The town retains much of its history with interesting medieval buildings. Local traditions live on in events held in the area throughout the year.
MONUMENT TO UMBRELLA MAKERS. In the 19th century, many young people from Vergante left their families to undertake the hard work of the “Lusciatt”, or itinerant umbrellas maker, who travelled through towns and cities to repair and sell umbrellas and parasols. Massino Visconti remembers them with the monument “Italian Umbrella Maker”, created in 1972 by Luigi Canuto.
CHURCH OF SAN MICHELE. The only remaining remnant of the ancient Romanesque building is the characteristic bell tower, which began leaning in 1585 following a landslide that seriously damaged the church. Consolidated and enlarged in later periods, it houses a valuable cycle of frescoes from the 1400s attributed to the Novara workshop of Johannes de Campo.
CHURCH OF VIRGIN OF PURIFICATION. According to legend, the church was built on the ruins of a pagan temple dedicated to Jupiter. It was mentioned in historical documents from the 9th century. In 1746, it was enlarged with the addition of two naves and side chapels. The bell tower was demolished and rebuilt in 1932 outside the church.
VISCONTI CASTLE. The castle situated in a panoramic position in the centre of the town was transformed in the 16th century by the Visconti family into a noble country residence. Inside the walls stands the central tower. Buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries stand closely around it, and the park surrounds the property. From the entrance near the church, visitors can see the “Cortiletto dei Signori” with its colonnade, fountain and small balcony called “arengo” from which the Visconti leaders spoke to the people. It is now used as a venue for events and receptions.
MOUNT SAN SALVATORE: ABBEY AND CHAPELS. Four km from the village, at the end of a panoramic road, there is the ancient complex, a perfect integration between nature, art and faith. Around the year 1000, the Benedictines began to build a small church dedicated to San Salavatore. Slowly, the name spread to the mountain formerly known as Biviglione or “of the great birches”. In the 15th century, the Eremitans of San Agostino arrived and brought the cult of the Madonna della Cintura, which is still celebrated in August. The church was redone in 1499. The oldest part is the three apses with stone roofs placed on different levels. The “holy staircase” provides access to the lower apses, and devotees climbed on their knees while praying. The chapel on the left is the apse of the original church decorated with 15th century frescoes. A circular Baroque chapel and another older chapel with 15th century frescoes both open onto the square. The panoramic rooms of the cenobium now house a trattoria restaurant.