Vercelli - the Holy Places
Vercelli was an important transit centre for merchants crossing the Po valley but also for pilgrims who were heading for Rome. It's no surprise, then, that in its historic centre, in an itinerary just 700 metres long, you can come across masterpieces of European Christian art. The starting point is the delightful Piazza Cavour, with fifteenth-century arcades and where all the main streets converge. Along the via Galileo Ferraris, you reach the Basilica di Sant’Andrea, that constitutes one of the earliest and most significant examples of the transition between the Lombard-Emilian Romanesque style and the Gothic architecture from beyond the Alps whilst, a little further along, you find the Salone Dugentesco, once a "hospital” destined to welcome pilgrims and which is today at the centre of an important redevelopment project. A short distance away is the Duomo with the capitular archive and the extremely rare collection of illuminated manuscripts whilst opposite the Chiesa di San Cristoforo holds a precious cycle of frescoes done by Gaudenzio Ferrari including a Crucifixion and the Assumption.