Nearby natural beauties, and notable tourist attractions, include the outlook at Zegna with the ski resort of Bielmonte; Burcina Natural Reserve; and the moors to the south of town. Religious pilgrims make their way to the Sanctuary of Oropa.
Biella is an important wool processing and textile center. In 1245 the statutes of Biella were already referring to the woolworkers' and weavers' guilds. In the 17th and 18th centuries silk was an important industry, and a silk manufacture was built in town in 1695; in 1835 the introduction of mechanical looms put Biella at the forefront of modern improvements in the industry.