The Ecomuseum of the Water Lands

The Ecomuseum of the Water Lands

Curiosity and charm: these two terms can perfectly summarise an experience in contact with the paddy field. An ancient plantation the roots of which date back to the bronze age but which has succeeded in evolving, remaining one of the area's strong points even now. Obviously there had to be a reason why Sebastiano Vassalli chose to write about the Vercelli paddy fields and De Santis decided to devote a film to them, the Italian title of which was Riso Amaro… The Vercelli plane retains a cultural, environmental and human heritage of considerable value, worthy of recognition at domestic and international level for its unique characteristics.

Recovering tradition; handing down a culture, a civilisation and distant, but strongly rooted memories; exploiting the tourist, environmental and historical-cultural aspects of a territory which has been humanised while succeeding in maintaining its own peculiar naturalistic characteristics; interpreting the Vercelli plain, seeing it from a different viewpoint, and learning to pay attention to the things it can tell us through evidence that has survived so many centuries of history.

The Ecomuseum of the Water Lands was set up with the desire to achieve these aims. It is the biggest and most complex of Piedmont's Ecomuseums, careful to promote and exploit the paddy fields, revealing the aspects related to the evolution of the landscape over the centuries and the inevitable repercussions on society, the economy and even the lives of the men who lived in close contact with this reality, in a historical period in which the land was still one of man's most valuable assets.

The aim of the Ecomuseum is to reveal aspects which aren't immediately visible, to strengthen the link, indissoluble despite all, between man and the surrounding territory, to promote continuity with the past, to disseminate knowledge of the complexities and multi-faceted personality of the territory.

Currently the exhibition centres that make up the Ecomuseum are:

  • Lame del Sesia Nature Park at Albano Vercellese (open to the public)

  • Special Nature Reserves della Garzaie of Carisio and Villarboit (open to the public)

  • Special Nature Reserve Isolone of Oldenico (open to the public)

  • Special Nature Reserve Fontana Gigante near Tricerro (open to the public)

  • Nature Park Bosco delle Sorti della Partecipanza near Trino Vercellese (open to the public)

  • the stretch between Vercelli and Alessandria of the Po River Park and Palazzo Mossi, headquarters of the Centre for the Interpretation of the Landscapes of the River Po (open to the public),

  • Mill of the Boscherina at Borgo d'Ale (can only be seen from the outside)

  • Experimental Hydrometrics Station at Santhià (the indoor tanks and building can only be seen from the outside)

  • Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Vigne near Trino Vercellese (can only be seen from outside)

  • Lucedio Grange (Principality of Lucedio is open to the public, entry ticket necessary; the bell tower is open to the public free of charge)

  • Rice Museum of the Boraso Farm at Vercelli (can only be seen from outside)

  • C.R.A. Research Unit for Cultivation of Rice located beside the Boraso Farm at Vercelli (open to the public)

  • Historical mill of Saint John at Fontanetto Po (open to the public, entry ticket necessary)

  • Historical headquarters of the Association for Irrigation Western Sesia - technical secretary of the Ecomuseum of the Terre d'Acqua at Vercelli (open to the public)

  • Entrance to the Cavour Canal (open to the public)

  • Entrance to the Depretis Canal (open to the public)


For information: The Ecomuseum of the Water Lands -- Ufficio Turismo Provincia di Vercelli: Ph. 0039 0161 5901