Churches in Piemonte
AlessandraAsti •  BiellaCuneoDomodossolaGhiffaNovara • Torino • Vercelli


Cattedrale di S. Giovanni Battista
Dedicated to the patron saint of Torino, John the Baptist, the cathedral is the only example of
Renaissance architecture in the city.  It was built by order of cardinal Domenico della Rovere between 1491 and 1498, on the site of three pre-existing churches. The cathedral has a three-nave plan, an octagonal cupola and thirteen side chapels; the second chapel on the right was painted by Defendente Ferrari.  The cathedral façade is in white marble and presents a pediment and three portals decorated in elegant, Renaissance-style reliefs. The façade may have been copied from the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, built around the same period.

Via XX Settembre 87
101023 Torino

Basilica di Superga

Basilica di Superga
Built on orders from Vittorio Amodeo II to fulfil a vow he had made, and dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary, the basilica was built by Filippo Juvarra between 1717 and 1731 on a strategic site. The cupola is flanked by two symmetrical towers which blend into the wings of the adjacent convent.  The interior of the basilica is round and opens onto two main and four secondary chapels.  The vaults contain the tombs of the kings of Italy, from Vittorio Amedeo to Carlo Alberto, and royal princes, buried here from 1731 onwards.   Outside and behind the basilica, a memorial stone marks the spot where a plane crashed in 1949, with 31 people aboard, including the entire Torino football team.

Indirizzo: Strada della Basilica di Superga 73
101023 Torino


Abbazia di Fruttuaria

Abbazia di Fruttuaria
There are actually two abbeys in one, the first built in 1003, and the second in 1776. The second abbey was built on orders from Cardinal delle Lanze and was designed by architects Vittone and Quarini.   Below the floor of the more recent abbey we can find the series of archaeological digs that brought to light the original abbey and its splendid mosaics.

Piazza Cardinale delle Lanze
10080 San Benigno Canavese (TO)

Sacro Monte di Belmonte
Sober and simple in style, embodying the rigour of the Franciscan Order, the lofty site dominates the Canavese Plain. At first a monastery, in the early years of the eleventh century, then a sanctuary and again a monastery, the site became a “Sacro Monte” in 1712. Composed of 13 chapels, each representing a step in the Way of the Cross, it was built by a member of the Franciscan Order who urged local artists and craftsmen to work on building the sanctuary for free. There are a number of refined frescoes, including a depiction of Jesus on the cross painted with a light touch by an unknown artist.

Località Trucchi
10087 Valperga (TO)

Duomo di S. Giovanni Battista
The general layout of the cathedral does not differ substantially from the most common Gothic model in Piemonte at the time (XIV century). Only the apse was remodeled in the XVIII century, with the addition of an altar designed by Bernardo Vittone. With close ties to the local community as well as to local noble families, the cathedral houses some notable works of art such as a “Madonna del Popolo” attributed to Defendente Ferrari (1519), a triptych altar screen depicting the “Baptism of Jesus”, attributed to Giuseppe Giovenone (1531) and a finely executed wooden crucifix from the Byzantine School (XIII-XIV centuries). Martiri della Libertà 33
10100 Ciriè (TO)

Sacra di San Michele

Sacra di San Michele
Once one of the most famous Benedictine abbeys in Northern Italy, it is also one of the largest
Romanesque structures in the whole of Europe. The sanctuary was built between 983 and 987, in
response to the needs of pilgrims, and stands as a kind of halfway point on the route between Mont Saint-Michel and the Gargano. An emblem of the whole Piemonte region, the “Sacra” dominates the Valle di Susa from the rocky peak of Monte Pirchiriano. Visitors and pilgrims reach the church by way of the steep “Salone dei Morti”, carved into the rock, before pausing at the famous “Portale dello Zodiaco” (XII century), the work of Mastro Nicolò and then, from the terraces, admiring the panorama that sweeps from the highest mountain peaks to the distant city of Torino.

Via alla Sacra 14
10057 - S.Ambrogio di Torino (TO)

Precettoria di Sant'Antonio di Ranverso
This is a very rare example of brickwork in the Gothic style. The Precettoria dates back to the XII century.  In 1188 it was turned over to the “Antoniani Ospedalieri di Vienne”, originally a lay order dedicated to providing health care, to treat the effects of leprosy and herpes zoster. In the fifteenth century the arches of the main entrance to the church and the façade of the hospital were embellished with terracotta decorations.   Inside the church, visitors can admire the wonderful frescoes executed by Giacomo Jaquerio, from the XV century, while the altar is graced by a large polyptych by Defendente Ferrari.

Località Sant'Antonio di Ranverso
10090 Buttigliera Alta (TO)


Abbazia di Novalesa

Abbazia di Novalesa
Founded in 726, the Abbazia die Santi Pietro e Andrea (the Abbey of Saints Peter and Andrew),
reached the height of its glory during the reign of the Carolingians (IX century). Before attacking the forces of Lombard ruler Desiderius, Charlemagne himself stayed for a long period in the abbey, his presence helping the abbey to become even more powerful. It was during this period that the abbey’s acclaimed library was inaugurated, in which the monks copied and illuminated many codices by hand.  The grounds contain four medieval chapels, including the very fine chapel of Sant’Eldrado with frescoes from the XI century.

Borgata San Pietro 4
10050 Novalesa (TO)





Sacro Monte di Crea

Sacro Monte di Crea
Building began in 1589, under Costantino Massino, prior of the Marian sanctuary in the Monferrato hills.  Initially dedicated to the Life of the Virgin Mary, the chapels follow a particularly steep devotional trail that starts in front of the church and culminates in the Cappella del Paradiso (“the Paradise Chapel”).  After suffering severe damage in the nineteenth century, the complex underwent extensive renovation.

Info: Parco Naturale del Sacro Monte di Crea
Cascina Valperone 1
15020 Ponzano Monferrato (AL)

Abbazia di Santa Giustina
Historians attribute the construction of the original church to the Lombard king Liutprando, in 722. Parts of the church are Romanesque (from the first half of the XI century) and there are some elements from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.   The church’s imposing clay façade is divided by pilaster strips and crowned by overhanging arches.  There are interesting frescoes from the XIV and XV centuries in the apse and on the vault and the XI century floor mosaic in the crypt is noteworthy. Restoration work has uncovered frescoes from the X-XI centuries, as well as the decorations of the central apse that have been dated to the second half of the fifteenth century.

Via Badia 53
15079 Sezzadio (AL)



Abbazia di S Maria di Vezzolano

Abbazia di S. Maria di Vezzolano
The abbey was founded in 1095, and in 1159 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa took it under his protection.  The façade is in the Lombard Romanesque style and is made from terracotta and sandstone and is decorated with three orders of alcoves.   The style of the interior is early Gothic with clear French influence, and one of the most noteworthy features of the church is the arcade resting on five arches.   There is a fifteenth-century triptych in polychrome terracotta above the altar, and a number of remarkably beautiful capitals with sculpted friezes. In the cloister arcade, on the north side, visitors can admire one of the most well-known frescoes of early Piemonte art (dated XIV century).

Str. dell'Abbazia
14100 Albugnano (AT)

Santuario di don Bosco
Visitors to the Sanctuary will have an opportunity to discover the roots of the great tree of the Salesian family founded by Saint John Bosco and that has, in time, spread across the world. The idea of the “Tempio di Don Bosco” was proposed by the Superiors of the Salesian Order at the end of World War II.  The enormous church is in fact two churches, one built upon the other. The first stone was laid in June 1961 and the complex was finished a few years later.  At the beginning, only the lower church was

14022 Colle don Bosco (AT)




Santuario della Madonna di Oropa

Santuario della Madonna di Oropa
Set in a kind of natural amphitheatre at 1200 m altitude, the sanctuary is connected with devotion to the “Black Madonna”, and is the largest and most important building of its kind in the Alpine region.   The monumental complex is the work of the House of Savoy’s leading architects, Pietro Arduzzi and Filippo Juvarra.  It is composed of the Cloister and Early Basilica, the New Basilica and side buildings.  There are a number of galleries throughout the buildings and visitors can admire the collection of “ex-voto” (votive offerings), the Royal Apartments, the Osservatorio Metereosismico (the weather station), the Library, and the Museo del Tesoro del Santuario. The nearby Sacro Monte pilgrimage site has recently been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Via Santuario di Oropa, 480
13900 Biella-Oropa (BI)

Battistero di S. Giovanni Battista
Not far from the town of Campiglia in the Valle del Cervo, there is a road that will take visitors on a journey through evocative countryside up to the Sanctuary of San Giovanni Battista di Andorno (at 1020 m altitude). The early church was built in the XVII century and then enlarged the following century and finally completed with the addition of the charming cloister, the “rettoria” (a church that is not attached to a parish), the porch and other buildings meant to accommodate visitors. Inside the church visitors can admire a wooden statue of St John the Baptist placed in an alcove that has been carved into the rock, and different works by Galliari di Andorno.

3812 Campiglia Cervo (BI)

Santuario di Graglia
The sanctuary is dedicated to the Madonna of Loreto (the place in Italy said to be the site of the home of the Virgin Mary after it had been transferred from Palestine, and now the site of an extensive placed of pilgrimage).  It was designed by different architects, including Pietro Arduzzi and Bernardo Vittone.  The sanctuary features a church laid out along the lines of a Greek cross and an octagonal domedecorated by Fabrizio Gallari (1664-1684) with scenes depicting the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and the Circumcision, with a number of painted terracotta statues.

13050 Graglia (BI)
Via Campiglie, 1




Abbazia di Santa Maria di Staffarda

Abbazia di Santa Maria di Staffarda
The abbey was founded in the first half of the XII century by Cistercian monks. The complex includes the church and an elegant cloister which features paired columns (only the columns on the north and west sides are preserved), monastic buildings (the guest area for visitors and pilgrims, the refectory, the chapter house or meeting room) and nine farm buildings.   Visitors can admire the very fine painted and gilded wooden polyptych, executed by Pascale Oddone around 1531-1533, placed above the high altar.  The complex also features guest quarters used to accommodate travellers and the massive, Gothic style loggia where the market was held.

P.zza Roma 4 - Località Revello
2030 Saluzzo (CN)

Certosa di Santa Maria in Valle Pesio
Founded in 1173, this truly splendid “charterhouse” is essentially late Renaissance in style. For over six centuries it was the focus for religious and spiritual life in Valle Pesio, influencing the area’s economy and even shaping the surrounding countryside. The inner cloister is very striking as is the loggia that looks onto the charterhouse’s main entrance, there are a number of noteworthy fifteenth-century paintings and of course a splendid glimpse over the higher reaches of the valley. The church of the Assumption (“Assunta”) dates back to the XVI century and from its entrance visitors can still see parts of the monastery connected with the everyday labours of keeping the monks nourished.

Località Certosa di Pesio
12010 San Bartolomeo (CN)


Santuario di Vicoforte

Santuario di Vicoforte
It took more than two hundred years to build this massive complex, and visitors can make out the different phases from that long period. Started in 1596 under the architect Ascanio Vitozzi, the lower part of the building shows late Renaissance characteristics. The stately tambour that supports an elliptic cupola was designed by architect Francesco Gallo and built around 1710, while the enormous cupola itself was reinforced and finished in only five months. The interior of the sanctuary houses a very interesting “pictorial poem”, a series of frescoes covering over 6000 m2; the series was finished in 1752 by Mattia Bortoloni and Felice Biella.

P.zza Carlo Emanuele I 1
12080 Vicoforte (CN)




Abbazia dei Santi Nazzaro e Celso
This Benedictine abbey is the most important complex of its kind in the Novara and Vercelli area. The abbey was founded in 1040 by Riprando, bishop of Novara and a member of the family of the counts of Biandrate.   It was built on the site of a disused building that had already served in the past as a Benedictine monastery. The complex is surrounded by high, defensive walls with a round tower at each corner and a watch tower at the entrance. The church was built in the XV century and bears the hallmarks of the Lombard Gothic style. There are two fifteenth-century frescoes on the side walls. The fifteenth-century cloister presents a square plan and its large arches have vaulted ceilings. The edge of the cloister balcony is decorated in terracotta. The sides of the porch are decorated with a very interesting cycle of late fifteenth-century frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St Benedict.

28060 San Nazzaro Sesia (NO)


San Gaudenzio

Cupola di San Gaudenzio
The present basilica, situated on the highest point in Novara, was built between 1577 and 1690 after Charles V of Spain ordered the destruction of the old basilica located outside the city walls. One of its most striking features is the towering cupola, which may be considered a succession of circles rising up to the heavens. In creating the cupola, Alessandro Antonelli, the architect who designed and gave his name to the Mole Antonelliano, reached the limits of the possible in the art of building in brickwork, creating the most daring stonework constructions in the history of building.

Via Bescapè 11
28100 Novara

Badia di Dulzago
Standing on a low, moraine headland that overlooks a fertile plain bathed by the waters of the Terdoppio torrent, the centuries-old Badia di Dulzago is dedicated to San Giulio. It was founded in the early years of the XII by canons regular to provide spiritual comfort and guidance to the local farming communities during the Middle Ages. As the abbey was also a major farming concern, it housed the families of the labourers who worked the old canonical lands. Frescoes from the XV century by masters working in the north of Italy have recently been uncovered in the church of San Giulio and restored.

Frazione Badia di Dulzago - Strada Provinciale n.102
28043 Sologno - Bellinzago Novarese


San Giulio


Abbazia Isola di San Giulio
The abbey is set in truly stunning surroundings. As soon as visitors arrive at the island, they follow a short flight of steps up to the evocative Romanesque basilica, without the most interesting reason for visiting the island. The present church, with its three-nave, Romanesque layout copied from the old cathedral of Novara, was built in the XII century but underwent many alterations over the years. The church houses a very fine tribune in sculpted black marble resting on columns, an absolute masterpiece of XII century Lombard Romanesque sculpture.

Via Basilica n.5 - Isola San Giulio
Tel. 0322.905010




Sacro Monte Calvario
The Mattarelle Hill on which the Sacro Monte Calvario stands is steeped in history. It was during Lent of 1656 that two Capuchin friars from the monastery of Domodossola suggested the idea of building the Sacro Monte Calvario, in memory of the Passion of Christ. Two years later, work began on the construction of the Santuario del S.S. Crocifisso (“Sanctuary of the Holy Cross”). The following year a huge entrance archway was raised at the start of the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross, commemorating Christ’s journey to Calvary and crucifixion), but this was later demolished during the nineteenth century. Other buildings were added to the complex over the years, the various chapels, the Oratory and the Holy House.

Borgata Sacro Monte Calvario 5
28845 Domodossola




Sacro Monte Ghiffa

Sacro Monte della SS Trinità di Ghiffa
This particular “holy mount” enjoys a magnificent position overlooking Lake Maggiore, at 360 m altitude.  The unfinished Baroque complex was influenced by the Borromeo family’s ideas and by the architecture of the holy mounts at Orta and Varese.  The oldest part of the complex is formed by the sanctuary dedicated to the Holy Trinity, built upon the remains of an oratory that dated to the XII-XIII century, and altered over the course of the years. The last touch was put to the church in 1904, when the apse was surrounded by a polygonal choir that echoed the lines of the apse.   A nature reserve spreads for 200 hectares over the slopes of Monte Cargiago. The reserve is crossed by a great many trails lined by dry stone walls and a number of characteristic little chapels.

Sacro Monte della SS. Trinità di Ghiffa
Comunità Montana Alto Verbano Risorgimento
28055 Ghiffa.




Abbazia di Sant'Andrea
The Church of Sant’Andrea is probably Vercelli’s best known monument. Among Italian buildings, the basilica is without doubt one of the closest in style to French Gothic. It was built between 1219 and 1227, by order of cardinal Guala Bicchieri. The interior is built along the Latin cross plan, and the space reserved for the choir is rectangular. The church contains some splendid baroque confessionals and fourteenth-century frescoes. Visitors should also admire the inlaid decorations in the Sant’Andrea choir.

V.le Garibaldi n. 90
13100 Vercelli


Sacro Monte di Varallo

Sacro Monte di Varallo
This is the oldest of Italy’s “holy mounts”. It was founded in 1491 when the first chapel was built, an exact imitation of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. More than 21 other chapels were built in less than twenty-five years, all of them decorated with paintings and sculptures that recalled the holy places of Palestine. Chapels, statues and frescoes were all produced using techniques and materials characteristic of the area’s traditions and economy. An outer wall built in the second half of the sixteenth century separates the manmade gardens from the unspoiled woods on the other side.

P.le della Basilica Sacro Monte
13019 Varallo (VC)

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
The Gothic style of this church dedicated to Our Lady of Grace is particularly sober. The interior presents the typical division into one space for the congregation and one for the religious orders, separated by a wall with three ogival arches. Visitors can admire the vast fresco cycle depicting 21 scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, a masterpiece painted by Gaudenzio Ferrari and the first model for the narrative approach the artist would later use in decorating the “holy mount”. Roma n. 38
13019 Varallo (VC)



Abbazia del Principato di Lucedio
The so-called principality of Lucedio and the Abbey of S. Maria could more properly be considered a heavily fortified monastery. The abbey was founded in 1123 on lands presented by the marquis Ranieri di Monferrato to the Cistercian monks who reclaimed the land and later introduced rice plantations around the turn of the fifteenth century.  Today the abbey is a modern working farm but has successfully managed to preserve its medieval charm. Once past the defensive outer wall, visitors can still admire the minor church, the abbey church, the unusual eight-sided bell tower with the square base, and the square chapter house meeting room divided by four columns.

Viale Garibaldi, 90
13100 Vercelli


  Artan Ramaj - Mobile: +39-32895 49342   Home: +39-055 576283  e-mail: