Member of the Italian National Network
Chiaverano (with a population of about 2250) has been part of the cittaslow network since 2002, thanks to its unspoilt natural environment and its social and cultural make-up.
Chiaverano is inside the Morainic Amphitheatre of Ivrea, the only European morainic amphitheatre to have a closed circular form. The glacial origins have left a land rich in lakes and marshlands, morainic hills, rock outcrops, small plains and woods, a land where man and nature co-exist in relative harmony.
The village of Chiaverano lies on the easterly flank of the amphitheatre, known as the Serra morain., that stretches out for 18 kilometres. In years gone by the entire Serra was used for agriculture, and the many terraces and dry-stone walls are evidence of this. Agriculture has now been largely abondoned on the Serra and the woodland is rapidly taking its place. During the summer, when the trees are in full leaf, from a distance the Serra looks like an enormous green wall.
The territory of Chiaverano is very extensive and, apart from the village itself, includes a hamlet and a large number of isolated groups of houses that developed around suitable spots for agrictultural, forestry and trade/craft activities.
Although wide-scale agriculture has pratically disappeared, nearly every family has a garden, and there are currently about 200 productive vegetable gardens in Chiaverano. Wine-production is now enjoying renewed popularity, and many newly-planted vineyards have the traditional stone pillars (“culigne”) to support the vines.
Apart from wine, the local grape production also provides the raw material for Chiaverano's last-remaining grappa distillery, once one of many in the morainic amphitheatre. Another typical product of Chiaverano is the “tomino” cheese, produced from local milk.
The people of Chiaverano like to be involved in their community: there are currently over 20 voluntary associations dedicated, for example, to the local band and choir, the local carnival, support for disabled people, reclaiming overgrown land, local history and culinary traditions.
Chiaverano has a recently-renovated theatre, a community centre, a social centre, a library, an iron craftsmanship museum, an ecomuseum, a precious 18th century organ, and five public green areas, one of which incorporates the Xth century St Steven's church, a medieval herb garden, picnic areas and a breath-taking view of the morainic amphitheatre.
Chiaverano also has one 4-star and one 3-star hotel, several B&Bs, a number of restaurants, a beach on the shores of Lake Sirio (swimming is permitted), and lots of well-signposted public footpaths for visiting the surrounding countryside.
The nearest Slow Food representative is Ivrea (about 7 km from Chiaverano).