This Gothic-Romanesque abbey, brooding above the road 14km from Turin, has kept sentry atop Monte Pirchiriano (962m) since the 10th century. It housed a powerful, bustling community of Benedictine monks for over six hundred years and was a staging point for high social level pilgrims. 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 by public transport, there's a 90-minute steep hike from Sant’Ambrogio station. Alternatively, there’s a special bus from Avigliana train station six times a day from May to September.