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Churches and Abbeys

Faith and religion in Piedmont

Piedmont witnessed, in medieval time, the growth of the number of abbeys, churches and monasteries, mainly thanks to its position along the Via Francigena.
In the district of Asti then, thanks to the luster of the marquisates, an interesting number of romanesque churches.
The seven Sacri Monti of Piedmont, treasures of history, nature and art, are part of the nature reserves of the region, that cares about their maintenance and the surrounding nature.
Abbeys and Churches
The Novalesa Abbey is located in Val di Susa, on the Via Francigena, and is still inhabited today by eight monks that with their guesthouse offer spiritual peace to travellers that go there like modern pilgrims.

The stately Sacra di San Michele, mark of Piedmont, is located on the Via Francigena, at the beginning of Val di Susa, on the top of Mount Pirchiriano.
Here also the atheists surrender to the sacrality that pervades the abbey dedicated to Archangel Michael.
Abbey of Sant’ Antonio di Ranverso, is on the Via Francigena too. There live the Antonines, who devoted themself to the treatment of "fuoco di Sant'Antonio".
The name was used to indicate diseases of every kind, but mainly for Herpes Zoster and the monks realized the "Hospital" for the treatment of this disease.

Betweenthe romanesque churches of the district of Asti, the most important monastery is for sure Abbey of Santa Maria di Vezzolano, whose architecture fits perfectly fits the landascape around. The facade of bricks and sandstone has a beautiful pronaos, enriched with statues of the middle ages.

Another stop in the path through the places of spirituality is the Abbey of Santa Maria di Staffarda, in the district of Cuneo, on the road from Saluzzo to Pinerolo.
Founded in the first half of the XII century by the cestercians monks (the land was a gift from the Marquise of Saluzzo, Manfredo I, in 1135) the building includes the church with the elegant closter with columns, the monastic buildings, the market and the farms.

I Sacri Monti
"I Sacri Monti are a group of chapels and other buildings built between the XVI e il XVII century, dedicated to different aspects of Christian life. Added to their symbolic and spiritual aspect, they have beauty, virtue and agreeable and are integrated in a natural environment of hills, woods and lakes. They also have important artistic treasures, like frescos and statues.
Due to this reason, UNESCO in 2003 recognized the location as part of the list of World Heritage Sites.
Valuable exemples of landscape's architecture, the sacri monti have chapels with statues, paintings, frescos representing episodes and misteries of the sacred life and constitute an important meeting point for devoted and people who love art.

The seven Sacri Monti of Piedmont, treasures of history, nature and art, are part of the nature reserves of the region, that cares about their maintenance and the surrounding nature.

Sacro Monte di Belmonte (Canavese, Torino)
Sacro Monte di Belvedere includes a sanctuary of medieval origin and thirteen chapels dedicated to the Passion of the Christ.
Sacro Monte di Crea (Monferrato, Alessandria)
Formed by twenty-three chapels, Sacro Monte di Crea id dedicated to the misteries of the life of the Virgin and the triumph of Madonna.

Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola
Sacro Monte di Domodossola is composed by fifteen chapels that go from the town of Domodossola to the col of Mattarella and offer the tourists the possibility to experience the Passion of the Christ.
Sacro Monte della S.S. Trinità di Ghiffa (Lago Maggiore, Verbano Cusio Ossola)
Left unaccomplished, Sacro Monte di Ghiffa has three main chapels dedicated to the bible and two other small chapels in a unique building with the sanctuary and the Via Crucis porch.
Sacro Monte di Oropa (Biella)
Considere the most important sacred building dedicated to Maria in the Alps, Sacro Monte di Oropa is composed by twelve chapels dedicated to the life of the Virgin.
Sacro Monte di Orta (Lago d'Orta)
Dedicated to san Francesco d’Assisi, Sacro Monte di Orta has twenty capels go through the saint's life.
Sacro Monte di Varallo (Valsesia, Vercelli)
Composed by a basilica and fourty-five chapels with frescos and with more than eight hundred statues Sacro Monte di Varallo, also known as "La Nuova Gerusalemme" (the new Jerusalem) is the oldest and most important Sacro Monte of the Alps.

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