From the Parco delle Lame del Sesia to the Territory of the Baraggia
Typology: Art and culture
Period advised: Spring – Fall/Autumn
Length: 1 or 2 days
If you want to understand the richness of the Vercelli territory, then you cannot miss the area between the Parco delle Lame del Sesia in Albano Vercellese and the territories of the Baraggia which dominated by Buronzo.
About20 minutes from Vercelli, in the area of Albano Vercellese is the Parco Naturale delle Lame del Sesia which stretches for 8 km along the banks of the Sesia River. It's an extremely important nature reserve with over 500 species of plants, whereas there are only 140 are winged-species.
Before getting to Albano, we recommend you take a small detour to Quinto Vercellese, home of one of the most important noble families in the area, the Avogadro Family. Something to consider, the Castle of Avogadro (XII-XIV century), recently restored (and currently), is open only during events. The Parish Church of Saints Nazario and Celso, a small jewel of the X century with its frescoes, was partly rebuilt in the Gothic period and shouldn't be overlooked.
From Albano, leave the main road and in about a 10-min drive, you'll reach Balocco, the ancient settlement of great importance from the X century, where you should admire not only the outside of the Castlebut you should also stop at the ancient Church of San Michele Arcangelo, a splendid Romanesque building from the XI century which houses a triptych attributed to the workshop of the famous painter, Giovenone.
Following along for another 5 minutes, on the other side of Balocco you'll arrive at the borders of the so-called "Terre di Baraggia."The Baraggia is the territory of the upper Vercelli plain consisting primarily of plateaus of glacial origin, which have now been grouped and protected inside the Riserva Naturale Orientata delle Baragge. The numerous trails and dirt roads, accessible by horseback, on foot or by mountain bike, offer visitors many possibilities of discovering the ecosystem of the area.
In the middle of the Baraggia territory is the town of Buronzo, dominating the surrounding territory thanks to its Castle, where you can enjoy an incredible view of the neighboring Baragge from its open gallery. With its ancient foundation, the Castle is still a splendid example of consortium castle whose lords over the centuries have ranged from the vicissitudes of famous people such as Federico Barbarossa and Amedeo VI of Savoy. Not to be forgotten is the San Abbondio Parish Church, which was already mentioned in the XIII century and rebuilt in 1703; inside you'll find a piece from the school of Giovenone.