The name derives from Agamini, a group of Celts that had settled in the area. It is a town of the province of Novara, situated along the road that connects Novara to Valsesia, at the mouth of the valley on the left bank of the river Sesia, surrounded by vineyards and woods. Divided into four districts, is renowned not only for being the birthplace in 1798 of the famous architect Alessandro Antonelli, but also for its wines, which are the largest source of income, and the production of textiles and honey. It offers pleasant walks through the narrow mountain tracks that wind between the hills.
The area was inhabited since the Neolithic age as evidenced by the remains found in the hills (objects and remains of huts). It was a center of considerable importance during the Roman domination of which traces remain today only of the "pagus" of Novara. The discovery of numerous findings evidence that trading was practiced in addition to the agricultural vocation. During the year 1000, the Marquis Vibert of Ivrea resided here. During the Middle Ages it was the seat of the vicar of the Guelphs of Novara and subsequently a representative of the Marquis of Monferrato settled here. From the XV century, Ghemme was chosen as main residence by several noble families of Milan and Novara. In 1467, an important peace treaty was concluded here, between the Duke Sforza of Milan and Filippo of Savoia. In the period between the XV and the XVIII centuries it was a fief that belonged to the Bergamino Family, the Tettoni, the Homodei, the Modegnani and the Marquis of Ghemme, Benedetto di Savoia.
Not to miss:
- the Parish Church, entitled to St. Mary Assunta and built in the XVII century. It presents a Latin cross plan with a barrel vault and is embellished with Baroque stucco and frescoes of the XVIII century of the artists Giovannini and Del Bianchi. It preserves inside various artworks, including the main altar in polychrome marble and bronze, a painting of 1745 located on the back wall of the choir, masterpiece of the artist Pianca, in the chapel of St. Xavier frescoes by Giovanni Antonio De Groot, side chapels frescoed by Perracino frescoes dating from the XVIII century, statues of Sella and Ardia and a XV century statue of Christ.
- the Oratory of the Confraternity of Santa Marta with frescoes of Giulio from Milano. The Bell tower dates from the XVII century, but was raised in the XIX century.
- the Scurolo of the Blessed Panacea, which is adjoined to the church and was designed by architect Alessandro Antonelli, who was born in Ghemme and is the famous artist of the Mole in Turin. It was built between 1864 and 1875, and features frescoes of Toni and Morgari and stained glass windows of Bertini. The remains of Blessed Panacea are preserved in two polls: one of the XVII century and another one of the XIX century.
- the Church of San Rocco, located in the courtyard of the castle, was built as a votive offering after the plague of 1630. It is embellished with frescoes and a painting of the Madonna and Saints of the Perracino and also preserves a precious wooden altar and a processional throne designed by Antonelli.
- the Church of San Fabiano, a small chapel built in 1681. It features a barrel vault, a large XV century fresco depicting the Crucifixion, a masterpiece of the artist Bartolonus.
- the Castle Ricetto and a fortified village with an area of 12,000 square kilometers, recreates with its narrow streets and ancient houses a very evocative XV century atmosphere. Here lived Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan during the peace negotiations with the Savoy.
- the Gianoli Garden, a typical example of a XIX century garden with fine marble fountains and a neo-Gothic tower. It hHosts theatrical and musical events.
- the Castle of Cavenago, originally built in the XVI century, it stands on a hill. In the XVII and XVIII centuries it was the country residence of the Milanese noble Family Cavenaghi and later of the Marquis Allevi. It retains only four of the original three angular towers and a small oratory with XVIII century frescoes dedicated to Santa Rosa from Lima.