Vercelli 1
Vercelli 2


There are many reasons of interest that can suggest an excursion to Vercelli. First of all the pleasantness of this tidy city linked by vocation to agriculture and rice cultivation, and then the works of art it contains. The Basilica of Sant'Andrea is one of the most important and perhaps best known monuments in the city. This basilica was built starting from 1219 and completed in 1227, it is an early example of Italian Gothic architecture, inspired by Cistercian models; in fact, in this basilica merge the Romanesque tradition and the new influences of European Gothic. In the historic center of Vercelli you can admire the medieval Piazza Cavour, almost completely surrounded by ancient porticoed houses and dominated by the mass of the medieval “Torre dell'Angelo”, some ancient Renaissance and Baroque palaces, some ancient medieval tower-houses, the synagogue inaugurated in the 19th century , characterized by a particular façade with two-tone bands in sandstone, the Church of San Cristoforo, which houses some frescoes by Gaudenzio Ferrari, and the imposing cathedral in neoclassical style. Finally, noteworthy are the important artistic collections preserved in Vercelli at the Camillo Leone Museum and, above all, at the Borgogna Museum, the most important art gallery in Piedmont after that of the Galleria Sabauda in Turin. Since 9 November 2007, the former Church of San Marco, formerly a covered market, has also been used as a museum, a sophisticated exhibition space whose programming in collaboration with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of Venice focuses on the protagonists of 20th century art. Vercelli is approximately 23 kilometers from Borgo Ramezzana.

Vercelli is located in the Po Valley, north of the Po River and on the banks of the Sesia river, in a flat area full of waterways, where the cultivation of rice prevails, the main source of sustenance in the area. The city, located along an important road axis of the ancient economy leading to the San Bernardo pass, developed as an urban center starting from a pre-existing Celtic-Ligurian settlement, following the Roman occupation dating back to the first decades of the 2nd century BC. In 49 BC the people of Vercelli obtained full Roman citizenship and the center, which became a municipium, was enriched through the construction of roads, monuments, public baths, as well as the aqueduct, the theater and the amphitheater. While between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. the city continued to flourish, the following two centuries were marked by a slow but progressive degradation, coinciding with what was happening to the Roman Empire.

The advent of Christianity in the Constantinian age saw Saint Eusebius as the first bishop of Vercelli, who later became the patron saint of the first bishop of Vercelli, who later became the patron saint of the city. The Cathedral is dedicated to his memory. Between the 6th and 8th centuries, Vercelli remained under Lombard rule and subsequently passed under the leadership of the Franks. From a duchy, the city thus became a county administered by its bishops. In the 13th century, the municipal regime gradually established itself, which gave rise to the most prosperous period in the entire history of the city, during which Vercelli exercised its control over a vast territory. The advent of Christianity in the Constantinian age saw Saint Eusebius as.

 In 1219, at the behest of Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, work began on the construction of the Abbey of Sant’ Andrea; five years later the adjacent hospital was born. It was also in that period that Vercelli became home to the first university in Piedmont.

In 1335, following the fights between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the city lost its political autonomy, passing under the dominion of the Viscontis and, later, of the Savoy’s, until the Napoleonic dominion, when it became the capital of the Department of Sesia and was united to the state French.

After the restoration of the Savoy State, dating back to 1814, the people of Vercelli took part in the liberal revolts of 1821 and in the Risorgimento struggles; in this regard, Vercelli is the twenty-second among the twenty-seven cities decorated with a gold medal as meritorious for all the highly patriotic actions carried out during the Risorgimento. During the wars of independence and the two world wars, the city suffered serious damage.

Since the 1950s, Vercelli has returned to tranquility and has increasingly valorized agriculture, especially the cultivation of rice, which today represents a real wealth.

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