RELAXING & SIGHTSEEING
In Piedmont & the Alta Valle di Susa
With mountains for skiing, hiking and exploring, there’s never a time you won’t have something active to do. However, if you fancy relaxing and sunbathing, reading a book or doing not much, our gardens and sunloungers are always available.
For day trips out, here are some of our recommendations
La Cascina Genzianella is in Oulx and with the direct train from here you can be in the center of Turin in a little over an hour.
Turin is the capital city of the Piemonte region and has many sights worth seeing. The city is to the Egyptian Museum (est. 1824) which holds one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world, The Museum of Cinema which is based in the Mole Antonelliana (completed in 1889 and 167.5 meters tall) and the National Automobile Museum amongst other art and photography galleries, palaces and places.
Perhaps more than anything, it’s a nice place for stroll and is awash with cafes, bars, restaurants and more.
Briancon is the highest town in France at an altitude of 1,326 metres and is in the Hautes-Alpes department of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its remarkable group of fortifications built between the 18th and 20th centuries.
The town hosts frequent summer events including the Altitude Jazz Festival, the medieval festival a weekly market as well as being a frequent stage for the Tour de France.
Briancon is great for a little sightseeing (it’s especially worth visiting the old town), a little shopping and a little relaxing.
FRESCOES & NOVALESA ABBEY
The area around La Cascina Genzianella is rich in frescoes and religious art.
The majority of the frecoes, many of which have been recently restored, date back to the 15th and 16th Century. However, some of the paintings, such as those of the Novalesa Abbey, date as early as the end of the 11th century. Many frescos can often be found on the outer walls of countryside chapels.
Jouvenceaux has a wonderful fresco cycle decorating the exterior of the chapel, while inside there are more frescos dated between 1480 and 1490.
Other frescoes can be found in Oulx, Salbertrand, Susa and Bardonecchia.
Novalesa Abbey has some superb frescoes (pictured here). The abbey was founded in 726AD . It houses two cycles of frescoes dating back to the 11th century,
Montcenisio is a high mountain pass connecting Val-Cenis in France with Susa in Italy. The pass is usually open from May to October, the rest of the year it is cut off by snow.
Lining the pass and the beautiful lake are a number of restaurants and bars where you can while away an hour or two while looking at the stunning scenery.
There are a number of walks you can do as well as drives around the lake (but be warned, the roads around the lake can be difficult especially when busy).
SACRA DI SAN MICHELE
Standing high above the Susa Valley is the the Sacra di San Michele, at almost 1,000 metres on Mount Pirchiriano. The entire Alpine valley in the western part of Piedmont can be seen from the heights of its towers.
This is the abbey that inspired Umberto Eco to write his novel The Name of the Rose and is thee first Italian stop on the Via Francigena (the oldest and most important medieval pilgrimage route to Rome).
From the 12th to the 15th century the Sacra experienced the period of its maximum historical splendour, becoming one of the main centers of Benedictine spirituality in Italy.