Alessandro Antonelli was as architect, a city planner and a civil engineer. His most celebrated works are the result of perfect synthesis between the usage of historical styles –neoclassic and Gothic - and the new constructional and structural processes; that marked his most famous monuments, aimed at the conquest of the space in a vertical line. He planned several works in Novara and the nearby towns, and he played an active part also in Rome, “Casale Monferrato” and Turin, where he created the famous “Mole Antonelliana”.
Our visit begins strolling about old town centre to discover the most representative work in Novara: the “Cupola di San Gaudenzio” which being 121 meters tall is the highest brickwork ever carried out worldwide.
Also the current “Duomo” is an Antonelli’s work: he razed to the ground the old Romanesque building - crumbling by that time - and built the new Church in less than ten years putting it in the architectonic fabric of a town now in evolution.
Amongst the civil buildings we count “Casa Luigi Desanti”, then “Casa Bossi” – nowadays it became a symbol for most Novara’s inhabitants and has been included in the list of FAI treasures - then “Palazzo Avogadro” premises of the Chamber of Commerce, and the “Ospedale Maggiore della Carità” whose project for enlarging the original seventeenth-century complex had been committed to the celebrated architect as well.
At the end of the visit an aperitif in an historical central “caffè” and departure to Boca. Lunch by a typical farm holiday centre with the chance to taste traditional products such as various kinds of cheese and salami, rice and DOP vines. In the afternoon visit to the “Santuario del Santissimo Crocefisso”, a destination for pilgrims coming from the whole of the Europe. Antonelli, however, could not finish this construction, and in fact the building is missing the tall steeple that had been planned in the original project.
We will proceed towards Ghemme whose origins date back to the Neolithic. Momentous town during the Roman era, hard fought by Guelfi and Ghibellini during the medieval era, as from the fifteenth century it became the residence of some among the most illustrious families of both Novara and Milano thanks to the fertility of its fields and the excellence of its wines.
Visiting “Castello-ricetto” and halting at a wine growers cellar to taste the renowned vines.