Avigliana is situated 25 km from Turin, the site of the 20th Winter Olympics in 2006. Lying in the lower valley of the Dora Riparia, at the end of the Suse Valley, the town has always held a strategic position between France and Italy.
Up until the beginning of the 15th century, it was one of the favourite residences of the Counts of Savoy, as can be seen by the ruins of the 10th century castle which dominate the town.
The Santa Maria and Conte Rosso Squares still have a medieval appearance. A scenic road leads from Avigliana to the summit of Mount Pirchiriano, where the Monastery of San Michele della Chiusa, founded in 1000, is still visible and clings like a fortress to the rocky outcrop.
The development of the rail and road network to the Frejus Tunnel, as well as the manufacture of Nobel dynamite (1872 - 1964) and the FIAT motor plant have all strongly influenced the demographic and economic growth of the town.
The natural environment of lakes and mountains and the industrial activities, with their incumbent infrastructures, do not make the task of tourism development very easy for the town council of Avigliana. Nevertheless, all of these elements are assets which are the driving force behind some ambitious projects:
- the social and environmental importance of the manufacture of Nobel dynamite justifies, without a doubt, the rehabilitation of the buildings into a museum, exhibition centre, university laboratories...;
the site, part of which will be devoted to fish-farming, is intended to be turned into a large park
- a multimodal transport hub "MOVIcentre"
- a civic education programme for children about road safety.