The Battle of Novara, AD 1849
Battaglia della Bicocca, AD 1849
Borgolavezzaro, Novara (Piedmont region)
A step back in time to relive a great battle reenactment on an historical battlefield that turns into an amazing living museum in which people and objects of the past become real, alive, to let the visitors experience the atmosphere, colours and flavours of the epic 19th century Italian Risorgimento, as well as the beauty and elegance of a noble Piedomontese city...
Geographical, cultural and historical context
The event takes place in Novara, a charming city located on a plain with rice paddies between the rivers Sesia and Ticino, about 100km from Torino and and 50km from Milan, in Piemonte region along the border with Lombardia. Novara is historically known as the “city of Risorgimento” (the 19th century Italian unification movement), and is famous for the great battle fought there on March 23rd, 1849, between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia during the First Italian War of Independence (1848-1849). The Piedmontese army of about 90,000 men under command of the King Carlo Alberto of Savoy faced an Austrian army of 70,000 men led by Marshal Josef Radetzky (1766-1858, a Czech nobleman and famous general). The battle, which is also known as the Battle of Bicocca from the name of the southeastern borough of Novara where the bloodiest clashes occurred, ended with a great number of casualties and the defeat of the Piedmontese army.
Event description and programme
Every year in spring Novara commemorates that dramatic event through a great historical event featuring several historical and cultural events, and hundreds of reenactors from all over Europe with artillery, cavalry and infantry units in faithful Piedmontese and Austrian uniforms, as well as camp followers and other civilians in 19thcentury clothes. The rich programme includes leisure and educational activities for adults and children, historical cuisine, theatre and dance shows, music concerts, conferences and lectures, exhibitions, guided tours at the historical camps, displays of ancient arts & crafts, religious and memorial services. Headline of the event is of course the reenactment of the Battle of Novara, which is held just on the very ground where the main clashes took place, near the farmhouse Borioli, and is actually, by size and numbers, the greatest Risorgimento battle reenactment in Italy.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Novara City Council
Address: Via Rosselli, 1 - 28100 Novara, Italy
Tel.: +39 0321 3701 - Fax: +39 0321 3702207
Novara Tourism Office / APT di Novara
Address: Baluardo Quintino Sella, 40 - 28100 Novara, Italy
Tel: +39 0321 394059 - Fax: +39 0321 631063
Associazione Amici del Parco della Battaglia
Gruppo Storico “23 Marzo 1849”
Tel: +39 0321 453889 Paolo Cirri
Image: Associazione Amici del Parco della Battaglia
Text sources: Wikipedia, Associazione Amici del Parco della Battaglia, Novara City Council, Encyclopaedia Britannica
Novara on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event:
The Battles of the Italian Risorgimento by Rievocando
Exploring Novara and its beautiful territory: