Albugnano - Asti - Cortazzone - Massazza - Montiglio Monferrato - Novalesa - Revello - Sant'Ambrogio di Torino - San Nazzaro Sesia - Sezzadio - Vercelli
Abbazia di Staffarda
The monuments to the Romanesque style are to be found along the “Via Francigena”, or the old pilgrim trail which crossed the Alps from France and passed through the Susa valley into Italy. Other such routes led to St. James of Compostela and even as far as Jerusalem. In the early Middle Ages, to embark upon a pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime was proof of a Christian’s faith and a sign of respect for the profound spirituality typical of the times. It is still possible to trace the route today, as it winds its way along mountain paths, through valleys and across plains. The great religious institutions become artistic treasures thanks also to the beauty of the surroundings in which they stand, and their air of quiet meditation. Two of the most interesting sites in Piedmont are the Sacra di San Michele, the magnificent tenth-century abbey that stands guard over the Susa valley, and the eighth-century abbey at Novalesa.
Another exceptional example of Romanesque architecture is the abbey of Staffarda, a few kilometres from Saluzzo in the province of Cuneo. Then, beyond the hills and vineyards of Monferrato lies Asti. Here the presence of Romanesque architecture is amazing and can be found in masterpieces such as the Crypt of Sant’Anastasio, the abbeys of Vezzolano at Albugnano, San Lorenzo at Montiglio, and San Secondo at Cortazzone. To the south-east in the province of Alessandria, there are the sanctuaries of the Madonna della Fonte at Felizzano and Santa Giustina at Sezzadio, one of the most important in the whole of Piedmont. To the north are the rice fields, vineyards, castles and uncontaminated natural beauties which surround Vercelli, with the basilica of St. Andrew, and Novara, with the nearby abbey of San Nazzaro Sesia. The journey into Romanesque architecture ends at the Castle of Massazza, once a typical mediaeval defensive settlement which was transformed into a castle around the year 1000.
Date of last update: 16/03/2010