Vercelli (vārchĕlˈlē) [key], city (1991 pop. 49,458), capital of Vercelli prov., Piedmont, N Italy, on the Sesia River. It is an important rice market and has food-processing, machinery, and textile industries. A Roman town and later a prosperous free commune, it passed to the Visconti of Milan in 1335 and was ceded by them to the house of Savoy in 1427. Of note is the Gothic basilica of Sant' Andrea (13th cent.), which has a Renaissance cloister and a convent. The only school of painting in Piedmont flourished at Vercelli in the 15th–16th cent. In the library of the cathedral (16th–18th cent.) is the Vercelli Book or Codex Vercellensis, a late 10th-century Anglo-Saxon manuscript that contains a collection of religious poems, including Elene by Cynewulf.
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