A treasure chest of art on the ancient Via Francigena

Vercelli is a city with truly ancient origins, probably Celtic. It was an important Roman municipality in the 1st century B.C. and then  became the first episcopate in Piedmont, a Lombard dukedom, and a flourishing free town in the thirteenth century after participating in the Lombard league against Barbarossa. It is not surprising, therefore, that numerous signs of such achievements and its incredible history can be found in its urban fabric. 
Its richness is, above all, owed to its strategic position which, in the past, made it a mandatory stopping point since it is crossed by a stretch of the Via Francigena. The name "Francigena” was given to a route that was used to put cities on the Italian peninsular into contact with the world beyond the Alps: "Francigena” identified, in fact, a path that came from France. The 43rd stage of the itinerary that Sigerico, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described in his return journey from Rome. Vercelli is, indeed, a fortuitous stop to retrace the steps of pilgrims who crossed Europe in the Middle Ages to pay homage to the tomb of Peter, the apostle. The same Vercelli, enclosed in a radius of 500 metres, is a little chest of art treasures, to be discovered on foot by losing yourselves in the paved alleyways overlooked by historic palaces and houses. This city's cultural vocation is also clear from the number and the quality of the museums that it has, from the “Francesco Borgogna” museum that stands out for the richness of its eight hundred items including furniture, paintings and sculptures, to the eclectic collection of the “Camillo Leone” museum, passing to the ultra-modern “Arca” exhibition centre built in glass and steel, in the central nave of the Chiesa di San Marco which today plays host to some important temporary exhibitions.

Products of excellence from Vercelli

Pratical guide VERCELLI