Most of the castles in the area around Novara are not well known, but not the less worthy of note. Some of them are in a relatively good state of repair whilst others are mere pictoresque ruins, having been completely abandoned to their fate. They are, on the whole, plain, unadorned and unpretentious buildings, perfectly in keeping with the simplicity of the surrounding countryside, consisting of cultivated fields and stretches of water: the rice paddies. A drive through the country looking at castles, with a stop for lunch at a typical “trattoria”, is highly to be recommended. If possible try one of the local specialites.

Figure 16 – The Castle of Galliate

One of the best one in the Novarese Province is the castle of Galliate built for Galeazzo Maria Sforza in the second half of the 15th century.

Tornaco: the ruins of the old castle and Villa Marzoni

Figure 17 – The Castle of Tornaco

In Tornaco you can see the tracks of a fortification of the 15th century. The wall ruins are visible in the Villa Marzoni Park. The castle had to contain a little army of soldiers who controlled the road connecting Novara to Vigevano. The castle was destroyed during the war between the Italian army and the English mercenary soldiers. The castle was rebuilt in the 15th century and the place became the centre of pubblic life. In the following century the castle lost importance and started its decay. Today you can enter the castle across a courtyard with arcade. The building is disposed on three floors and has several rooms. On the wall you can see the painting of famous painters.