Bra Things to Do

  • Unesco World Heritage list
    Unesco World Heritage list
    by JLBG
  • Piazza Vittorio-Emmanuele, Pollenzo
    Piazza Vittorio-Emmanuele, Pollenzo
    by JLBG
  • Where is the amphitheater ?
    Where is the amphitheater ?
    by JLBG

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    What is that ?

    by JLBG Written Jan 7, 2009

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    What is that ?

    This structure stands on the outskirts of Santa Vittoria d’Alba, 6 km from Bra, 8 km from Alba, 3 km from Pollenzo. It is in the middle of a grass plot enclosed by a neat fence. As the grid was open, I walked into it to have a closer look. The structure seems to date back from the ancient Romans. On a circular basement 1.50 meters high, stand four quarter of a circle walls, facing the outside and each of them might have displayed a statue. The four cardinal points ? I found no clues about it, no where! I have never seen any structure looking alike but I am not a specialist of Roman antiquity! Anybody knows?

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    University of Gastronomic Sciences

    by JLBG Written Jan 7, 2009

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    University of Gastronomic Sciences
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    The main building of the Neo-Gothic farming complex built by Charles-Albert is an imposing square building that was bought and restored in 1999 by Agenzia di Pollenzo S.p.A.

    Pollenzo is now the seat of the University of Gastronomic Sciences and of several gastronomy-related activities such as the restaurant Guido, the Wine Bank and the seat of the Slow Food movement.

    For more, visit Pollenzo’s Agency web site.

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    Neo-Gothic Chiesa di san Vittore, Pollenzo

    by JLBG Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Neo-Gothic Chiesa di san Vittore, Pollenzo

    Chiesa di san Vittore (Saint Victor Church) was built in a Neo-Gothic style by architect Ernesto Melano. In the church, Carlo Bellosio painted the Martyrdom of Saint Victor. The delicately carved choir was borrowed from the Abbey of Staffarda where it was carved between 1520 and 1530 by an unnamed French artist (from Savoie ?).

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    Piazza Vittorio-Emmanuele, Pollenzo

    by JLBG Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    Piazza Vittorio-Emmanuele, Pollenzo
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    During the Middle Ages, the antique Pollentia was almost entirely destroyed and deserted. From 1762, Pollenzo belonged to the estates of the Dukes of Savoie. They were the first to be interested in unearthing the remains of the Ancient Romans past of Pollentia. Besides that, in 1832 king Charles-Albert of Savoie-Carignan began to rebuild the city and the ruined Middle Ages castle. Moreover, he started to build a modern farm as an example for the agricultural development of Piedmont.

    In the center of Piazza Vittorio-Emmanuele stands a plain fountain but its frame is amazing. On the north eastern side stands Neo-Gothic Chiesa di san Vittore.
    On the south western side, the Neo-Gothic buildings of the Banca del vino (see other tip).
    On the North western side the luxurious Neo-Gothic tower shown on the photos.
    The whole is really impressive !

    For more on Pollenzo, visit their web site entitled "Pollenzo, a Roma city for a Romantic Royal Stay"

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    A glimpse at the ancient structure

    by JLBG Written Jan 7, 2009

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    A glimpse at the ancient structure

    Inside the house, the ancient structures can be seen and sometimes have been put on display but all houses are private and I had not the opportunity to visit any.

    Outside, very little of the ancient structures can be seen as they have so intimately used for housing and « swallowed » by the houses. Occasionally, when a basement neds some cosmetic repair, a part of the ancient walls can be seen, as here.

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    Where is the outer wall of the amphitheater ?

    by JLBG Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Where is the outer wall of the amphitheater ?
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    Houses around the gardens are amazingly arranged in a wide circle. The street follows the circle of the amphitheater and the houses on the left used the outer wall of the amphitheater as their basement while those on the right used the uppers rows of seats as their basement.

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    Where is the amphitheater ?

    by JLBG Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Where is the amphitheater ?

    The ancient town of Pollentia on the left bank of the Tanaro is known today as Pollenzo. In the antiquity Pollentia stood at a cross road of military importance: on the road from Augusta Taurinorum (modern Turin) to the coast at Vada Sabatia (modern Vado Ligure, near Savona), at the point of divergence of a road to Hasta (modern Asti). It was after the Battle of Pollentia, in 403, that Alaric and the Goths decided to leave Italy.

    Modern Pollenzo has considerable remains of ancient buildings, including an amphitheater, a theater and a temple. However, when you visit the village without warning, I bet you will not find it, even if you are inside the amphitheater!

    Here we are! The photo was taken in the amphitheater! Along the centuries, it has become inhabited. The rows of seats are now gardens. On the photo, the gardens have a gentle slope because that was the rows, amazing, isn’t it!

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    Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

    by JLBG Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    Unesco World Heritage list

    The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy have been inscribed in 1967 on the Unesco World Heritage list with the following comment (quote):

    When Emmanuel-Philibert, Duke of Savoy, moved his capital to Turin in 1562, he began a vast series of building projects (continued by his successors) to demonstrate the power of the ruling house. This outstanding complex of buildings, designed and embellished by the leading architects and artists of the time, radiates out into the surrounding countryside from the Royal Palace in the 'Command Area' of Turin to include many country residences and hunting lodges.

    The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (i), (ii), (iv) and (v), considering that the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in and around Turin represent a comprehensive overview of European monumental architecture in the 17th and 18th centuries, using style, dimensions, and space to illustrate in an exceptional way the prevailing doctrine of absolute monarchy in material terms.

    Here are the properties listed by the UNESCO under “ Residences of the Royal House of Savoy”:
    * Palazzo Reale di Torino
    * Palazzo Carignano, Torino
    * Villa della Regina, Torino
    * Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, Nichelino
    * Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja
    * Castello del Valentino, Torino
    * Castello di Moncalieri
    * Borgo Castello nel parco de La Mandria, Venaria Reale
    * Reggia di Venaria Reale
    * Castello di Rivoli
    * Castello Reale di Racconigi
    * Castello di Pollenzo, Bra
    * Castello ducale di Agliè
    * Castello di Govone
    * Reggia di Valcasotto

    In the following tips, I will present Castello di Pollenzo, Bra (Castle of Pollenzo in Bra). Though Pollenzo is 6 km out of Bra, it is not a commune of its own but a fraction (« frazzione ») of Bra. It is not a location in Vt location database.

    1 Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
    1 DSC_4237.JPG.jpg

    The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy have been inscribed in 1967 on the Unesco World Heritage list with the following comment (quote):

    When Emmanuel-Philibert, Duke of Savoy, moved his capital to Turin in 1562, he began a vast series of building projects (continued by his successors) to demonstrate the power of the ruling house. This outstanding complex of buildings, designed and embellished by the leading architects and artists of the time, radiates out into the surrounding countryside from the Royal Palace in the 'Command Area' of Turin to include many country residences and hunting lodges.

    The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (i), (ii), (iv) and (v), considering that the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in and around Turin represent a comprehensive overview of European monumental architecture in the 17th and 18th centuries, using style, dimensions, and space to illustrate in an exceptional way the prevailing doctrine of absolute monarchy in material terms.

    Here are the properties listed by the UNESCO under “ Residences of the Royal House of Savoy”:
    * Palazzo Reale di Torino
    * Palazzo Carignano, Torino
    * Villa della Regina, Torino
    * Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, Nichelino
    * Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja
    * Castello del Valentino, Torino
    * Castello di Moncalieri
    * Borgo Castello nel parco de La Mandria, Venaria Reale
    * Reggia di Venaria Reale
    * Castello di Rivoli
    * Castello Reale di Racconigi
    * Castello di Pollenzo, Bra
    * Castello ducale di Agliè
    * Castello di Govone
    * Reggia di Valcasotto

    In the following tips, I will present Castello di Pollenzo, Bra (Castle of Pollenzo in Bra). Though Pollenzo is 6 km out of Bra, it is not a commune of its own but a fraction (« frazzione ») of Bra. It is not a location in Vt location database.

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    Chiesa DOM et San Antonino Mart.

    by JLBG Written Nov 21, 2005

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    Chiesa DOM et San Antonino Mart.
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    Another church in the same street bears the inscription “DOM et San Antonino Mart.” (Saint Anthony martyr). I have not found any information on this church. It seems to be also in a baroque style but I do not know when it was built.

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    Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli o dei Frati

    by JLBG Written Nov 21, 2005

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    Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli o dei Frati

    Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli o dei Frati (Church Saint Mary of the Angels or of the brothers) stands on Piazza XX Settembre (XX September Square). It is a baroque church with a curved front, built in 1742 in bricks. The architect was Bernardo Antonio Vittone.

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    Chiesa Santa Chiara, the dome

    by JLBG Written Nov 21, 2005

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    I came back to see if from the right of the church the dome was better seen. It shows a little more, but not much. There were grids that did not allow to walk around the church and get closer to the dome. I suppose that if you have enough time (we had not), you can walk to some place with a better view on the dome but it seemed to be quite a long way ! Too bad, Bra has not much architecture and the best part is half hidden !

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    Chiesa Santa Chiara

    by JLBG Written Nov 21, 2005

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    Chiesa Santa Chiara
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    Chiesa Santa Chiara stands on Via Barbacana (Barbacana Street), at the crossing with Via Craveri (Craveri Street). It is a Rococo church built on a project from the architect Antonio Vittone between 1742 and 1748 with an aerial dome. It is the most beautiful piece of religious architecture in Bra. At first, from the street, you see only the front of the church (first photo).

    However, if you walk a little further on the left (second photo), you will have a glimpse on the dome but you cannot see more.

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