It is a municipality in the province of Vercelli, located on the border with the territory of Novara, at the mouth of the Valsesia, on the right bank of the river Sesia. Located near the villages of Ghemme, Romagnano Sesia, Roasio and Serravalle Sesia, it is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards. It features a medieval street plan with regular features and a main street with arcades and houses with façades decorated with frescoes and sundials. It is also famous for producing wines such as Gattinara DOCG.
In the II century A.D. the Romans conquered the area by subtracting from the existing populations, large areas that were used since that time to vineyards. Gattinara was founded in 1242, at the behest of the Municipality of Vercelli, who needed a reference point against the nearby rival Novara. During the medieval ages, to avoid the barbarian invasions, the population moved up the hill and sheltered in a more fortified village. Gattinara was dominated by the Visconti in the XV century, that did not subtract from the inhabitants the independence gained. During the same century it was occupied by the Savoy that ruled here for a long period; the town was destroyed in 1524 and later rebuilt respecting the original layout. It was conquered by Napoleon's troops in 1804, that incorporated the town in the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Not to miss:
- the Tower of the Castelle, a fortification that dates back to the XI century and is the emblem of the city.
- the fortification of San Lorenzo which dates back to the XI century. Of the original building remain only the ruins and it enjoys a splendid panorama.
- the fortification of San Sebastian, dating to the XI century, today in ruins.
- the Parish Church of San Pietro, built in the V century, it was demolished in 1470 and newly rebuilt in the Gothic style with four aisles, in 1881 the building was refurbished with Neoclassical element and of the late-Gothic features remains only the brick façade. The dome was built to designs by architect Locarni of Vercelli.
- the Church of Santa Maria di Rado, dating from the IX century, it was built in Romanesque style.
- the Church of St Bernard of Menton.
- the Church of the Rosary.
- the Church of St. Joseph.
- the Church of St. Mary of Consolation.
- the Church of San Francesco.
- the Church of Santa Marta.