Situated on the outskirts of Turin, which is connected by Corso Francia (the old “way of France”), the town of Rivoli has about 50,000 inhabitants, which places it as being the 4th town in the province of Turin, but even the ‘8th of Piedmont. Is located on the tip of a moraine hill formed about 355,000 years ago.
No one knows precisely when the first settlements date back, although it is possible to date the first human to Neolithic times. However, the first known people to live there were the Taurini, then some groups of ethnic Celtic until the entire area came under the Roman Empire. In late antiquity it was the turn of the Lombards, then the Franks of Charlemagne in 773, when Rivoli gains importance as the route of the famous Via Francigena used by pilgrims from northern Europe to Rome and sailings to the Holy Land. The first documents that attest with certainty the modern settlement of Rivoli is 996, when Rivoli becomes a possession of the political and economic system established by the clergy in the person of the Bishop of Turin, Amizone. Thus was born the first castle, which began to flourish under the ancient village that is today the oldest part of the town. In the twelfth century come the Savoy, who for centuries to come strengthens the position of Rivoli and enhance its prestige in 1310 is realized the “Bealera of Rivoli,” an important channel intended to irrigate the plains below, and at the same time the Count Amedeo VI of Savoy, known as the ” Conte Verde” sets at the Rivoli capital of the County and his residence in the Via Maestra.
In the eighteenth century the Savoy rely architect Filippo Juvarra the task to renovate the castle, but unfortunately the work was interrupted after the completion of the right wing (a wooden model of the entire project is kept in Turin, in Palazzo Madama). Between 1711 and 1713, the current Corso Francia was construct , 13 km long, connecting the castle with the center of Turin (Piazza Statuto) making it the longest straight way of Europe. Despite these innovations, Rivoli, however, remained a town of medieval setting, with a surrounded wall enclosing a small part of the center,and then destroyed by Napoleon’s troops which remain today the “Porta Sorsa” in the top of Via Capello, and the “Torre of the Filanda”.
The first half of the 1800 saw growing together Rivoli and Turin: along the Corso Francia and the water channels arising from “Bealera” flourished the first small and large industries, although Rivoli kept his first agricultural vocation until the end of World War II: it is at the time, accompanied by the economic boom, the industrial development that involves gradually the small towns along the CorsoFrancia, which Collegno and Grugliasco.
Today we can say that Turin and Rivoli see no territorial discontinuity to all the satellite countries. The Castle of Rivoli has been called a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art as well as a rich library. The House of Conte Verde, totally restored, retains its medieval structure and is much visited by many tourists along with Palazzo Piozzo Rosignano, built in 1788 by the notary Canova, Chancellor of the Grand Priory of the Order of Malta, which features a beautiful noble chapel , a beautiful atrium of the seventh century and a main floor with richly decorated halls. Other points of interest are the beautiful Garden Villa Colla and Villa Cane of Ussol, the current Town Hall. An important event for Rivoli, and not only, is the Fair of St. Catherine, which takes place on the fourth Monday of the month of November with the participation of a large number of traders, artisans, exhibitors of vehicles and agricultural products that come from all over Italy.