Let’s discover the San Michele Abbey, a majestic abbey on the top of the Pirchiriano mountain, in the west of Turin. This abbey inspired the author Umberto Eco for its debut novel The Name of the Rose.

…because of the inaccessible position, the abbey was capable of generating fear in every traveler who approached it… (Umberto Eco, in “The Name of the Rose“)

Umberto Eco used these words to describe the place which inspired him to write his best novel. We don’t know if the abbey described in the novel is a real place. But, we know that San Michele Abbey was a huge inspiration for the author.

This huge abbey is 60km far away from Torino and it is considered an icon in Piedmont. So, let’s start discovering the San Michele Abbey, a spiritual and magnificent place.

San Michele Abbey
Photo by Elio Pallard, via Wikimedia

Saint Michael’s line

According to the myth, St Michael asked the bishop to build this beautiful abbey. During those days, the collected wood disappeared. However, it was found after many days on the Pirchiriano mountain.

There’s a mystery linked to this abbey. The Saint Michael’s line is a postulated ley line connecting monasteries dedicated to the Archangel Michael in Europe.

As a matter of fact, Saint Michael’s line is a pilgrimage route of 2000km which connects the Sain Michael Abbey in Piedmont to the Mont Saint-Michel, in France and, in addition, to Monte Sant’Angelo, in Apulia.

San Michele Abbey
Photo by DuilioFiorille, via Shutterstock

Some white magic experts think that the energy point is located on a tile on the floor. According to these theories, if you stay on this tile, you can feel the energy of Saint Micheal. Moreover, if you’re looking for this tile in the San Michele Abbey in Piedmont, you can find it after the entrance, on the left side of the Church.

Hiking trails and guided excursions

This Abbey is attractive not only for pilgrims but, also for professional athletes who want to test their skills by or by following mountain-bike trails.

San Michele Abbey landscape
Photo by Elio Pallard, via wikimedia

We all know that discovering nature by walking and hiking is extremely important for your physical and mental health. Furthermore, walking through nature is a long-life elixir. You’re in the right place, because the San Michele Abbey gives you, actually, the chance to discover several paths, from the shortest to the longest ones.

In an hour and half of walking, you can discover the following paths:

  • Sant’Ambrogio
  • Chiusa San Michele
  • Frazione Mortera

Here you are, the most evocative paths to discover:

  • The path starting from Oulx: starting from the longer path, then you will find a 60 km road that crosses the Gran Bosco Salbertrand Park
  • The itinerary of the Rocciavrè Orsiera: keep walking, and then you will notice that this path is divided into 3 stages; in 3 days you can discover the whole path and if you want to rest, there’s the chance to spend the night in a tent or in accommodation.

Get ready to take some wonderful photos, because here you’ll find a picturesque view of the Susa Valley.


Aerial view
Aerial view of the San Michele Abbey – Photo by Gildos, via Wikimedia

Green accommodations near the San Michele Abbey

Do you want to make your experience at the San Michele Abbey unforgettable but also eco-friendly? Then, this Ecob&b is perfect for you. Its name is PerTe and it is located in Oulx, a small village near the Susa Valley. Here you can do yoga, you can go hiking and plan your guided visit to the abbey.

Are you fascinated by this wonderful place? Then, plan your green holiday here. It won’t disappoint you.


Cover Image: photo by Elio Pallard, via Wikimedia