The former Cathusian monastery of Montebenedetto (1000 m) lays immersed in a beautiful mountain scenery, surrounded by nature’s silent majesty, not far from the village of Villar Focchiardo. The monks of saint Bruno arrived here from the village of Losa, near Gravere, in 1200. The monastery was abandoned at the end of the fifteenth century because of a disastrous flooding that partially destroyed the complex. This small medieval monastery has carefully preserved its original charm, with the simple church and the remains of the houses of monks. Situated at a short distance from the charterhouse there is the Correria, the lower house of the monastery, the only place where the laity were allowed.
The city of Susa, the most important city in the valley, still retains it's alpine style and charm. The antiquity of its origin is testified by the druidic rock carvings (cup marks) found in a stone in the higher point of the city. The early examples of Roman architecture are testified by the Arch of Augustus, built in the year 8th BC using the white marble of local quarries, by the remains of the aqueduct, of the castrum, the arena and the temple. The medieval examples of architecture are testified by the cathedral of saint Giusto, erected in 1029 as a Benedictine monastery, by the ancient parish church of saint Mary Major, by the convent of saint Francis (XIII century) and by the Castle. The artistic works of Susa and the Susa Valley are preserved in the Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra and in the Museo Civico (gradually set up in the Castle). The Museo Diocesano houses the Treasury of the cathedral of San Giusto and include a number of precious works (wooden sculptures, collections of textiles, goldsmith’s art works, a section of paintings) dated between fourth and twentieth century.
The visit to the Carthusian monastery of Montebenedetto can be done through a self guided tour or with the help of volunteer guides in the summer months. In the church there is a permanent exhibition showing the history of Montebenedetto and the life and the rhythms of the ancient world of the monks, remained unchanged over the centuries. Outside a circular route guides you to discover the beauty and peace of nature. You can also walk on the ancient trail that connected the monastery with the plan, to explore the ancient Correria.
The discover of the history and the art of the city of Susa start with a walk in its beautiful streets, where you can see the monuments and the rich cultural heritage of this city, also called the “Door of Italy” due to its strategic position. Do not miss to taste the typical local pastries: among the most famous sweet you can not forget the unmistakable fragrance of the famous Focaccia of Susa.
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