San Germano Vercellese

This is an important centre for the production of rice and is situated along the ancient Via Francigena.

In piazza Mazzini there is the parish of Saint Germain, the building of which dates back to 1754-60. The ancient parish was destroyed to make place for the new parish, a typical example of Piedmont baroque, where the influence of neoclassical style is already obvious. The façade surface is divided into simplified geometrical compartments, so that everything is clear and systematic. In the upper part there are three mosaics: in the centre Saint Germain d’Auxerre, patron of the village; on the left the Blessed Anthony, a Dominican who was born in San Germano in1934; on the left the Blessed Guido De Spatis, a Franciscan who was born in San Germano in the XIII century.

The elliptical dome which rises from the tall façade is a work of Vittone. The interior is very harmonic and is decorated with several golden stuccoes. The main altar and the six side altars are surmounted by splendid paintings representing some saints.

On the left side of the church rises the sixteenth century church of Corpus Christi, presently used as a meeting room. In piazza Mazzini, in front of the parish, there is the house of Giuseppe Deabate (1857 – 1928), local hero: the building is an interesting nineteenth century construction with decorated stones, reminding one of a mountain house. A few steps away there is the little square entitled to Dante Alighieri, where the massive bell tower rises, one of the two towers of the ancient castle.

Once back on the road n. 11, after the farm Strella on the left, you’ll cross the village of Casciné Strà: round the year 1159 here was founded a hospital for pilgrims entitles to Saint James the apostle. The existing church of Saint James was rebuilt in 1737 on the ruins of an ancient church and of the hospital itself. One kilometre further there is a small road on the left, which leads to the hamlet Monotnero, where a very old parish stands, maybe of Benedictine origins.

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