The Sacra di San Michele: a magical Abbey Outside Turin

Sacra di San Michele

Photo by raffaele sergi via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

The 11th century Sacra di San Michele (Abbey of St. Michael) sits atop a hill about 30 minutes outside Turin and is the official Symbolic Monument of the Piedmont Region. Adding to the magic of the place are a couple interesting legends: one that it was built by angels (after all, how else could all those heavy building materials have made it to the top of the hill?) and one that a woman, Alda, threw herself off a cliff and was saved by St Michael (she tried it a second time, unfortunately, and was not as lucky).


It pretty much sells itself with the photo above, but here’s some basic information about planning a visit. Check opening hours on the website.  Add a hike with spectacular views to your day by walking up to the Abbey on one of several walking trails. Or plan on arriving by car or bus, and save your energy for the long flight of stairs to the entrance – called the Steps of the Dead (which at one time actually did display the dead). Visit the Abbey and church for its energy, architecture, and incredible frescoes, and check the calendar (in Italian only – choose the month on the right column) for the schedule of concerts performed at the abbey.

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