Pieve Vergonte

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Pieve Vergonte
Pieve Vergonte
Coat of arms of Pieve Vergonte
Coat of arms
Pieve Vergonte is located in Italy
Pieve Vergonte
Pieve Vergonte
Location of Pieve Vergonte in Italy
Coordinates: 46°00′16″N 8°16′06″E / 46.0045402°N 8.268456°E / 46.0045402; 8.268456Coordinates: 46°00′16″N 8°16′06″E / 46.0045402°N 8.268456°E / 46.0045402; 8.268456
Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Province Verbano-Cusio-Ossola (VB)
Frazioni Fomarco, Rumianca, Megolo Cima, Megolo Mezzo, Megolo Fondo[1]
 • Mayor Maria Grazia Medali[2]
 • Total 41.67 km2 (16.09 sq mi)
Elevation[1] 232 m (761 ft)
Population (31 December 2015)[1]
 • Total 2,593
 • Density 62/km2 (160/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Pievesi[1]
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code 28886
Dialing code 0324
Patron saint St. Vincent and St. Atanasius[1]
Saint day 22 January[1]
Website Official website

Pieve Vergonte is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Piedmont region of Italy. It is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Verbania and 110 kilometres (68 mi) northeast of Turin.


Pieve Vergonte lies in the valley of Ossola where the Anza river flows into the Toce. It is bordered, west to east, by the municipalities of Piedimulera, Vogogna, Premosello-Chiovenda, and Anzola d'Ossola.[3] It is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Verbania and 110 kilometres (68 mi) northeast of Turin.

The town is served by State Highway 33 from Simplon (it).[4]

Main sights[edit]

.Church of Saint Vincenzo e Saint Anastasio.
The Borgaccio Roman Wall, part of the river harbour ruins.
Gold Mine in Val Toppa.
  • The Church of Pieve Vergonte
  • The Workers' Village, designed by architect Paolo Vietti-Violi from Vogogna, is, with the one of Villadossola, among the model villages for northern workers built during the years of Benito Mussolini's government (1922–1943).[5]
  • The Chemical Factory, with offices designed by Vietti-Violi
  • The cinema designed by Vietti-Violi[6]
  • The mill for grinding gold ore, of which only the tub remains, at the Park of the Fallen of the Great War
  • Borgaccio Wall, near the river Toce, which demarcates Pieve Vergonte from the nearby village of Vogogna. It is the remains of a wall of the castle of Pietra Santa, which was destroyed on 9 February 1348, and it is commonly called the Borgaccio.



The industrial chemical plant of Pieve Vergonte was founded in 1915 on the initiative of the Italian Society of Explosive Products (PETS) based in Milan, with capital of 2,500,000 lire. The first production for military purposes was the production of iodine monochloride of chlorobenzene and phosgene used during the First World War and later in the African campaign.

During World War II, Clorosoda, sulfuric acid, and fertilizers were produced. After the war, shutting down the production of sulphuric acid, Rumianca SpA, and then the SIR Group, developed new product lines for the production of DDT and chloroaromatics. These products were used by the United States of America during the Vietnam War.

In 1981, the facilities of this company were transferred to the ENI Group and the ANIC Company. The ANIC, then EniChem, DDT plants ran until June 1996, and remaining in production until their sale on 1 July 1997 to Tessenderlo, Italy. The clorosoda, chlorine and aromatic synthetic HCL are in production for the Tessenderlo Group.

In May 2013, Tessenderlo Group sold Tessenderlo Partecipazioni SpA, and its subsidiary Tessenderlo Italy Srl, to International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG).[7] The transaction includes the plant in Pieve Vergonte (VB), where there now are an active electrolysis plant, one for chloro-aromatics, and two hydroelectric plants that provide energy. Tessenderlo Italy employs a total of 113 people. Achim Riemann, Managing Director of ICIG, said: "The integration upstream of Tessenderlo Italy, with direct supply of energy through its hydroelectric plants, is vital for the competitiveness of the plant of Pieve Vergonte and so we want to maintain this integration and have both hydroelectric concessions renewed for the long term." The company trades under the name of hydrochemitalia.[8]

Energy production[edit]

The village of Pieve Vergonte produces electricity from hydroelectric power. The largest producer is the Edison Company with plants in Val Anzasca and Pieve Vergonte, both fed by the waters of the river Anza with a total average production of 95 GWh. The second-largest producer is Tessenderlo's Battiggio plant, ex-Rumianca of Ceppo Morelli in Val Anzasca, on the Toce river at Megolo, which has a total average production of 90 GWh.[citation needed]

Natural resources and minerals[edit]

Along the creek Marmazza, above the village of Pieve Vergonte, in the Toppa Valley, mining is of great value. There are many pyrite minerals scattered throughout the Ossola valley, which can not be easily mined, and which are entirely neglected. Gold-bearing pyrites were first detected in the quarries of the Maffiola brothers in the valley.

The extraction of gold from the mines of the Toppa Valley was done with mercury, a process first developed by the Spaniard Pedro Fernandez de Velasco in the Americas and thence introduced to Europe by Baron De Born, where an amalgamation was obtained with of fire, and which was used in all the gold mines in Ossola.[9]

The gold production of the Val Toppa mining company, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1863, valued in British pounds/shillings/pence:[10]

  • 1864 – Production 509 oz (14.43 kg) & .275 – £1798/18/9 (566,560 Euros in Jan 2017)
  • 1865 – Production 574 oz (16.28 kg) & .575 – £2032/14/5 (638,911 Euros in Jan 2017)
  • 1866 – Production 1400 oz (39.69 kg) & .925 – £4957/15/8 (1,558,320 Euros in Jan 2017)

with an average production of 1 ounce "oz" and 5 pennyweight "dwt" of gold per tonne of ore mined.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Il Comune in Breve" [The Municipality in Brief]. Comune di Pieve Vergonte (in Italian). Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  2. ^ "Sindaco" [Mayor]. Comune di Pieve Vergonte (in Italian). Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  3. ^ "Come Raggiungerci" [How to reach us]. Comune di Pieve Vergonte (in Italian). Retrieved 23 February 2018. 
  4. ^ "Home". Comune di Pieve Vergonte (in Italian). Retrieved 23 February 2018. 
  5. ^ (Simon Martin, 2004, p.81)
  6. ^ (Canella, Giuntini, 2009, p.280)
  7. ^ "Who We Are". International Chemical Investors Group. Retrieved 19 February 2018. 
  8. ^ "Benvenuti nel sito internet di HydroChem Italia - Pieve Vergonte" [Welcome to the Website of HydroChem Italia - Pieve Vergonte]. HydroChem Italia (in Italian). Retrieved 19 February 2018. 
  9. ^ Rosina 1819.
  10. ^ "XE Currency Converter". XE.com. Retrieved 19 February 2018.