Inside the church.
The church is not very large but remember that it stands on top of a peak and that most of it is held by a single pillar! However, it is impressive with its three naves? The Romanesque style is cleverly mixed with the Gothic stile. The lowest arches, between the central nave and the side naves are Romanesque. The vault of the main nave is Gothic.
The church has a smaller entrance (way out for the visitors) that leads to a terrace that overhangs the valley. In a corner, after a few stairs, a small portal is named “monks portal”. This door leads to the monastery part, where lived the monks. It is divided in two parts by a pilaster. On each side, a trifoliate arch.
Ruins of the old monastery.
The terrace overlooks the ruins of the old monastery that was built between the 12th and the 14th . This is also where was the old Ligures fortress and the Roman fortress.. It has a great view over the valley
The third photo shows the elevator for disabled that is almost hidden behind a pillar.
The landscape on the lower valley
The three photos show the valley towards the east
The first photo shows Avigliana and the autostrada from Susa to Turin.
The second and the third photo show the landscape further east. Because of air pollution, Turin cannot be seen but should be on the grayish horizon!
Avigliana and its lakes
The Parco Naturale Laghi di Avigliana, established in 1980, is situated at the the mouth of the Susa valley, at the foot of Mt. Pirchiriano on which the ancient abbey of the Sacra di San Michele lies. It is a typical area of the Rivoli-Avigliana morainic amphitheatre, about 20 kilometers far from Torino.
Despite its limited surface, the territory of Avigliana is particularly rich in different environments and ecological situations. The main aspect of the area where modern man and nature are strictly linked one to the other is represented by the Laghi di Avigliana which are, together with the morainic formations surrounding them, an evidence of the last two glacial periods.
The origins of the Laghi di Avigliana and of the morainic amphitheatre date back to the last two glaciations of the Pleistocene period.
Probably the glacial events led to the formation of four lake basins, among which the peatbog of Trana and the current wetland of the Mareschi which were soon covered by the detritus coming down from the surrounding hills.
The fish population is mainly characterized by cyprinids, and among the fishes of the two lakes there are pikes, bleaks, tenches, carps, different kinds of perches, and eels.
Each palustrine basin has its particular features. As a matter of fact, the Lago Piccolo (60 hectares, 356 m. above sea-level), which throws its waters in the Lago Grande (90 hectares, 352 m above sea-level), presents without a doubt more natural features, because it is surrounded by woods, meadows, and by a rather large cane-brake.