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Vercelli & surroundings

The province of Vercelli is surrounded by the entire course of the Sesia river from the spring on Monte Rosa to the Po river.
An extraordinary variety of natural environments, as well as very interesting historical and artistic monuments.
Kilometre after kilometre of rice fields on the plains make the land even more fascinating as the seasons change.
Winter is dominated by dark colours, spring is the moment of reawakening and the water that starts filling the rice fields turns them into an oversized mirror; summer reflects the green of the rice plants growing, and in autumn, the rice ready to be harvested turns gold.

The work on the rice fields today is entirely mechanized, but the memories of manual labour –  featured in Giuseppe De Santis’ the unforgettable film “Riso Amaro” in 1949 – are still alive. The film was nearly entirely shot on location in the Vercelli countryside, and specifically at a farm house Veneria di Lignana. Actress Silvana Mangano played a rice weeder.

After the plains come the hills where Gattinara and Bramaterra wines are produced.

The Sesia valley – dubbed the “greenest valley in Italy” – attracts thousands of canoe and kayak enthusiasts every year, trekkers and hikers in the warmer months and skiers to the resorts at the foot of Monte Rosa in winter.

Art and culture buffs will enjoy the Sacro Monte in Varallo, the most ancient Sacro Monte in northern Italy and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The compound includes fifty or so chapels depicting the passion and death of Christ. There are paintings and life-sized statues by great artists, like Gaudenzio Ferrari and Tanzio da Varallo.

Another interesting destination is the Walser Museum in Alagna Valsesia which tells the history and culture of the Walser people who, between the 13th and 14th centuries, moved from Switzerland to colonize this valley.

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