When you reach the old town centre, close your eyes and imagine it brimming with life and wealth at the crossroads between Turin and France.
Then open your eyes and look for the signs that history has left as a reminder of its greatness and importance. For example, just near the beautiful Piazza Conte Rosso, you will find a cannonball from the 1600s lodged in one of its oldest buildings.
Once there, as you admire the buildings, don’t be surprised if a mischievous child on a stone column makes faces at the people passing by. Along the sightseeing loop itinerary, information panels give you the history of Avigliana: its magnificent palaces, its beautiful churches, the famous Clock Tower and its gates.
The old town is dominated by the walls of the Castle (tenth century). In the Middle Ages this was the seat of the travelling court of the Savoy family. The story of Filippo d’Acaja is fascinating: he was the rebel prince of the family, confined to the castle prison. Legend has it that his spirit still wanders through the mists of the lake where he was drowned.
The intricate maze of squares and arcaded streets contains important works of art, crafts and excellent food and wine products.