This used to be a medieval free trade area positioned on the right bank of the river Sesia, on the road which connects Vercelli to Valsesia. It is a small city which is, above all, famous for its fine homonymous Gattinara D.O.C.G. wine from the Nebbiolo vineyards.

The historical centre has maintained the traditional setting of the ancient village which developed around the main road and is ringed by sometimes majestic arcades.

At the north east end of the city there is the Parish of Saint Peter (XIV century), which has a lombardic-gothic style brick façade with decorations in fired ceramics. There are other noteworthy religious buildings: the Church of Saint Francis, at the entrance of the village, inside of which it is possible to admire the precious main wooden altar; the Church of Saint Martha, XV century; the Church of Saint Rosario which has important paintings from the giovenioniana school. Lastly, the second parish of Gattinara, Saint Bernard.

Amongst the noteworthy civil buildings there are the Communal Palace, the remains of Saint Lawrence Castle and the Castle towers, these are symbols of Gattinara and date back to the XI century.

Two kilometres from the village centre stands the Sanctuary of Saint Mary of Rado, this is one of the biggest churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the higher part of the Vercelli region. Among the internal fittings the baroque main altar made of polychrome marble and the fifteenth century wooden statue of a Black Madonna, protector of the community of Gattinara, are particularly interesting.

In Gattinara there are the headquarters of the Piedmont Region Stock of Vintage Wines

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