The FAI Group of Valsesia was born from the FAI Delegation of Novara which was coordinated by Dr. Vittorio Galli in 1994. From the very beginning, and always in agreement with the FAI Delegation of Novara, it enjoyed a certain autonomy due to the distance that separates the valley from Novara on the one hand to, and on the other, to the strong morphological and cultural characteristics of the territory that ensures its absolutely original features.
In the beginning, the number of members of the Group was reduced to three, Dr. Rossana Lenzi, Notary of Gattinara and Professor Maria Auteri, Italian and Latin teacher at the Scientific High School of Borgosesia and Professor Donatella Mossello Rizzio. Cipriano Prosino took over in the two-year period 2007-2008 and passed the baton to Arduino Vettorello in 2009 whose mandate ended in 2011. Giacomo Gagliardini was the manager during the three-year period 2014-2016 after which Mario Manfredi took the reins and is still in charge today.
Our first FAI Spring Day was in Romagnano Sesia in 1994 where we opened the Cantina dei Santi, with its cycle of fifteenth-century frescoes with dark iconography. These cycles are linked to the world of chivalry, rich in armour, banners, horses and richly dressed knights, which on the intuition of Dr Lenzi, was able to recognize the cycles as a representation of episodes from the life of King David. This intuition was confirmed by scholars years later.
Since then, punctually every year, we have presented ourselves at the FAI Spring Days, opening the most evocative sites of the Valley one after another, reaching as high up as 1417 meters in Rima, a Walser village in the shadow of Tagliaferro (2002), and then descending onto the hills (the montes) that surround Borgosesia, up to Cusio with the opening of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso in Boleto (2004), without neglecting the large town centers such as Alagna, Borgosesia and Varallo.
Considering that ours is a territory that admirably combines art and industry, we decided to open industrial sites that would describe the work of man and his impact on the environment alongside the usual beautiful churches.
Thus were born the FAI Spring Days dedicated to the Electrical Power Plants between Grignasco and Prato (2008) to The Hanging Bridges of the Nineteenth century on the Sesia (2009) to the Wool Factory of Borgosesia (2012), to the Valduggia Foundries (2013), and to the Paper Factory of Guardabosone (2016). Another regular duty of our FAI Spring Days was to organize setting up the exhibitions with displays of artefacts, documents, photographs, explanatory posters, which would highlight some aspects of our culture.
The most spectacular was undoubtedly the exhibition: Antique Homes of Valsesia, fragments from a past daily-life, created by involving the Ethnographic Historical Museum of Lower Valsesia, the CG Franchini Civic Museum in Oleggio and the SOMS of Varallo, in collaboration with the Giovanni Podenzana Ethnographic Museum of La Spezia the premises where the inauguration was held on 8 October 2016 with the participation of the entire FAI Valsesia Group and their supporters.
Publications courtesy of the delegation of FAI Valsesia
Drawings and illuminated choir commenting on the exhibition
Valsesian notebooks FAI: THE GRIGNASCO SPINNING CANAL, A nineteenth-century canal
Valsesian notebooks FAI: THE TRAIN OF DESIRE
Valsesian notebooks FAI: FOBELLO, On the hiking trails of beauty.
Valsesian notebooks FAI: BORGOSESIA, From a free village to an industrial village.
Valsesian notebooks FAI: VALDUGGIA, The ways of fire. Technology – Environment – Art
Valsesian notebooks FAI: secret Varallo
Valsesian notebooks FAI: GRIGNASCO – where art meets industry
Valsesian notebooks FAI: GUARDABOSONE – Environment and Art a winning combination
Valsesian notebooks FAI: AGNONA – On the cashmere route across the river