Varallo Sesia

Varallo Sesia

Varallo (Piedmontese: Varal), commonly known as Varallo Sesia, is a comune and town of c. 7,400 inhabitants in the province of Vercelli in the Piedmont region of Italy. It is situated in Valsesia, at 450 m above sea-level and some 66 km north-north-west of Vercelli.

Once called Varade, it is divided in two boroughs (Varallo Vecchia and Varallo Nuova) by the Mastallone stream.

In 1971 Varallo was awarded the Golden Medal for Military Value for the deeds of its population against the German occupation in the late states of World War II.

Main sights

The churches of San Gaudenzio, Santa Maria delle Grazie, and Santa Maria di Loreto, all contain works by Gaudenzio Ferrari, who was born in the neighboring Valduggia.

Museums and galleries include the Pinacoteca Civica (the David and Goliath pictured is by Tanzio da Varallo who was born in the frazione Riale), the Museo Comola in the frazione Camasco, the Museo Scaglia and the Museo di Storia Naturale Calderini.

150 m above the town the Sacro Monte di Varallo is one of the most famous Piedmontese pilgrimage sites, and the oldest of the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy which were inscribed by UNESCO in the World Heritage List in 2003. The environs are comprised by winding paths leading past forty-five chapel-like enclosures containing groups of life-size painted terra-cotta figures with backgrounds in fresco (by Gaudenzio Ferrari and others). The tableux represent scenes from mainly from the life of Jesus. The array was initiated by a Franciscan, Bernardino Caimi, who aimed to reproduce locally images of the passion as a goal of pilgrims. The main pilgrimage church was built by Pellegrino Tibaldi after 1578. In the works mentioned Ferrari's whole development may be traced.

In the frazione of Arboerio are the old church of SS. Quirico and Giulitta, with a 17th century polyptych and an altar of the Madonna del Rosario, and the Villa Eremo.


External links

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