The Sacra di San Michele, the symbol of the Piedmont Region, which we reach with a short trek
The Sacra di San Michele is a basilica, a symbolic monument of the Piedmont Region, located about 1000 meters high, in the municipality of Sant’Ambrogio di Torino , we can reach it with a short trek. It is an imposing structure full of legends, history and mystery, but above all a place of unique beauty. Unfortunately, a fire has precluded part of its beauty.
How to get there?
You arrive at the Sacra di San Michele along a panoramic road, admiring the imposing construction that perches on top of the mountain and dominates the Susa Valley and the plain in front of the city of Turin.
Visiting the Sacra di San Michele
The visit to the Sacra di San Michele starts from the ruins of the Sepulcher of the Monks. We stop to admire what remains of this building, before walking towards the entrance door of the Sacra, a staircase allows us to admire the statue of St. Michael the Archangel, placed on the rock.
The rooms of the Sacra
We go up to the first room: Lo Scalone dei Morti, a steep stone staircase with a huge 18-meter high pillar that supports the floor of the church above. Until a few years ago the skeletons of some monks were kept in the lateral niches of the staircase.
At the top of the Scalone dei Morti is the Portal of the Zodiac, the ancient Romanesque cycle on the zodiac and constellations. This is a prolonged stopping point where you can admire the portal jambs, decorated with the symbols of the zodiac (on the right) wrapped in circles formed by intertwined branches, while on the left are the symbols of the constellations.
You enter the church by passing under the flying buttresses.
From the balcony leading to the church entrance, you can admire a wonderful view of the valley. The church was built with two Romanesque and Gothic styles, united in a harmonious way. Among the peculiarities of this place of worship is the peak of the mountain that rises from the floor, while the window behind the altar lets the sun is behind those who celebrate mass at dawn.
The panoramic balcony
Leaving the basilica you arrive at the balcony born with a view of the ruins of the New Monastery and what remains of the tower of the beautiful Alda. Linked to the latter, the legend tells that a girl named Alda, to escape the attention of some mercenaries who came from the valley to raid anything, threw herself from the tower and was saved only thanks to the intervention of some Angels. The young woman, boasting of the miracle she had received, told everyone about her feat, but no one believed her. So it was that she repeated the attempt, convinced that the Angels were still helping her, but it was not so and she died. Nothing was left of her. A Piedmontese saying connected to her says: “I toc pi gross a l’è l’ouria” or, “the biggest piece is the ear”
Not to be missed, even from here, is the view over the valley
The trek to get to the Sacra di San Michele
The Sacra di San Michele can be reached on foot starting from Sant’Antonio di Torino . From the Parish of San Giovanni Vincenzo begins a slight ramp that leads to the entrance to the mule track, along which the stations of the Via Crucis are located. After the chapels, you reach the hamlet of San Pietro and past the houses, a path leads up to Piazzale Croce Nera, where the car park is also located. A few minutes walk and you will reach the architectural structure. Journey time is approximately 90 minutes. The difference in height is about 600 meters.
The Sacra di San Michele is open every day except Mondays. In the winter period, it remains open from 9.30 to 17.00, with a two-hour lunch break, while in the summer the opening time is extended by one hour and closes at 18. Admission is paid for adults and free for children under 6 years old.
How do I get to the Sacra di San Michele?
The Sacra di San Michele can be reached from Turin following the A32 Turin-Bardonecchia motorway, Avigliana Centro exit, then follow the signs for Giaveno and the Avigliana lakes. The car park is about 800 meters from the Sacra