario di Oropa
Strada Per Oropa
Biella, Italy 13051

Photo of Biella, Italy
Quote:
When one goes to northern Italy for vacation, they go to the tourist traps or big cities like Milano or Torino, which was the sight of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Not me, I took the train from Munich, Germany to Verona to Milano to Santhia where my friend Monica picked me up with her young son Alberto and had no desire to see any of Milano or Torino. After years of living in the woods of Idaho and the Florida countryside, I admit I am a bit bushwhacked and get nervous in big cities fearing getting lost and not being able to find my way back home. I also feel that if you stay in the small towns and cities, you experience the culture of the region a lot better and more inimately than you do in a big ci...Read More

Ristorante Loris

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Restaurant | "I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing!"

Ristorante Loris Photo, Biella, Piedmont
Quote:
Easter Sunday in Italy is a big holiday and all businesses are closed on that day and the following Monday which is Easter Monday. Italians will go to church if they are devout and then spend time with the family either having dinner at a relative's house or going out to dinner at a local restaurant. I was invited by my Italian friend Monica and her husband Luca to do the latter. The restaurant Monica and Luca chose for our Easter feast was the Ristorante Ioris near their home in Mongrando, Biella, Italy in the Piedmonte region of Northwestern Italy. Now holiday and special occasion dinners in America usually consist of appetizers to be consumed while watching baseball or football o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 1, 2011

Ristorante Loris

Biella, Piedmont