Visit Biella: what to see and where to sleep

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Valery Aloyants
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Biella, located in the northern part of Piedmont about 80 km from Torino, is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities to visit of the region. The city has a large and important archaeological, artistic and architectural heritage, and it is one pleasant city to stay at any time of the year.

Located at the foot of the Biellese Alps, Biella is divided into three areas with three different elevation levels:


  • Biella Piano, with the pedestrian Via Italia (the main artery of the city), is the heart of the Old Town, dotted with cafes, shops and monuments.
  • Biella Piazzo, an intact medieval village in a dominant position on the hill west of the center, full of period buildings and splendid views.
  • the old industrial area along the Cervo, located east of the historic center

The city is not big and most of the tourist attractions can be view quietly on foot. To reach Biella Piazzo (the upper part of the city) you can use the funicolare which connects the two areas of the city.


What to see in Biella

The city offers numerous historical and artistic testimonies of its past, such as marvelous monuments, suggestive churches, the characteristic Romanesque architecture and interesting historical sites, as well as finds from the Roman era.

Il medieval village of Piazzo it is the most characteristic area to visit. Built on the top of a hill, it differs from the rest of the city for its very old buildings, arcades and cobbled streets.


It is still possible to see the ancient gates once used to close the village. Piazzo is also home to a beautifully restored small synagogue located at the top of a medieval house in the historic Jewish quarter.


Below Piazzo it is located Biella Piano, the rest of the city. Some good examples of Renaissance architecture can be explored in this area. Among the most important places and monuments to see: the Cathedral of Biella (St. Stephen's Cathedral) and his Campanile, the splendid Baptistery of Biella, and numerous villas and palaces, such as the Palazzo La Marmora and Gromo Losa Palace.

Do not miss the visit of these other two religious buildings: the Church and Cloister of San Sebastiano, a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture, richly frescoed inside; and the Baroque church of the Holy Trinity.

Il Museum of the Territory of Biella, recently opened, is an ideal starting point to discover the beauties of the Biella area in a single visit.

Another very interesting museum is the MeBo - Menabrea Botalla Museum, a museum that unites Casa Menabrea (the oldest brewery in Italy) and Casa Botalla (a famous cheese producer).

At 15 km from Biella it is possible to visit the La Bessa Special Nature Reserve which houses a noteworthy archaeological site, a gold mine from the Roman era.

Oropa Sanctuary

The area surrounding Biella hosts some of the most beautiful and well-known Sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Piedmont. The most famous is that of Oropa, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located 10 km from Biella, at 1.159 meters above sea level, in a picturesque valley, it is dedicated to the Black Madonna (Black Virgin of Oropa).


Il religious complex del Santuario di Oropa boasts an eighteenth-century basilica, the new Basilica, some smaller chapels and two beautiful courtyards.


During the visit of the Sanctuary, if you want, you can take a walk in the botanical garden, or visit the Museum of the Treasures of Oropa and the Royal Apartments of the Savoy.

The visit of the sanctuary is also interesting for the possibility of having fun in the new adventure Park, with routes of varying difficulty, from easy ones suitable for children to more difficult ones for adults.

Hikers can climb in funivia on Mount Mucrone at 1.900 meters above sea level, where various activities can be carried out, or you can continue the climb with the Cabinovia which leads to Monte Camino, at an altitude of 2391 meters.

Where sleeping in Biella

The two best areas to sleep are Biella Piazzo and Biella Piano, the two interesting areas to visit in the city. However, we also wanted to indicate a structure near the train station, if you arrive by car, and that of the Sanctuary of Oropa, if you want to stay in this splendid tourist destination.

Check rates and availability for accommodations and hotels in Biella

Hotel Michelangelo: near the Biella station

Hotel Michelangelo is the best choice if you want to stay near the train station. The hotel is located just 40 meters from the station and therefore is a great choice if you arrive by train in Biella.


The historic center of the city is instead located 15 minutes away on foot, but if you want you can also use public transport to get around. This 4-star hotel is one of the best facilities to stay in the city for both families with children and couples.

Check prices and availability, and book a room at the Michelangelo Hotel

Agora 'Palace Hotel: to sleep in Biella Piano

A great choice for those who want to stay within walking distance of the main pedestrian area. Located in the heart of Biella, the Agora 'Palace Hotel is a 4-star hotel with high-level services. The rooms are spacious, elegant and well equipped, with air conditioning, flat screen TV, minibar, safe and private bathroom.


In the morning a good breakfast buffet is served, while for lunch and dinner you can take advantage of the Sartoria restaurant. The hotel offers other useful services for its customers, such as free Wi-Fi and free car parking. The Agora Palace Hotel is an excellent accommodation choice for couples and for business trips.

Check availability and book a room at the Agora 'Palace Hotel

Augustus Hotel: the best hotel in the center of Biella

The Augustus Hotel is a comfortable hotel located in a good location in the city center of Biella. Not far from the hotel there is the funicular that leads to Biella Piazzo (the upper part of the city), from which you can enjoy splendid views over the city.

Check prices and availability, and book a room at the Augustus Hotel

B&B Del Piazzo: to sleep in Biella Piazzo

The Del Piazzo B&B is the ideal choice if you want to sleep in the historic center of Biella, the upper part of the city. This bed and breakfast is well looked after, with beautiful rooms offering beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. In the morning, an excellent breakfast with sweet dishes is served.

Check availability and book a room at the B&B Del Piazzo

Stay at the Sanctuary of Oropa

The Sanctuary of Oropa, located about 10 km from Biella, is one of the most interesting places and beautiful to see during a holiday or a visit to Biella. For those who want, it is also possible to sleep in one of the 300 rooms available to pilgrims and tourists.

There is also a bar and a restaurant, while a car park and the proximity to the bus stop make it easier to reach the sanctuary and a more comfortable stay.

Check prices and availability, and book a room at the Sanctuary of Oropa

 

Biella, Piedmont -
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