Prato Sesia is a municipality in the province of Novara, bordering the territory of Vercelli, located on the left bank of the river Sesia, not far from Romagnano. It is located in a peculiar position: between the province of Novara and the mouth of Val Sesia, with lands that do not feature the plains of first area or the mountain characteristics of the second. The town is divided into three districts (Prato Vecchio, Prato Nuovo e Gabbio) and enjoys a privileged location from which it is possible to admire the Monte Rosa. It is known for being the birthplace of the notorious Fra Dolcino, heretic, bandit and preacher, quoted by Dante in his Divine Comedy, and of Giacomo Antonini, a heroic fighter in the army of Napoleon, who received the French Legion of Honor.
The territory was inhabited by the Romans, as evidenced by the discovery of amphorae and coins in the district of San Grato. The town was quoted in a historical document for the first time in 1014. It was for centuries a district of Romagnano and only at the end of the XVI and early XVII century it started to obtain its own autonomy. During the XX century the town submitted a progressive destination transformation from agricultural to industrial. During the Second World War it was the scene of the partisan resistance against the Nazi-Fascist forces.
Not to miss:
- the Parish church of St Bernard of Menton, already named in historical documents of the XIV century. It features three naves bounded by granite columns, six marble altars in Baroque style, including the altar of St. Joseph with a wooden altarpiece depicting the Nativity, by Renolfi dating from the period between 1590 and 1632. The chapel on the right, entitled to the Rosary, is frescoed with paintings of the artist Grassi, which date back to 1713, the chapel on the left, dedicated to Santa Marta, is embellished with bas-reliefs of the late XVIII century and finally the chapel of the Crucifix, erected in 1872 to preserve an old crucifix and paintings of the XVIII century, only recently restored. The Bell Tower was rebuilt in 1724 in place of the original one.
- the Chapel of St. Mark decorated with XVIII century frescoes.
- the Oratory of St. Charles.
- the Oratory of the Madonna della Neve in Baraggiotta, consecrated in 1714.
- the Oratory of the Blessed Virgin of the Oak of 1646.
- the Church of San Sebastiano, built in 1730.
- the Church of Our Lady of the Oak in Prato Vecchio.
- the Tower dating from the XI and XIII century.