Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Sca Agatha (Santhià), Circa 990 AD

Submansio XLIV – Sca Agatha

There had been a pieve of Saint Agatha in Santhià since the 9th century. A century later, the romanesque collegiate church of Saint Agatha was already standing. In the 12th century, however, despite large sums donated by the Bishop of Uguccione, the collegiate falls into a deep crisis.  The romanesque building is then renovated by Giuseppe Talucchi (1782-1863) in the 19th century which explains its current neoclassical style. litografia2.jpg

Also of interest, Santhià hosts an annual carnival since the 14th century! It is known as the Carnevale Storico di Santhià and is probably the oldest carnival in Piedmont.


Large carnival float in Santhia,


Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Vercel, Circa 990 AD

Submansio XLIII – Vercel

Vercelli is one of the oldest urban sites in northern Italy, founded according to some around 600 B.C. Vercellae was the capital of the Libici, a celtic tribe; it became an important municipium, near which Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and the Teutones in the Battle of Vercellae in 101 BCE.

stilicho.jpgThe imperial magister militum Flavius Stilicho annihilated the Goths there 500 years later. Flavius (c.a. 359 – 409 C.E.) was a high-ranking general in the Roman army who became, for a time, the most powerful man in the Western Roman Empire. He was half Vandal and married to the niece of the Emperor Theodosius and has been nicknamed the last of the Romans.

After the Lombard invasion, it belonged to the Duchy of Ivrea. From 885 after, it was under the juridiction of the prince-bishop, who was a Count of the Empire.

The Vercel of the 990’s had strong Irish connections since the time of its Irish bishop St Eusebius, according to Veronica Ortenberg. The Hospitale Scottorum, attached to a church of St Brigid and documented in the 11th century may have existed in the 10th.