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The history of the town of Susa, the fascinating “capital” of the valley of the same name, goes back thousands of years. It was once known as the “gate to Italy” between the Savoy kingdom and Turin. The town grew up close to the mountain called Rocciamelone, which at 3,538 metres was considered the highest peak in the Alps during the Medieval period. It is located where the Dora River meets the Cenischia Stream and the valley forks off in two different directions. To the north the wide Val Cenischia opens toward Moncenisio, and the Savoy and Maurienne areas; to the west are the Guaglione and Gravere gorges leading to the upper valley and the territory of the Dauphine and Briancon. There are still many signs of the Roman epoch: the amphitheatre, the Graziane Thermal aqueduct, Porta Savoia – the symbol of the town, l’Arco di Augusto, built in the ninth and eighth centuries b.c. with white stone from Foresto. In Susa’s interesting historic centre via Palazzo di Città is lined with gothic arcades, and you can admire the San Giusto cathedral with its Romanic bell tower, built between 1012 and 1029, but later redone in gothic style in the fourteenth century. Other interesting monuments are the church of the Madonna del Ponte and the nearby building that houses the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the “Tesoro della Cattedrale”. The castle of the Countess Adelaide dates back to the tenth century and today houses the City Museum containing prehistoric and roman relics as well as coin and medal, mineral and botanical collections.
Torneo storico dei Borghi (Historical Tournament of the Village), July
A contest, which takes the form of lively tournaments, to honour the figure of the marchioness Adelaide of Susa, who reunited, in the 11th century, the fates and holdings of the Savoia and the Arduino dynasties.
Via Palazzo di Città, 39 - 10059 Susa (To)
Tel.: +39.0122 648311 - Fax: +39.0122 648307
Date of last update: 02/09/2010
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