Bra is a lively city in the province of Cuneo, not far from Nizza Monferrato and Alba. To find a place to park your car we suggest you to go to the area next to the train station, where there are many free parking lots.
It is a city rich in history and culture and driven by the usual curiosity that distinguishes us, we will soon get lost in its internal pedestrian streets in search of peculiarities and art.
The great thing about this charming town is that every corner will surprise you. Colors, monuments or an event, Bra will conquer you as it did us.
In the center there are several signs and illustrative panels that help tourists not to miss even a glimpse, passing through all the most characteristic points.
In the pedestrian center you can visit the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli where once there were the Capuchin friars.
You will find inside a peculiarity that we personally had never seen before: part of the church is built on a rock that has remained intact over the years.
From there, if you take Piazzetta Conti Guerra del Grione (it’s the street just before the church on the left), you can go up towards the Zizzola, the most panoramic point of all Bra, and the one we are most curious about.
Continue up St. Ignatius Street always uphill, with the road becoming almost a little beaten path,
But don’t worry, you’ll soon find yourself in the highest and most residential part of town, with the Zizzola waiting for you at the top.
On top of the highest hill of Braid, Monteguglielmo, there is the characteristic octagonal building of the Zizzola. Because of its size, easily identifiable from every point of the city, it has become the symbol of Bra. The building was built in 1840 as a “villa of delights”; in 1962 it was donated to the Municipality of Bra, but until 2000 it remained abandoned. More than 150 years after its construction as a private residence, since 2015 it is possible to cross the threshold and discover its interiors, in the spectacular multimedia museum exhibition of the “House of the people of Bra“.
The values that have passed through these lands can be rediscovered in the last centuries. From the history, made of wars and difficulties, to the works and the craftsmanship that made these places famous, such as Bra sausage and Bra D.O.P. cheese, just to mention some wines!
In the gardens of the Zizzola are hosted several cultural events, including live, which are bringing it back into vogue.
On the way down, if you take via Fassola, you can also make a ring that will bring you back to the square, not forgetting the church of Santa Chiara.
But the discoveries don’t end here today in Bra, it seems almost impossible to find all of this in such a small space, but searching well and with some advice directly from a guy who showed us around the Zizzola, we discovered two incredible museums yet to visit: the Museum of Mechanical Writing and the Museum of the Bicycle. Unfortunately, it was closed today, but we would have gladly taken a tour of the Toy Museum as well! Who among us wouldn’t want to be a kid again every once in a while?
We need to take the car to get to the two museums, as they are in the most industrial part of the city, a little outside the center. In Corso Monviso, 25 there is Bra Servizi, the company that hosts these two beautiful museums.
Both museums are the result of the passion of collectors who, over time, have recovered and donated priceless works of art to the community.
The Bicycle Museum has the particularity to collect the bicycles of the trades of the past that have passed from Bra or from our country in general.
To see the bicycles of the firemen, the knife-grinder, the barber, the chimney-sweeper or the greengrocer make us understand many things of the hard work that our ancestors have done in the last century; it is so important for us not to forget this part of history that distinguishes us around the world.
The Mechanical Writing Museum, on the other hand, is the work of Domenico Scarzello, who over the years has collected incredible pieces from all over the world. We’re sure that certain typewriters are the envy of the world and Domenico has them. They are unique pieces!
In his museum you will be able to understand the real history of the machines, from the very first ones released in the United States to the most recent ones made of colored plastic.
Their evolution has led to many changes in shape, in materials, but above all in the mechanics behind it.
How not to mention Olivetti in this era of the first machines and especially I would invite every computer scientist to take a tour in here, because the story was born there, with them, then came the supercomputers.
Opening the doors of the museum our exclamation was, “WoooW”. We didn’t think there could be so many collectibles.
From the French, to the Spanish, to the Germans and ending with the Americans, who are remembered for being the creators of the first typewriter. But did you know that an Italian was actually behind the first one? Unfortunately he didn’t patent it and the idea overseas became a success.
How old do you think this machine is? Quite a few of course … and yet it is more modern than you think. Look carefully at the keys on the left, there’s an @, but back then email didn’t exist yet!!
We leave you with this last machine: the Royal of Ian Fleming, completely gold plated. Rather than commenting on it, you have to see it: the charm of writing!
Trail Type: mixed, from asphalt to dirt
Water: be equipped with water especially on hot days