You are in downtown Vercelli.
Search accommodations nearby.
Chiostro dell'Abbazia di Sant'Andrea
Rosetta, Ara, Ferraris, Piola… any soccer fan will tell you that some of Italy’s top goal scorers, the heroes of the national side, were born or trained here in Vercelli. The slogan “one city, one team” was never so true as in Vercelli, which hosted the first International Sports Exhibition in 1913, and now boasts one of Italy’s most important Museums of Sport.
The view over Vercelli’s wide expanse of rice fields is dramatic at any time of year, but especially in spring when the plain is flooded and transformed into a vast gleaming checker board of paddy fields, dotted with poplar trees and old stone farm houses. Central to the identity of the province is the city of Vercelli, a city of grand farming traditions, as well as deep historical and cultural roots.
The symbol of the city is the imposing abbey, the Abbazia di Sant’Andrea, a blend of Romanic and Gothic architecture. The church contains a magnificent choir with carved stalls, one of the most beautiful Chapter Houses in Italy, which was also the setting for an important historic event: the signing of the treaty for peace between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, in the presence of Emperor Arrigo VII in 1310. Other treasures to be found in the city include the Biblioteca Capitolare (Church Library), where visitors can view the “Vercelli Book”, one of the most famous manuscripts in the world, which dates back to the 10th century and is written in Anglo-Saxon. Inside the cathredral of St. Eusebio we find the largest of the four surviving Othonian crucifixes, in gold and silver leaf. Of great interest is the Museo Borgogna art gallery, second in importance in Piedmont, with a collection of paintings by Italian and foreign artists, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
The elegant mansions of the leading families of Vercelli line the streets of the old city centre, while in the Palazzo Vecchio piazza, also known as “the fish piazza” visitors should note the Broletto building and the stately Torre Comunale tower, dating back to the 12th century. But the heart of the city is Piazza Cavour, with its medieval arcades; here the people of Vercelli meet for the ritual of the evening aperitif, and here the weekly market is held. No visitor must leave Vercelli without sampling the city pastrycooks’ famous “bicciolani”: fragrant short crust biscuits flavoured with a subtle blend of spices with a keynote of cinnamon.
Date of last update: 21/12/2009
- Towns (22)
- Events in the area (9)
- Museums (5)
- NATURAL RESERVES AND PARKS (3)
- Night life (2)
- Sport and entertainment (1)
- ARCHITECTURE (9)
- EATING (7)
- THEATRES (1)
- EXCELLENCE IN HANDICRAFTS (2)
- EXHIBITIONS (1)
- Shopping (1)
- Restaurants (8)