A municipality in the province of Turin located in Val Cenischia, Novalesa is divided into districts and villages, surrounded by impressive mountains and a superb environment. Suggestive are the waterfalls, that in Winter became an ideal place for ice climbing fans. The natural beauty, the inspiring views and the climate make of Novalesa a suitable destination all year round.
The town was named for the first time in 726 when it was founded by the governor of Susa, the French noble Abbone, the Abbey entitled to Saints Peter and Andrew. Located in a strategic point along the path towards the Alps, through the Col du Mont Cenis, it was an important stopping place, of which the local economy and its development took advantage, at least until a new road excluded Novalesa from the traffic. It was a center of pilgrimage and culture, it enjoyed a particularly good period in the IX century, also thanks to the charismatic and revered abbots, such as the Abbot Eldrado who became a saint. During the X century the town was attacked by the Saracens. In the XVII century it became an independent Diocese, including other neighboring districts under the domain of the Cistercians that replaced the Benedictines until the late XVIII century, when they were obliged to cede these lands to the Piedmont government.
Not to miss:
- the Abbey of Novalesa, recently restored, was built to give assistance to the pilgrims who followed the path that crossed the Alps. In 906 it was destroyed by a Saracen attack. The church, rebuilt in the XVIII century on a pre-Romanesque structure, features fine frescoes dating from the XI century, unfortunately incomplete. It is also flanked by the remains of the cloister of the XVI century. It also features four monastery chapels: one dedicated to Mary dating to the XVIII century, one entitled to the Saviour of the mid-XI century, one dedicated to St. Michael dating VIII-IX century and the chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas and Sant' Eldrado, embellished by the XI century frescoes depicting the lives of two saints.
- the XVI century Parish Church of St. Stephen, which houses valuable paintings from the school of Caravaggio.
- the Museum of Sacred Art, which preserves art objects from different periods: from the Roman ages through the Lombard period, until the Napoleonic period. It is located in a chapel adjoining the Church of Santo Stefano.
- the Museum of Mountain Life that opened in 1972, allows its visitors to immerse themselves in the past to discover the ancient traditions and customs.