The small Italian ‘MONT SAINT MICHEL’ 2 HOURS from MILAN

On certain days it seems to be suspended in space just like the famous Mont Saint Michel in France

Credits: Elio Pallard – Sacra di San Michele

Located on the Via Francigena that connected it to the French abbey of the same name in Normandy, the “Piedmontese twin” is located almost 1,000 meters high. On foggy days it seems to float in the air. Here is his story and some incredible curiosities.

The small Italian ‘MONT SAINT MICHEL’ 2 HOURS from MILAN

# The Sacra di San Michele abbey is almost 1,000 meters high. On foggy days it seems suspended in the void

Credits: Elio Pallard – Sacra di San Michele

The peculiar element of the Sacra di San Michele is its position at the top of Mount Pirchiriano, a rocky spur belonging to the Rocciavré group in the Cottian Alps at 962 meters above sea level: on foggy days it seems to be suspended in the void just like the famous Mont Saint Michel in France remains isolated in the middle of the sea when there are high tides. The architectural complex is located in a panoramic position to say the least, offering a unique view of the greenery of the Val di Susa.

# Members of the Savoy family are buried inside the church

It is one of the symbolic monuments of Piedmont, just a 2-hour drive from Milan, the sacred building is dedicated to the cult of the Archangel Michael and the members of the royal family of the House of Savoy are buried inside the church. The abbey has an important historical value, as some of the most famous historical routes started or passed from here, such as the path of the Franks, the Via Francigena that led up to Mont-Saint-Michel, on the coast of French Normandy starting from the sanctuary Apulian of San Michele Arcangelo.

From Milan to the Sacra di San Michele Abbey

# Built between 983 and 987, the abbey inspired Umberto Eco for the film adaptation of “The Name of the Rose”

Credits: – Sacra San Michele

The construction of this sacred place dates back to the years between 983 and 987. A colossus in gray stone with a facade about 40 meters high, from whose entrance you reach the church through a steep and wide staircase. This staircase is nicknamed lo “Scalone dei Morti” (the Staircase of the Dead) because in the past the skeletons of monks were kept there.

Credits: – Lo “Scalone dei Morti” (Staircase of the Dead)

There is a curiosity about the abbey: the writer Umberto Eco was partially inspired by this Benedictine abbey to set the film adaptation of his famous novel “The Name of the Rose”.

# A favorite destination for high altitude tourism enthusiasts


Famous as a pilgrimage destination, for years it has been chosen by high altitude tourism enthusiasts who have some hiking trails available. The most important are the one that starts from the town of Chiusa di San Michele and the other from that of Sant’Ambrogio. For climbing enthusiasts there is the Carlo Giorda via ferrata, an equipped route that starts from Sant’Ambrogio di Torino and reaches the top of Mount Pirchiriano: more information on how to safely walk the via ferrata is available at this link.


Previous articleCOLD RECORD in ANTARCTICA: is a NEW GLACIATION underway?
Next articleThe first FLOATING CITY in the world
Graduated in Business Strategy and Communication in Reggio Emilia, with a background in ICT & Marketing. Curious about the future and the most innovative technologies, such as Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Since 2012 in Milan, half Milanese on my mother's side, a lover of the city and passionate about transportation and architecture: I have chosen Milan to live and work because I consider it my ideal city.