Vercelli, located in the east of Piedmont, on the right bank of the river Sesia, sees the first settlement by Ligurian tribes in the Bronze Age (2000 BC), then the Celts in the fifth century BC and Romans from 222 B.C. Few news about the medieval period, from the sixth to the eighth century under the Lombards, then under the dominion of the Franks during which became a County and was administered by his bishops. Then the alliance with Milan and the participation in the Lombard League. In the thirteenth century gradually became established municipal regime that gave way to the most prosperous period in the entire history of the city. In 1243, the commune promoted the establishment of the first university studies in Piedmont and on 10 July of the same year Vercelli was the first city in the whole peninsula to abolish serfdom. In the contemporary age, after the restoration of the Savoy state in 1814, the Vercelli participated in the uprisings of liberal revolt of 1821 and the struggles of the Risorgimento. In the first thirty years of the 800 were built the Civic Theatre, Piazza Torino and the important Jewish Synagogue, designed by the architect Giuseppe Locarni and characterized by a special two-tone facade bands in sandstone. In the same period was redesigned and placed Porta Milano. In the last century, agriculture, resource-bearing land was transformed thanks to mechanization allowing further development of the area.
Vercelli, after Turin and together with Asti is one of the major art cities of Piedmont as the guardian of a rich artistic and architectural heritage, despite the presence of some heavy changes in the post-war period, churches, towers, squares and palaces characterize the center the medieval Old Town of the city. The imposing neo-classical cathedral in the desired ‘300 by St. Eusebius, the first bishop of Vercelli and of Piemonte, the Basilica of St. Andrew and St. Christopher’s Church are very important examples of sacred architecture. Vercelli is also home to a significant Jewish community, a city life already documented in 1446 and reaching its peak in 1848, when the number of its members reach 600 members. Vercelli is a stop on the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage journey to Rome, as reflected by a mention of Vercelli in 990 in the description of the route of Sigerico.
Always been an important agricultural and commercial center, specifically for the rice trade in the whole of Europe, which earned her the title of “European capital of rice,” Vercelli is home to the Experimental Station of Rice Growing and Rice Equity Exchange, the most important in Italy. In addition to the rice market, agriculture, food and wine, in Vercelli are mechanical, textile, chemical and food industries. This ancient tradition is also the craftsmanship of silver.