From the slopes of Monte Santo Stefano, the roofs of Candia face the
Lake. From this point you can enjoy a wonderful view: on the one side
there is the Plain with the Monferrato hills, the hills of Superga and
of Maddalena behind Torino, and in the background the perfect
silhouette of the Monviso; on the other side, towards the North there
are the green hills of the Canavese with the Serra d'Ivrea, and in the
background the Alps of Mombarone and Gran Paradiso.
In these lands, during the 13th and the 14th century, the bishop Conte di Ivrea, the Marquis of Monferrato, and the Prince of Acaja were the protagonists of many battles: the ancient Tower of Castiglione and the Castle of Candia are evidences of the battles and of the disputes for the conquest of the territory.
Also the religious architecture boasts of ancient origins: the church of Santo Stefano al Monte, dating back to the 11th-12th century, stands on the ruins of some pagan religious sites, and the Pieve di San Michele dates back to the late Roman period.
The first nucleus of Palazzo Comunale (the Town Hall) is much more recent since it dates back to the 17th century: the building has been enlarged and enriched in the centuries, and it consists of a series of small halls facing a little square. In a corner of this square it is still possible to observe an old round ice house which was used by the local fishermen to keep the fish in summer: this simple but clever system gave them the opportunity to sale the product during the whole year.
The origins of Mazzè date back to the first settlements of the Ligurian
people in the 10th century BC along their transhumance paths. In the
centuries this territory has been inhabited by Celts, Romans,
Barbarians, Lombards, and Franks: only in 1110 the Valperga family
indissolubly linked its name to the town of Mazzè through the
investiture of one of his members to Count. The present structure of
the castle is due to the Counts of Mazzè; however, the original nucleus
with the crypt and the altar which have been recently brought back to
the light, date back to the Celtic period.
The building housing nowadays weddings, exhibits, and meetings consists of two castles: the small one was built in the 13th century, while the big one was rebuilt in the last century according to a Medieval style. In the underground passages it is possible to visit the Torture Museum housing a collection of objects and instruments used by the Inquisition and mainly coming from Spain.
The route develops along the Roman subterranean passages and the siege tank dating back to the 2nd century BC, the Celtic crypt, the heretic cave, the funerary chapel dating back to the 15th century, the dungeon, and the ice house dating back to the 16th century.
The first core of Vische dates back to 420 AD: the Barbarians coming
from the North, among which Allobroges and Suevians, settled in
Northern Italy and created some villages among Lago di Candia, Dora,
and the surrounding woods. It is likely that the name of Vische derives
from an old German word (Quitsken) meaning "the fish dart":
fishing was the main means of sustenance together with hunting. One of
the country-wards was subsequently called Viscano: the final part of
the name witnesses its Roman origins, like for Cigliano and Albiano.
During the Middle Ages Vische was at first the ecclesiastic feud of the Bishop of Ivrea, and it became afterwards a lay feud under the Lords of Barone, Filippo d'Acaja, the Marques of Birago. Finally, in the 20th century, all the estates of the Birago were given to the hospital Amedeo di Savoia which, after World War I suggested the purchase of the lands to the farmers who had been working them for generations: so, farmsteads and land which had always belonged to the feudal lords and to the rich Lords, became property of the farmers from Vische.
The great number of rural architectures scattered throughout the territory together with the votive chapels and the tabernacles which are still object of veneration and devotion, the shapes of the agricultural landscape represent the evidence of the historical and economic events characterizing the development of Vische.