Vercelli About this sound listen, is a city and comune of about 47,000 inhabitants in the Province of Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy. One of the oldest urban sites in northern Italy, it was founded, according to most historians, around the year 600 BC.The city is situated on the river Sesia in the plain of the river Po between Milan and Turin. It is an important centre for the cultivation of rice, and is surrounded by paddy fields, which are flooded in summer. The climate is typical of the Po Valley with cold, foggy winters (0.4 °C in January) and oppressive heat during the summer months (23.45 °C in July). Rainfall is most prevalent during the spring and autumn; thunderstorms are common in the summer.The languages spoken in Vercelli are Italian and Piedmontese; the variety of Piedmontese native to the city is called Varsleis.The world's first university funded by public money was established in Vercelli in 1228, but was closed in 1372.Today it has a university of literature and philosophy as a part of the Università del Piemonte Orientale and a satellite campus of the Politecnico di Torino.