Pieve Vergonte

Pieve Vergonte
Comune di Pieve Vergonte

Coat of arms
Pieve Vergonte

Location of Pieve Vergonte in Italy

Coordinates: 46°0′N 8°16′E / 46.000°N 8.267°E / 46.000; 8.267
Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Province / Metropolitan city Verbano-Cusio-Ossola (VB)
Frazioni Fomarco, Loro, Rumianca, Megolo
  Mayor Mariuccia Beccari
  Total 41.7 km2 (16.1 sq mi)
Population (30 September 2008[1])
  Total 2,680
  Density 64/km2 (170/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Pievesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 28886
Dialing code 0324

Pieve Vergonte is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 110 kilometres (68 mi) northeast of Turin and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Verbania.

Pieve Vergonte borders the following municipalities: Anzola d'Ossola, Piedimulera, Premosello-Chiovenda, Vogogna.


Vergonte parish lies in the valley of Ossola, which forms part of the high Novarese, and extends from the Lake Maggiore, where it starts from the south, to the Valais and the Switzerland which it borders from the North to the west has the Valsesia, to the east the valley of the Milanese and Lugano. It is divided into Upper and Lower.

Streams are present in the territory of Pieve Vergonte: Stream Marmazza, the most important river of Pieve Vergonte, Rio San Rocco, Rio Santa Maria, Rio Toietti, Rio della Fontana, Rio della Valletta, Rio della Vallaccia, Rio said Lanca, Rio said Rialetto, Arsa Rio, Rio del Castello, Rio della Chiesa, Rio said Inferno, Togni Rio, Rio Mot. Branchis. The river's Taverna and Rio Fornate have an outlet in the valley Anzasca. The Channel Industrial Rumianca is an important work for the production of hydroelectric energy for industrial purposes. The Lake St. Anna, in the hamlet of Loro, linked to the Fishermen Company Sant'Anna, was created in 1964 for trout fishing.

The streams listed on the register of public waters are: Rivo Inferno Valley, Rivo Megolo, Torrente Arsa, Rivo Vallaccia, Creek Marmazza, Torrente Anza.


From the Celtic tribes to the Roman Empire

The ancient peoples of this part of Italy where Pieve Vergonte rises, were known by the Romans under the name of Galli, and was by them called Gaul the region on this side of the Alps, which was later divided into Cispadana and Traspadana. With this name it indicated the closed region between the Alps and the river Po.

Among the peoples who at the time of Roman rule here excelled, were the Insubri, from which much of this region was called Insubria. Some have thought that the Celtic tribe that settled in the region that includes Pieve Vergonte was that of Agoni, to which there would have been the name of the river Agogna they so called.

The Romans fought for a century against the Gauls to subject them to their rule until the defeat of Insubri at Milan by Proconsul L.Valerio Flacco in the year 560 of Rome, 194 BC. We read in the Trophy of the Alps, as reported by Pliny In the Historia Natural (I. III. C. 20) that the people named Gauls "sub imperium populi romani redactae sunt."

About a century later, the Romans were threatened with the loss of all their conquests in Gaul by an invasion of Cimbri tribes, which together with their Teutonic allies, decided to invade Italy. Having received news, the Romans sent the consuls Mario and Catulus with a large army at the mouth of the Alps, Mario went with his army to Provence. Catulus reached the port of Verbania, marched along the Atisone river, or Toce as it is called today, and strengthened two well-fortified castles, as appears from Plutarch in the life of Mario and it may be inferred from the inspection of the site. It seems that the fortified place should stretch from the ancient Vergunto (Pieve Vergonte) and Vogogna, placed one on this side, the other beyond the Toce.

The Cimbri in fact came down on this side of the Alps, and in number so immense, that the Romans were seized with great fear so that basely abandoned the field, giving himself a headlong flight, except for a small garrison left by Catulus in the defense of those castles. But the Cimbri, crashed its resistance, and passed easily. The Cimbri moving along the valleys that put in the plain between the Sesia and the Ticino, and through the territory of Borgomanero were to line up in order of battle in the countryside of Vercelli, on this side of the Sesia. This battle was one of the bloodiest of which have left us with the memory of history. If you give credence to their stories, one hundred and forty thousand Cimbri were killed on the ground or in flight, and sixty thousand were taken prisoners. Thirty-three military insignia were taken away from them, two by the army of Mario and thirty-one from that of Catulus, gathered together. This battle took place the year of Rome 653 (101 BC), a century before Jesus Christ. Roman historians draw the scene of the battle now with the name of Fields Raudii, nowadays meadows Raudii at Casalbeltrame (V. 2 Vellejo, 12, and Floro 3,13,14 calling it Raudio field) and now with the field Candio, place a little more, and below it still retains the old name. The battle is described graphically by Giambattista Tiepolo in the framework of "The Battle of Vercellae", a work that is part of ten canvases painted to decorate Ca 'Dolfin, Venice, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The ancient road of the Simplon was drawn in the contiguous territory of Vogogna that was grown near the ruins of Vergunto destroyed in remote age and Pietrasanta destroyed by a stream flood in the 14th century. The road to the Simplon Pass was built to the east of the River Toce, which is the ancient Atisone, and bound Cardezza, Beura, Masera, Montecrestese, until crossing the Ponte Maglio, run a little along the opposite bank of the river to Crevola for then hack into the valley Deveria and take forward for Iselle to Algabio and Simplon.

The description of the road work can be found in the Roman stele of Vogogna which reads "Quia FACTA EX ....... HS XIII DCC Domitio Dextro II P. .... FUSCO COSS M VALERIO OPTATO.C.VALERIO.THALETE CURATORIBUS . OPERI.DATIS.IMPERIO.VENUSTI.CONDIANI.PROC.ALP.ATRECT.MARMOREIS CREPIDINIBUS.MUNITA" In the second line of registration we read Caius Domitian Dextro iterum, Publius Fusco Consulibus, who are the consuls of the year of Rome 948, of Christ 196 A.D.. Dextro in the long line of the Fasti he is the only console that name that has obtained the "fasci" twice. In the same year 196 burst 'the terrible civil war between Severus and Albino governor of Britain, which occupied Gaul was defeated by the legions of Severus in Lyon in the year 197 BC, the city reached according to some historians through the Simplon Pass.

5th century

In 476, when the barbaric militias, who formed the majority of the Roman army, demanded a third of the lands of Italy and received a refusal by the patrician Orestes, who ruled the empire for the small Romulus Augustus, Odoacer was acclaimed king by the rebels (August 23, 476); Orestes was killed in Piacenza (28 August), Romulus Augustus was deposed and banished with a pension in Campania, the last Roman emperors of the West. In 498, following the events surrounding the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476) and the subsequent barbarian invasions, Zeno, emperor of Byzantium and Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths created a new agreement, according to which the Ostrogoth king would reconquer Italy on behalf of the empire. Theodoric entered Italy (498) and defeated the army of Odoacer. Odoacer was killed and Theodoric was lord of Italy, including Pieve Vergonte (Vergunto). The Ostrogoths settled mainly in central and northern Italy and garrisoned forts in the Alps, to prevent new invasions.

6th century

Following the dismissal of Belisarius, General of the Roman Empire, at war for the Byzantines against the Goths; Narses, General of the Roman Empire, commanded the expedition of 551 against the Goths with the help of many Germanic mercenaries, including 2,500 Lombards warriors, future invaders of Italy. The domain of Ostrogoths in Italy, including Pieve Vergonte, was terminated as a result of military defeat of King Totila, who clashed with Narses at Busta Gallorum in Tagina (Gualdo Tadino) in July 552, was defeated and died in the escape. Authentic proof of Gothic Ossola, including Pieve Vergonte, are the closets of Greek-goths coins from Finero (Verbania Repertoire 4980), a treasure with gold coins and jewelry, meanwhile the closets of Masera (Domodossola 5010 Repertoire), are only silver and already of Lombard origin. The Lombards, led by King Alboin in 569 crossed into Italy. It tells Paul the Deacon in Historia Langobardorum "Habitaverunt autem in Pannoniam annis quadraginta duobus. De qua egressi sunt mense Aprili, per indictionem primam alio die post sanctum pascha, cuius festivitas eo anno iuxta calculi rationem ipsis Kalendis Aprilibus fuit, cum iam a Domini incarnatione anni quingenti sexaginta octo essent evoluti". In the autumn of 569 Alboino conquered Milan, where he was proclaimed king of Italy from its people (dominus Italiae), while Pavia was able to resist up to 571, when fell under Lombard rule followed by Vergunto (Pieve Vergonte). In 584, facing the real threat of an invasion of the Franks, Lombards submitted to the king Autari and his successor, Agilulf (590-616).

8th century

In 1712, Liutprand, King of the Lombards, ascended to the throne previously held by his father Ansprando. An avowed Catholic, he proved an energetic builder and restorer of churches in Pavia and Northern Italy. He is said to have restored back to Pavia, the relics of St Augustine, which were threatened in Sardinia by the Saracens. Circa 728, Liutprand founded the Monastery of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, and provided it with farmland, the Vergunto parish (Pieve Vergonte), and with the right to fish in the river Atosa (Toce), later reconfirmed by Conrad the Salic in 1033 (antiq . Italy. TI Col.596) [3]

The Longobards rule in Italy and Pieve Vergonte terminated with Desiderio, King of the Lombards, Duke of Tuscia, who replaced childless king Astolfo at his death (756), and was proclaimed his successor. He was able to ascend the throne to the intervention of Pope Stephen II. In 773, following the invasion by Charlemagne and the Franks, who had come to defend the pope, although he had (770) married the daughter of Desiderio, Ermengarde. Desiderio, King of the Lombards, was defeated at Chiuse of Susa in 773, was besieged in Pavia, until in June 774, when he gave up. Adelchi (or Adelgiso), son of Desiderio, associated to the throne, repaired in Verona, he was again defeated and fled to Constantinople.

10th century

It turns out that in the year 918 Vergunto and the neighboring lands including rights of fishing and hunting, are the property of the ancient monostatero of San Pietro in ciel d'Oro in Pavia. Which appears from several imperial diplomas that confirm previous donations made to him by the King Liutprand of the 8th century and by subsequent emperors.

The diploma that makes certainty is king Berengar, and words are these "... et silc. corroboramus, oia quesca Ecclia possidet, in Epatu Nocariae in Oxola que dr. Vergunti et misendone et in villa et in monte cristeso et in murade et in varenzasca et in baci et in devere et in finole et in antigorio et piscaria que est in Tuxa et in valensasca, seselle cum ecclia in ibi fundata in honore santa marie et...."

11th century

In the year 1004, Henry II, King of Germany from 1002, comes to Italy, where Arduino of Ivrea had himself crowned king, and force him to escape and crowns himself king of Italy in Pavia. Henry II has to return to the peninsula in 1013, and the following year, he is crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Benedict VIII in Rome. To these facts of Italy, Pieve Vergonte is quoted on July 12, 1006 in the castle of the island of San Giulio, Lake Orta, when Peter III, Bishop of Novara, grants "... Grimaldo for 29 years, half of four farms located in the territory of Anzola goods belonging to the parish church of St. Vincent de Vergonte, for the annual rent of one hundred pounds of cheese".

This is the text of the precious document, preserved in the Archive of Santa Maria of Novara(Novara, Diocesan Historical Archive, ACN, 27). In 1006 the four farms and six settlers were attributable to the parish church of Vergonte, although administered by the bishop, who according to a formula in use at the time, enjoyed the estates but catered to the needs of the church in proportion to the fruit. A strong bond already in 1006, but that was at an earlier age and joined Anzola the ancient parish church of St. Vincent de Vergonte. The six factors of the church of Vergonte (Domenico, Lupo, Martino, Dominico, Giovanni Battista and Albinus), who in 1006 worked for the four farms which made up the land of Anzola, followers probably of early settlers established by the parish church of the monastery of Vergonte, which belonged to the one of Pavia, which appears to have possessed at that time land and fisheries in other parts of the valley. The settlers lived in the agricultural and livestock products, as revealed by the fee established in cheese - a hundred pounds - to be paid every year in the days before or after the feast of Andrew (November 30): deadline postponed than that of St. Martin's (November 11), held traditionally as a term of the agricultural year.

14th century

In 1309 the Order of the Knights Templar was abolished, who had the church and hospitable at Masone, contiguous to the territory of Pietra Santa, following the destruction of Vergunto and prior to the creation of Pieve Vergonte. On, 9 February 1348, the town of Pietra Santa, is destroyed by a flood of the river Anza.

In January 1348, the Black Death first appeared in Venice and then spread to the rest of Northern Italy, January 25, 1348, an earthquake of great intensity with its epicenter in Friuli, is found throughout Italy and Germany.

15th century

In the year 1402 following the death of his father, Filippo Maria Visconti Duke of Milan, son (Milan 1392 - therein 1447), by Gian Galeazzo Visconti and Catherine, watched powerless the wreckage of the state, while Facino Cane, who already dominated the ducal court of Giovanni Maria, took possession also in the county of Pavia, which the Duke had been awarded by the Emperor Wenceslas in 1396. Filippo Maria Visconti, using the aid of famous mercenary captains like Niccolò Piccinino, Francesco Bussone said Carmagnola estasblished a strong and compact core area of Lombardy.

Filippo Maria Visconti wanted to ensure the outlets also occupying Genova with the help of Carmagnola (1421), and the valleys of Domodossola, including Pieve Vergonte, and Bellinzona, threatened by the Swiss Germans. In 1422 on the plan of Arbedo was fought a battle that saw the victory of Filippo Maria Visconti militia, commanded by Carmarthen, on the Swiss. As a result, the Swiss border returned to the Alpine watershed.

16th century

In the year 1525 following the Battle of Pavia between the army led by the King of France Francis I and the army of the Holy Roman Empire led by Charles V, the regions of Northern Italy, including the Duchy of Milan, Ossola and Pieve Vergonte were transferred to the House Habsburg.

In the year 1555 after the abdication of Charles V, the empire was divided between his son Philip II and his brother Ferdinand I. Ossola and with it Pieve Vergonte moved under the administration of the King of Spain and Spanish will remain for the next 159 years.

The Peace of Augsburg was signed on September 25, 1555 between the Emperor Charles V and the German princes, and put an end to the thirty-year religious wars in Germany. Peace enshrined the right of princes to choose according to their conscience the religious denomination, with the obligation to their subjects to adopt the same religion (cuius regio, eius religio "of those who [is] the region, he [is] the religion "). Pieve Vergonte under the rule of a Catholic king, was to remain land of the Catholic faith.

17th century

In the year 1648 was signed the Peace of Westphalia, consisting of the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, which ended the Thirty Years' War. The Treaty of Osnabrück was concluded between the Emperor, Sweden and the Protestant nations, at Münster between France and the Holy Roman Empire. In Italy, the Emperor ceded to Savoy possession of Alba, Trino and other lands of Montferrat. Pieve Vergonte, with Milan, remained under Spanish rule. Switzerland was recognized as an independent state by the Holy Roman Empire. In Germany, the Member States of the Empire gained true self-government.

18th century

Following the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) ended with the peace treaty of Utrecht (1713), and in particular the Treaty of peace Rastadt (1714), King Philip V of Spain saw himself forced to cede the Kingdom of Naples, the Kingdom of Sardinia, the state of the deans and a large part of the Duchy of Milan to Charles VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic nation and King of Hungary. The Ossola and with it Pieve Vergonte followed the political destiny of the Duchy of Milan, passing under Austrian administration.

The Duchy of Savoy led by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II acquired the kingdom of Sicily, traded in 1720 to the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Duchy of Milan. Vittorio Amedeo II ended the political goal of transformation of the peerage by the Duke to the King

Following the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) and the relevant treaty alliance of Worms(1743) and the Treaty of Treaty of Aachen (1748 Peace of Aachen) at Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 that ended the conflict, the Kingdom of Sardinia acquisition between the many territories that Ossola, including Pieve Vergonte. The King of England, the Queen of Bohemia and Hungary, Empress of the Holy Rromano Empire and the King of Sardinia, they entered into a military alliance of British initiative with the sale of territories under Austrian control to the Kingdom of Sardinia, which moved the border of Lake Maggiore and along the Ticino River to its entry into the river Po. After 29 years of the Austrian government, Pieve Vergonte fell in the administration of the House of Savoy, of which followed the destinies until its fall.

In the year 1775 Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia, which continued the reforming spirit of the father Charles Emanuel III of Sardinia who died in 1773, approved, with license 6 June 1775, the new regulations for municipalities. The community of Vogogna was considered too extensive to which the ancient City of Vogogna primitively consists of ten land was divided into six municipalities distinct and separate from each other: Vogogna Prata; Pallanzeno; Piedimulera; Cimamulera; Fomarco; Rumianca with the villages of Megolo, Loro and Pieve Vergonte.

19th century

In the year 1800 Napoleon I came in Italy and with a proclamation of October 15, formed of the high and low novarese the department of 'Agogna. With Law November 2, 1800 the Ossola depended administratively by dell'Agogna compartment which is divided into 17 districts. Vogogna, which was declared capital of the District XIV, still retained its ancient Jurisdiction and Lower Ossola Valley Anzasca with 26 municipalities including Fomarco.

The Decree of 8 June 1805 on Public Administration and the compartment area of the Kingdom of Italy, whose capital is Milan, had the scheme divided into Departments, Districts, cantons and municipalities. Pieve Vergonte, which at the time was an hamlet belonged to the municipality of Rumianca, together with the municipality of Pallanzeno, Piedimulera, Cimamulera, Anzino, Anzasca, Fomarco, Anzola, Migiandone, Ornavasso, Mergozzo, LeFrazioni Cuzzago and Premosello, was part of the Canton of Vogogna that was its capital.

Pieve Vergonte in 1847 was still an hamlet of Rumianca which had formed part of the districts of Megolo and Loro. Pieve Vergonte was still the meager surplus of the ancient village of Vergunto, who was overwhelmed by a terrible flood of the stream Marmazza around the 5th century AD. That village was replaced by the village of Pietra Santa, where justice was administered, and which was also destroyed by a flood of the river Anza, who happened to February 9, 1348.

Above the village of Megolo was a small castle, which already served the signals on the behavior of the enemy in time of the factions Ferraris Lower Ossola and Spilorcia Ossola Superior.

Rumianca was included in the Lordship of Vogogna. He was moved into a branch of family feud Borromeo, which ownned the port of boats, by which you crossed the river Toce.

In 1847, he writes that "... the little plain with agricoltural fields it is devastated by brooks Marmazza, Anza and Inferno, which descend from the precipitous mountains above, and put the head in the Toce they bring in their growths much damage to the countryside, threatening the ruin of countries where they pass and where they can greatly burdened this.... A chain of mountains behind the places of which is composed the village: the back of the same... are several chestnut and many sites wwhere there are also many tall trees, there missing are large pastures to feed cattle. The area produces Rye, cornmeal, mile, chestnut and grapes in discrete amounts, the products of the beef cattle and wooled animals is very considerable "

In 1861 the Ossola and with her Pieve Vergonte passed under the administration of the Province of Novara. Vittorio Emanuele II was proclaimed King of Italy with Torino Capital.

20th century and today

In the year 1928 were definitively abolished Fomarco and the Municipality of Rumianca which are merged into one municipality with the name Pieve Vergonte, which has a population of 1,916 inhabitants. The premises of former municipalities are abandoned.

During the Second World War (1939-1945), on 13 February 1944 in the village of Cortavolo, just above the village of Megolo middle, a firefight took place between the partisan commander Filippo Beltrami, one of the first to appear in the area between Cusio and Ossola, and the troops of the army of the Third Reich of Germany and the Italian Social Republic. The battle ended with the victory of the Nazis and Fascists troops, under the command of Captain Simon. In the clash fell Filippo Beltrami, Gianni Citterio, Antonio Di Dio and nine other partisans.

After the termination of the war, on May 9, 1945, it is recorded in Pieve Vergonte, in the Val d'Ossola, the murder of 11 soldiers of the Italian Social Republic by the communist partisan forces: Canapa Angelo Francesco, Angelo Conti, Di Giovanni Carlo, Francia Michele, Micale Salvatore, Cerchi Dino, Giuseppe De Deo, Perlini Vittorio, Princigalli Giovanni, Tesoro Alfredo and his brother Tesoro Giuseppe. Murdered is also a civil Serafini Amelia.

These soldiers belonged to the Black Brigade Ministerial units range in Val d'Ossola after the reoccupation of the territory of the Partisan Republic in October 1944. The Black Brigade Ministerial was born as a result of the imminent fall of Rome in 1944, through the work of Benito Mussolini and Alessandro Pavolini, Secretary of the Republican Fascist Party, which militarized the Republican Fascist Party, transforming the provincial formations in the Black Brigades. On August 27, 1944, the Chief of Staff of the Black Brigade, Giovanni Battista Riggio, spread a circular addressed to civil servants and ministerial staff in which called for the voluntary registration of the same in the brigades. In turn Pavolini announced September 17, 1944, the establishment of special departments ministerial brigades, Autonomous Ministerial Black Brigade, based in Brescia (E-field 704) and who gets the most success among the employees of the Ministries of Finance and Popular Culture.[2]

On February 21, 1945, resulting in Pieve Vergonte the murder of two civilians by the partisans, Gavazzi Luciana and Gavazzi Rosina. They are respectively the wife and daughter of Luciano Gavazzi, gold medal for military valor and battalion commander fell in 1941, during the war in East Africa. Gavazzi Luciano was battalion commander of CC. NN. and deputy commander of the defense of Uolchefit (East Africa), although weakened by serious harm, gave in every difficult contingency refulgent example of pure faith, sacred enthusiasm and valuable, intelligent activity. Repeatedly invoked the honor to engage in open field against overwhelming enemy forces, and July 13, in command of a column operating in the area of national Amberco, he performed this task with great success by virtue of his great courage and sublime contempt the danger. August 1, though suffering, assumed the command of the assault on Giramba other column, state the bloody attack and being frustrated by mines and barbed wire enemies, he knew disengage brilliantly despite the added unto dangerously threatening masses opposing side. Then again dragged his men to a furious counterattack, allowing them to rectify the situation. Minato in poor health from the toils and hardships and struck by lightning, inexorable disease, then ascended to heaven heroes. Spirit elected as a soldier, repeatedly decorated for bravery, squad of pure faith, he was with the holy enthusiasm, the soul of the defense of that distant strip of Italian land. Uolchefit, (East Africa), from April to August 1941.

After the termination of the war in the year 1945, results in Pieve Vergonte the murder of three civilians by partisans: Mr. Casella and Mrs. Calvi, residents in Pieve Vergonte, and Mr. Bettineschi resident in the hamlet of Fomarco. Mr Casella and Mrs Calvi were temporarily buried at Alpe Piana, in Val Toppa, above the village of Pieve Vergonte. Mr. Bettineschi was temporarily buried in a tunnel of the mine at Alpe Fontano, Val Toppa, above the village of Pieve Vergonte].


Since the 19th century, the inhabitants of Pieve Vergonte have emigrated to foreign lands in search of better living conditions and for permanent or seasonal employment in order to be able to send remittances to support families back in their village. The list of countries includes France, Switzerland, Canada, India, Nigeria, England and the United States of America.

In the case of the United States, the names of migrants can be traced from the lists of the landings of passenger vessels kept in the archive of Ellis Island, New York, United States of America. Between the years 1890 and 1924, many inhabitants of the Municipality of Fomarco and Rumianca, since 1928 under the administration of the municipality of Pieve Vergonte.

Emigrated from the municipality of Rumianca, Pievesi 26 and Pievesi 50 from the municipality of Fomarco. The family names of men and women Pievesi can be traced to traditional families Pievesi. From the Municipality of Rumianca Badini (2), Borghini (5), Crosetti (2), Francioli (3), Picchetti (1), Pirone (8), Rovaletti (1), Pirozzini (4). From the Municipality of Fomarco Bargiga (2), Bassi (3), Bellardi (5), Blardone (2), Crosetti (8), Francioli (2), Panighetti (12), Picchetti (3), Pirazzi (6), Pirone (5), Tomola (3), Mosca (2) and Zani (1)


Sant'Orsa is the patron saint of parish Vergonte and Ossola Valleys. Sant'Orsa is considered a martyr (3rd century AD), He was decapitated when little more than a child during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Decio. Pieve Vergonte preserves the remains with reverence in his parish, considering patron and protector of children, whose blessing takes place during the annual festival. It is celebrated with large events of a religious nature and folklore.

The name of Orsa is mentioned in a group of martyrs eastern Kocaeli Province: Luciano, Marciano, Floro, Heraclius, victims of the persecution of Decius (249-251), sentenced to death by order of the proconsul Sabino October 26, the day on which the saints are remembered. According to tradition, brought in Pieve Vergonte, whose parish was the first church of the Lower Ossola valley, the saint's relics] were transferred to Rome at the Catacombs of Priscilla, since the time of his martyrdom. In this catacomb remained there until 1715, extracted from the tomb that contained, were intended for the veneration of the faithful. Through a long series of steps, the remains of the young martyr came to the parish of St. Vincent and Anastasius, in Pieve Vergonte as a gift of the noble family of Vogogna Cattaneo, known as a deed of December 4, 1732. Obtained the permission of the Bishop of Novara Gilberto Borromeo, the body of the martyr was exposed to the veneration of the faithful. In 1741 the body is located in the elegant urn, which is still visible today. For the opening of the valuable work carried out in Milan by Giovanni Antonio Ferreri, solemn celebrations took place October 23, 1741, with a competition for the devotees from all Ossola valley.

In 1879, the Sacred Congregation of Rites granted to the Parish of Parish Vergonte, the office and its own liturgy of the Mass for the celebration of the annual festival, the last Sunday in October. The reason for this concession lay in the fact that the relics of Sant'Orsa, recovered in Rome, were actually considered belonging to the holy martyr Kocaeli province mentioned in hagiographical sources, and then validated historically. Currently the urn Sant'Orsa, surmounted by an angel with wreath and palm symbol of martyrdom, is kept in a crypt raised that opens on the right aisle of the church, finished with an elegant form in 1898.

Monuments and places of interest

  1. The Church of Pieve Vergonte
  2. The Workers' Village designed by architect Paolo Vietti-Violi from Vogogna, is with the one of Villadossola among the villages for northern workers set as a model of alternative settlement, built during the years of Benito Mussolini's government (1922-1943). The architect Vietti-Violi other important contribution to national and international level was in sport: the architect described in Casabella, the international monthly magazine dedicated to architecture: "... the rebirth of the sport and especially the spirit of sport in Italy, as desired, directed and organized by the Fascist regime, has produced an impressive renovation works in the sports field "[3]
  3. The Chemical Factory with the offices created by architect Paolo Vietti-Violi from Vogogna
  4. The cinema designed by architect Paolo Vietti-Violi from Vogogna, already architect of important national racecourses during the Fascist period.In April 21, 1926, was inaugurated in Rome, the racecourse for the Capannelle gallop races, author of the project architect Vietti-Violi, who also designed the racecourses of Milan (San Siro), Monza (Mirabello), Napoli (Agnano) and Rimini, and designed trotting racecourses in Milan, Bologna and Florence. The architect Vietti-Violi designed 'also the Sports Palace at the Milan Fair, with the cycling track, which opened in April 1923 and the sports facilities in San Martino d'Albaro, the Eagle, Merano, Saronno and Milano Marittima.[4]
  5. The molinone to grind gold ore, of which only the tub remains, at the Park of the Fallen of the Great War.
  6. Wall Borgaccio: near the river Toce, which separates Pieve Vergonte and the nearby village of Vogogna, it is possible to view the remains of a wall of the castle of Pietra Santa, which was destroyed in 1348, 9 February, and it is commonly called the Borgaccio.



The country is home to an important historical and chemical industry, the Chemical plant of Pieve Vergonte. The industrial plant of Pieve Vergonte was founded in 1915 on the initiative of industry represented by the Italian Society of Explosive Products (PETS) based in Milan with social capital of 2,500,000 lire. The first production for military purposes was the production of iodine monochloride of chlorobenzene and phosgene used during the First World War and later in the African campaign.

The following production was developed along the lines of production Clorosoda, sulfuric acid and fertilizers. After the war Rumianca and then the SIR developed new product lines for the production of DDT and chloroaromatics by shutting down the production line of Sulphuric Acid by pyrite. These products were used by the United States of America during the Vietnam War.

Pursuant to Decree Law 721, 9 December 1981, for the implementation of the reorganization of the Group SIR, which was part of the Rumianca SpA with the establishment of Pieve Vergonte, in 1982, the facilities of this company were transferred to the ENI Group and the Company ANIC this. The ANIC, then EniChem, plants DDT ran until June 1996, and remaining until their sale on 1 July 1997 at Tessenderlo, Italy. The clorosoda, chlorine and aromatic synthetic HCL are in production for the Tessenderlo.

Energy production

The village of Pieve Vergonte produces Electricity from hydroelectric power. The first manufacturer is the company Edison with plants Battiggio in Val Anzasca and Pieve Vergonte, both fed by the waters of the river Anza with a total average production of 95 GWh. The second largest producer is the company Tessenderlo with plants ex-Rumianca of Ceppo Morelli in Val Anzasca and Megolo Toce river that generates for Pieve Vergonte of Edison a total average production of 90 GWh.

Natural resources and minerals

Along the creek Marmazza, above the village of Pieve Vergonte, the valley Toppa mining is of great value. There are many pyrites minerals scattered in different parts of the Ossola valley, which can not be cultivated with advantage, and which are entirely neglected. Pyrites were detected in the quarry gold-bearing properties of Maffiola brothers at the valley Toppa[5] The extraction of gold from the mines of the Val Toppa in Pieve Vergonte was practiced by mercury. The first to use of such a method was the Spaniard Don Pedro Fernandez de Velasco, who introduced the amalgamation of argentiferous minerals in some mines of Mexico [8] until the year 1566 then he himself extended it to Peru in 1571, in course of time the method then spread from these two places from all parts of America. The learned Baron De Born, knowing what had been done in America, was the first to introduce this process in the mines of Europe, but the amalgamation was obtained with the assistance of fire heat. This amalgamation was always the subject of a large number of searches by miners, owners or operators of all the gold mines in Ossola[5]

An indication of interest to extract gold ore from the Val Toppa, it useful to refer to The Valley Toppa Gold Mining Stocks, which is listed at the London Stock Exchange in 1863.

The gold production of the Company 'Val Toppa resulted:

   1864 - Production 509 oz & 275 -  value in 1798 British Pounds "£", 18 shillings "s", 9 pence "d"
   1865 - Production 574 oz & 575 -  value in 2032 British Pounds "£", 14 shillings "s", 5 pence "d"
   1866 - Production 1400 oz & 925 - Value of 4957 British Pounds "£", 15 shillings "s", 8 pence "d"

with an average production of 1 ounce "oz" and 5 weight-for-penny "dwt" of gold per tonne of ore mined.


  1. All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  2. (M.Vigano, 1991 p.59)
  3. (Simon Martin, 2004, p.81)
  4. (Canella, Giuntini, 2009, p.280)
  5. 1 2 (Gaetano Rosina, 1819)


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