Rivoli, Province of Torino, Piedmont

The town is situated along the "Corso Francia", a 15 km long avenue from Torino, sided by fine liberty palaces, in a strategic position between the plain area of the Po and the mountain areas of the Alps. It is the third most populated municipality in the province of Turin and the seventh in Piedmont for numbers of residents, surpassing also province capitals in the region.


  • Altitude: 390 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 50,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 10098
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 011
  • Patron Saint: Madonna della Stella, celebrated on the 3rd Monday in September
  • Frazioni & Localities: Bruere, Cascine Vica, Tetti Neirotti.

The Territory

The hilly territory of Rivoli is actually the eastern end of a moraine hill formed during the Riss and Mindelian glaciation (up to 355,000 years ago) around the Dora Riparia. The town rises on a very recent hill which formed around 12,000 years ago.

History - Antiquity

The name of the place comes from its high position along the banks (ripulae in Latin) of the Dora Riparia river (an important tributary of the Po). Archeological evidence show that the area was inhabited already in the Middle Neolithic period and some thousand years ago there were settlements of the Ligurians. In the 1st century BC it was included in the Undecima Regio of the Roman Empire, with capital Augusta Taurinorum (present-day Turin), and became the starting point to Gallia. In 312 a battle was fought in the area between future emperor Constantine and his rival Massentius.

History - the Middle Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire, in 568 there was a Languebard settlement, though the main agricultural structure was largely preserved. In 726 the abbey of Novalesa was founded, and in 773 the Franks defeated the Languebards and assigned Rivoli to the Arduinici family, who soon entered a long conflict with the bishops of Turin, until in 996 bishop Amizone obtained the control of Rivoli.

In 1247 the center came under the control of the Savoy family, who surrounded the town with walls and developed the surrounding countryside with farming, cereals and vineyards, which were greatly helped by the excavation of the canal called Bealera di Rivoli in 1310. Amedeo VI Savoy (1334-1383), called the "Green Count", stayed for long periods in the castle of Rivoli.

History - Modern Times

In the following centuries a number of disasters hit the town: invasion of the French armies, two plagues in 1563 and 1629, the battles of the years 1690-96 of the Spanish War of Succession.

In the 18th century Rivoli was directly connected to Turin with the construction of the Via di Francia, and in 1871 a railway track, the Ferrovia Economica Colli, was established. In the 20th century there was a massive increase in the population also with great number of immigrants from other Italian regions.

What to see

  • The old Medieval Center, with the 14th century Casa del Conte Verde with a red brick facade and the ancient townhall.
  • The Castle of Rivoli, originally built in the 11th century them in the 16th transformed by the Savoy into majestic countryside residence. Famous architects worked to the project, among the Francesco Paciotto, Ascanio Vitozzi, Carlo and Amedeo Castellamonte. In recent times the castle was renovated again and presently hosts the Museo dell'Arte Contemporanea.
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Provinces of Piedmont
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