Sacra di San Michele: a monastery on the rocks

Few kilometers from Avigliana, at around 900 meters above sea level there is Sacra di San Michele. It is a jewel of the architecture. It is an abbey built 983 and 987 on the mount Pirchiriano and the building is directly posed on the rocks. It is amazing to go there on the top also because there is a marvelous panorama. It is possible to see all around Val Susa and a bit of Turin, but for this, you need a completely clear sky.

Inside there is a church completed in XII century where there are the tombs of some members of the Italian Royal family Savoia. It is dedicated to the cult of the Archangel Michael, defender of the Christian people. The Sacra di San Michele is part of a pilgrimage route over 2000 km long that goes from Mont Saint-Michel, in France, to Monte Sant’Angelo, in Puglia.

Sacra di San Michele: art, history, nature, and religion

What I like about Sacra di San Michele, apart from the sight, it is the way how the building is mixed with the rocks of the mount. It looks like a big sculpture born from nature and that is amazing. At the entrance of the abbey and the church, there are some flowers and hedges very well taken care of. The structure is well kept by few Capuchin friars and some people of the staff that are opening the building to visitors.

The religious artworks conserved inside are not the only objects present in the collections of the abbey. There is the museum of daily life with instruments used in the past by the people for their life and their different jobs. It is very interesting because it is a reconstruction of the local population activities in the past centuries. The inside library, visible by visitors, has more than 10.000 books, many of them ancient. During the year are realized different thematic exhibitions about different topics.

The place is connected with the closest towns by a unique road. But there I felt out of the world, in a magic atmosphere, kept as it was in the past. Sacra di San Michele represents the most important attraction of Piedmont, maybe because it can host tourists with any type of interest. It is a religious building but you can admire just the architecture, the nature that surrounds the place or explores the local life in the past.

If you like to walk in nature, you can go up using the trails from Sant’Ambrogio di Torino and Giaveno. They are well kept and realized completely in the woods. The pathways were already used in past centuries by the pilgrims. It is a great experience especially to stay with yourself and with your trip mate. If you want to walk you need a few hours, depending on your speed, to reach the top.

Piedmont and Italy

The region, that is the one where I live, is one of the biggest. It is known mainly for Turin, the first capital of Italy or the headquarter of Nutella fabric in Alba. Well, there are many things to see in Piedmont, like the Sacra di San Michele. A lot of attractions you should see. So if you want to know more about the region and Italy, you have to check out my posts. There is a section dedicated to the country on my blog. You can find impressions, information, facts, curiosities, and much more.

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