Sacra di San Michele

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

Brooding above the road 14km from Turin is the Sacra di San Michele , a Gothic-Romanesque abbey that has kept sentry atop Monte Pirchiriano (962m) since the 10th century. Look out for the whimsical ‘Zodiac Door’, a 12th-century doorway sculpted with putti (cherubs) pulling each other’s hair. To get to the abbey get off at Sant’Ambrogio station and hike up a steep path for 1½ hours. Alternatively, there’s a special bus from Avigliana train station six times a day from May to September. Concerts are held on Saturday evenings in summer; ask for details at the tourist office in Avigliana , 12km west.