Via Francigena Val di Susa Sacra San Michele
Via Francigena Val di Susa Sacra San Michele

Via Francigena in Val di Susa

Level
2
Distance
94 km
Duration
7 days | 6 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 0
CO2 footprint
99 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Caminos
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM290

Nestled in the heart of the Western Alps, the Susa Valley weaves through majestic passes like Montgenèvre and Mont Cenis, acting as a historic bridge between Italy and the rest of Europe. This route isn't just a path; it's a pilgrimage trail for those journeying from France to Rome, steeped in history as the backdrop of the first recorded pilgrimage - the Itinerarium Burdigalense, dating back to 333 AD.

Embark on an exploration of this captivating valley beginning in the ancient Roman city of Susa. Our adventure winds through the Mont Cenis pass, past abbey ruins, serene sanctuaries, and imposing castles, leading us to the awe-inspiring Sacra di San Michele, a symbol of Piedmont's enduring legacy. The journey doesn't end here; as we reach the elegant streets of Turin, the path unfolds through lush nature reserves and urban parks, guiding us to Chivasso, a cradle of painters, heroes, and literary giants. This journey through the Susa Valley is not just a trip; it's an immersion into centuries of history and natural beauty, awaiting your discovery. 

Highlights

  • Marvel at the imposing and mysterious Sacra di San Michele, 
  • Discover the roman origins of Susa,
  • Traverse unspoilt, off the beaten path landscapes,
  • Taste local dishes that blend french and italian cuisine, such as focaccia dolce, cajettes and bondiola

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Susa

Arrival in Susa

Susa's thousand-year history is traced through important vestiges such as the Arch of Augustus, the Roman arena, the city walls, the Savoy Gate, the archaeological excavations and the Castle, the residence of Countess Adelaide of Turin, wife of Odox of Savoy-Moriana. The Cathedral of St. Just and the imposing bell tower with its soaring octagonal spire are the result of an architectural complex stratified over time, from 1029 - the year the Benedictine abbey was founded - to the Gothic and neo-Gothic interventions between the 13th and 19th centuries: layered decorative campaigns are revealed on the exterior, such as The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem (15th cent, attributed to the Serras of Pinerolo) and the Medallions of Saints and Prophets; precious paintings, rich altars and the 14th-century wooden choir enrich the interior.

Day 2

Transfer to Moncenisio and walk to Susa, 15 km

Transfer to Moncenisio and walk to Susa, 15 km

Having crossed the Colle del Moncenisio and left behind the lake, the hairpin bends of the Gran Scala and the Piana di San Nicolao, after the remains of the Fell railroad tunnel, at shelter 4 we take the centuries-old Strada Reale, mule track leading to the characteristic alpine village of Moncenisio. Known in the past as Ferrera, it developed thanks to its strategic role as an obligatory stop along the route.The ecomuseum trail and the parish church of San Giorgio allow visitors to learn more about its history in the service of the hill.

Distance: 15 km

Elevation gain: +135, -1071 m

Day 3

From Susa to Vaie, 20 km

From Susa to Vaie, 20 km

Leaving the Roman and medieval remains of Susa behind, from the train station proceed in the direction of Urbiano, a hamlet of Mompantero: an ancient settlement as testified by the remains of a Roman aqueduct, it is known for the folkloristic January 31 rite known as Fora l'ours!, during which the imminent exit from winter is celebrated with the capture of the bear that has awakened from hibernation.

Continuing along the same route the path leads to Vaie, known for the typical production of canestrello, a fragrant cookie baked on special pincer irons. An interesting archaeological and nature trail leads to the Sanctuary of San Pancrazio (11th cent.) and ends at the Museum of Experimental Archaeology. 

Distance: 20 km

Elevation gain: +306 / -427 m

Day 4

From Vaie to Avigliana, 15 km

From Vaie to Avigliana, 15 km

The imposing Sacra di San Michele (983-987 A.D. C), a symbolic monument of Piedmont, is one of Europe's most important Romanesque architectures, a center of monastic culture and a centuries-old destination of international pilgrimage: the Loggia dei Viretti, the Staircase of the Dead, the Portal of the Zodiac, thefresco of the Assumption of the Virgin, the sixteenth-century triptych panels by Defendente Ferrari, and the altarpieces by Antonio Maria Viani of Cremona are among the elements that distinguish the sacred building, the result of centuries of interventions and decorative campaigns that culminated in 1889 with Alfredo D'Andrade's great restoration. Past the Dynamite Factory the road leads to the historic center of Avigliana. The medieval heart of the town is Conte Rosso Square, characterized by the ancient well, terracotta and porticoed buildings and dominated from above by the Arduinic Castle (10th cent.): dowry of Comitissa Adelaide of Susa to the Savoy family, it became an outpost of the dynasty's ambitions on the Turin area and was finally dismantled by the French in 1690.

Distance: 15 km

Elevation gain: +561 / -597 m

Day 5

From Avigliana to Alpignano, train to Turin, 15 km

From Avigliana to Alpignano, train to Turin, 15 km

The path continues in the direction of Rosta, passing the railway station and skirting it until the turn for Rivoli: built in Roman times along the Via ad Galliam from Turin to Monginevro, in the Middle Ages it became partly dependent on Rivoli and partly subject to the Preceptory of St. Anthony of Ranverso, until it acquired its own autonomy in the 17th century.

At the end of the route a short train ride will take you to Turin.

Distance: 15 km

Elevation gain: +50 / - 90 m

Day 6

Walk from Turin to Chivasso, return train to Turin 29 km

Walk from Turin to Chivasso, return train to Turin 29 km

Crossing the Po at the Gran Madre di Dio, we walk along the right bank of the river, through Michelotti Park and the Meisino Nature Reserve, and continue to San Mauro Torinese, formerly known in Roman times as Pulchra Rada because of its favorable location on a navigable stretch of the Po. After passing the town in the direction of Chivasso and crossing the Bosco del Vaj, protected by the Parco Naturale della Collina Torinese, we arrive at the Church of San Genesio, rebuilt in Romanesque style from the chapel of the same name attested to 1156: the current layout is a remake from the early 20th century, but the central apse, the left apse and the splendid masonry bell tower with single, double and triple lancet windows decorated with hanging arches remain from the original factory.

A train will take you back to Turin, for the last night of your trip.

Distance: 29 km

Elevation gain: +50 / -106 m

Day 7

Arrivederci Torino!

Arrivederci Torino!

Last day is included. Service ends after breakfast.

Details

Included


What is included

  • 6 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • transfer Susa-Moncenisio
  • digital travel documentation (App), official guidebook
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


We work with 3* hotels, B&Bs and farmhouses that reflect our way of experiencing travel: they are comfortable and characterful structures, which we choose one by one, managed by passionate and welcoming people.

Unless otherwise specified in the travel listing, all provide private en-suite rooms with breakfast included.

 

Convento Boutique hotel - Susa
La Locanda del Priore - Vale
Hotel Chalet del Lago - Avigliana
Hotel Roma e Cavour - Torino

When to travel


The climate in Northern Italy is generally very mild with differences depending on the geography of the region, from coasts and valleys to the continental areas.The warmest months are generally July and August, with temperatures ranging from 23°C up to 30°C; the valleys can often see higher  temperatures and 38°C to 40°C is not uncommon. While June and September offer both nice warm weather. Of course, there are always exceptions or dry spells that cause a few days to get really hot.Spring (April and May) and Autumn (October and November) are dry, with sunny days but the chances of rain are high.The weather can change very quickly and you must be prepared forrain, mist, wind, fog (and even hail or snow at higher elevations) –especially in spring and autumn. 

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


On arrival, you can reach Susa by train. There are direct trains from Turin.

On departure, from Turin train station(s) you can reach all major cities.

Train timetables: www.trenitalia.com

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background
     

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486

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