The Susa Valley is a land rich in history with a great artistic heritage.
The tour of the abbeys and monasteries is a particularity of the Susa Valley. Since the Middle Age, this territory was characterized by the presence of numerous monastic institutions that have profoundly shaped the culture and the life of this land. Besides the three great Benedictine abbeys (S. Michael at the Locks, S. Justus of Susa, SS. Peter and Andrew of Novalesa) we should not forget the Augustinians monasteries of S. Lawrence in Oulx and St. Mary at Mont-Cenis pass, the Carthusians in Montebenedetto and Banda, the Franciscans in Susa and Avigliana.
Susa Valley is particularly rich in frescoed cycles. The majority of those paintings, many of which 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. The frescos can often be found on the outer walls of countryside chapels set in attractive and natural surroundings. Many frescoes though can be seen on the interior walls of sacred buildings, around the altar, depicting scenes of Christ’s life, along with the Saint Patrons and the Saints Those paintings represent the history of the Christian faith in this territory.
The itinerary comprises the network of sacred art museums located throughout the Susa Valley and headed by the Museum of Sacred Art of Susa, which collect and exhibit a significant wealth of sculptures, goldsmith’s art, paintings and vestments produced by Italian and European artists. Also the Museum Collection located at the old church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Avigliana participates to the network.
The ancient church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Avigliana displays a collection of 50 religious life-size plaster and bronze statues made by the artist Elsa Veglio Turino (1921-1986).
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