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Province of Novara, Piedmont Region, Italy

The geographical borders of the province between the Ticino and Sesia rivers is the main feature of the territory, and explains both the economy and the history of the human settlements in the area. The Ticino river, naturally navigable since antiquity, was a main communication route and allowed to reach as far as Venice.

Info

Area: 1,339 km² -- Population: about 350,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal codes: from 28010 to 28100 -- Phone Area Codes: 011, 0161, 0163, 0321, 0322, 0323, 0331 -- Car Plate: NO -- Communes: 88 communes

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History

After the Roman period and the Lombard rule, an important stage in the life of the province was the presence of the church: in the 9th century AD the Franks organized the territory in "pievi" (parishes) all subject to the bishop of Novara.

In 1354 Galeazzo II Visconti was appointed as feudal lord of the territory, which he divided into four districts called "squadre" (Sesia, Agogna, Inferiore and Ticino) for a more thorough control of taxes and mercenary troops. In 1361 the province was sacked by a Societas Anglicorum, armies of English mercenaries, also called the White Army from the colors of the uniforms, led by condottiere Albert Sterz, finally defeated by Luchino dal Verme.

In July 1468 Galeazzo Maria Sforza married Bona di Savoia, and this wedding marked the beginning of the Savoy influence. A terrible plague in the years 1629 and 1630 stormed the area, already decimated by a famine in the two previous years. When the plague was over, there was a gradual rise in population and improvements in the agricultural techniques. Finally the Spanish domination ended in 1706, when the area came under Austrian control, to pass finally under the Savoy in 1734.

The new rulers introduced administrative and social reforms, which paved the way to the more important agricultural reform of the 1850's under the influence of the wise minister and entrepreneur Camillo Benso Count of Cavour (1810-61), one of the greatest political figures in Italian history.

Cavour ordered the construction of canals in the plain of Novara, and introduced the reforms and projects that he had already successfully tried on his own lands, and developed the cultivation of rice, of which the province is one of the major rice producers.

Province of Novara

The Comuni in the Province of Novara

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