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coat of arms
Vercelli (Italy)
Country Italy
region Piedmont
province Vercelli  (VC)
Coordinates 45 ° 19 ′  N , 8 ° 25 ′  E Coordinates: 45 ° 19 ′ 0 ″  N , 8 ° 25 ′ 0 ″  E
height 130  m slm
surface 79 km²
Residents 46,558 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 589 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 13100
prefix 0161
ISTAT number 002158
Popular name Vercellesi
Patron saint Eusebius of Vercelli ( August 2nd )
Website Vercelli
Piazza Cavour in Vercelli
Piazza Cavour in Vercelli
Rice field near Vercelli

Vercelli ( Italian pronunciation ? / I , Piedmontese Vërsèj , Walser German and outdated German Wertaal ) is a town in the Italian region of Piedmont with 46,558 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019). It is the capital of the province of the same name . Audio file / audio sample  


The city lies at an altitude of 130 meters above sea level and extends over an area of ​​79 km².


Origins - antiquity

In the time of the Roman Empire the city was called Vercellae . Already in the 10th century BC There was a Celtic settlement. South of today's city, Gaius Marius won the battle of Vercellae against the Cimbri in 101 BC. BC on the Raudian fields. The city was fortified at the beginning of the imperial era. In late antiquity, the city was significant due to its size and the most important center of the Nicene people in northern Italy.

middle Ages

The Vercelli diocese was established early on . The first bishop was the legendary Eusebius of Vercelli . In the Middle Ages, Vercelli was an important bishop's seat due to its strategic location in the run-up to an important Alpine pass. During the time of the Lombards , V. was the seat of a duke and had the right to mint gold coins. In the 10th and 11th centuries, the bishops Atto von Vercelli and Leo von Vercelli were able to further expand the power of their city through royal privileges and successfully defend it against various attacks by their opponents (under the leadership of the Marquis Arduin of Ivrea ). Power struggles within the clergy in the second half of the 11th century weakened the position of the church in the city. In the middle of the 12th century, Vercelli was transformed into an independent republic that was involved in the Lombardy League of Cities. The first university in Piedmont was built in Vercelli in 1228. Power struggles within the urban factions ended the city's heyday in the second half of the 13th century. In the 14th century, the city was under the power of the Visconti family , but they finally had to cede them to the Duchy of Savoy in 1427 .

Modern times

Vercelli is considered to be the largest handling point for rice in Europe. This is also where the Istituto Sperimentale di Risicoltura di Vercelli had its seat, which for about 50 years from 1912 to 1952 described the peculiarity of the baraggia and the rice grown there in the journal Giornale di Risicoltura every month . In 1952 this journal was replaced by the publication Il Riso , published by the Italian Rice Authority ( Ente Nazionale Risi ). There is a famous women's prison in Vercelli. In 2015 Pier Giuseppe Dellavalle tried to found a state of its own called Dellavalle due to a dispute with the municipality in the municipality .


In Vercelli to the highway junction A26 and A4 , on the Turin , Milan and Alessandria are within easy reach. Various country roads connect Vercelli with the towns in the vicinity. Vercelli is on the Turin-Milan , Vercelli-Pavia and Vercelli-Valenza railway lines . The city has a small airfield for general aviation . The nearest commercial airports are Turin and Milan-Malpensa .

coat of arms

Blazon : "A continuous red bar cross in silver."

The large city coat of arms shows above the shield a golden wall crown, inside red, made of a two-story wall and five three-pinned conical round towers, each with a black portal and two black windows on top of each other, on the right by a laurel branch, on the left by an oak branch in natural colors, both with one Ribbon tied together in the Italian national colors and covered with a silver currency ribbon; then the motto : "POTIUS MORI QUAM FOEDARI" ("Better to die than be dishonored").


Basilica di Sant'Andrea
Piazza Cavour with the Angel Tower
  • The Basilica di Sant'Andrea , around 1224, is the most important work of the Romanesque-Gothic transitional style in northern Italy. The building is Romanesque on the outside and early Gothic on the inside. The foundation stone was laid on February 12, 1219, and the church was completed in 1227. The municipality owes this speed of construction to its high financial resources. The builder is unknown. It is one of the first Gothic room concepts on Italian soil. Cloister: The crochet capitals are from the 13th century; the round arches and vaults were replaced in Renaissance forms at the beginning of the 16th century. The free-standing campanile dates from the 15th century.
  • The Duomo S. Eusebio dates from around 1572. The vestibule is classical. Nothing left of the Romanesque building.
  • The Piazza Cavour houses a monument to the architect of the national unification of Italy in 1861, the then Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, Count Camillo Benso von Cavour . It is dominated by the medieval angel tower ( Torre dell'angelo ).


The football club Pro Vercelli won a total of seven Italian championship titles. His most famous player was, from 1930 to 1934, Silvio Piola (called "Adler von Vercelli"), the later center forward of the Squadra Azzurra during the World Cup in 1938 and the so-called "inventor of the fall retractor ".

Town twinning

Vercelli's twin towns have been Arles in Provence (France) since 1970 and Tortosa in Catalonia (Spain) since 2003 . There is a friendship treaty with the English city of Ely in the east of Cambridgeshire .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities associated with the city


  • Walter Pippke, Ida Pallhuber: Piedmont and Aosta Valley. (= DuMont art travel guide). DuMont, Cologne 1989, p. 114, fig. 14,20, color plate 29.

Web links

Commons : Vercelli  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. ^ Sergio Gilardino, I Walser e la loro lingua dal grande nord alle Alpi. Dizionario della lingua walser di Alagna Valsesia , Magenta, Centro Studi Zeisciu, 2008
  3. ^ Giancarlo Andenna : Vercelli . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 8, LexMA-Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-89659-908-9 , Sp. 1495-1497.
  4. Revenge on the bureaucracy: Italians successfully found their own state German economic news August 25, 2015
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