The name derives from the Gallic "sego" (strong). It is a municipality in the province of Turin, which borders with Bussoleno, Meana di Susa, Mompantero, Gravere and Mattie. Featuring a charming mix of styles ranging from classic Roman to medieval, Susa is full of sacred buildings that conserve precious and rare artworks, examples of great aesthetic balance. It is full of important signs left by the Roman domination: the amphitheater, the aqueduct and the arch of Augustus, which shows clearly the considerable building skills and architectural genius of the great conquerors. The main center is dominated by the imposing Bell tower of the Cathedral, full of mullioned windows, and four-trefoils. The historic center, streets cut by irregular, is punctuated by numerous towers.
In 500 B.C., at the confluence of the Dora Riparia with stream Cenischia, there was a efficient and well-organized Celtic city. The area was invaded and conquered by the Roman army, becoming a developed center with great economic importance, but in later centuries it suffered a steady decline that ended only in the VIII century, during the period when the region was ruled by the Franks. In a strategic location, situated along the roads between the crossings for Monginevro and Mont Cenis, it was often the subject of bloody struggles, sieges, raids and several times destroyed by fire. During the XI century it was subject to the Counts of Moriana, until ceded to the Savoy, Susa followed their fortunes and fate.
Not to miss:
- the Church of San Carlo, dating from the XVII century, in Baroque style with a single nave, houses a painting of San Carlo Borromeo.
- the Cathedral of San Giusto is of the X century, built in Romanesque-Gothic style. It presents a Latin cross plan with one major nave and two aisles. It incorporates a tower, which previously was part of a Roman gate. The Bell tower is 51 meters high with an octagonal spire and pinnacled corners. The church features a triptych of the XVI century representing the Madonna and Child with Saints, a wooden altarpiece depicting St. Nicholas, by the artist Ferrari, and dating from the late XV century, a fine marble altar of the XIII century by Pietro da Lione, a beautiful green marble baptismal font, a side portal of the late XVII century, the choir stands of the XIV century, a rare example of art of carved wood artifacts, various statues of the XVI and XVII centuries and a XV century Cross preserved in the Baptistery.
- the Church of Madonna del Ponte of the XIII century.
- the Church of San Saturnino of the XI century.
- the Convent of St. Francis of the XIII century.
- the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie of the XVIII century.
- the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore of the X century.
- the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.
- the Tower of Rotari, raised by the family of the same name in the XIV century for defensive purposes. It is a brick building with a single square structure and battlements.
- the XVIII century Torre Civica, located in one of two Roman towers above the Piedmont gateway, access to the Merchants district.
- Mansion De'Bartolomei, built in the XIII century.
- the castle of Countess Adelaide, residence of the daughter of the Marquis of Turin, Count of Maurienne and Savoy, Manfred and his wife Oddone, dating from the XI century.
- the Arch of Augustus, dating from the period between the VIII and IX century B.C., built on the ancient road towards the Galia, in white marble laid on blocks of limestone: It features a single arch structure with an inscription commemorating the pact between Octavian Augustus and the king of the Celts, Cozio, and a frieze that runs along the four sides and represents the ceremonies that accompanied the agreement between Rome and Cozio.
- the Amphitheater, dating from the II or III century A.D., is located in a natural valley, that over the centuries was covered with soil brought from the flooding of a nearby stream. This Roman amphitheater is one of the smallest found in Italy with its mere 45 meters by 3, but features a tunnel that connects the four rooms where once upon a time, the spectators could admire the gladiators and animals before their performance in the arena, a stable for the animals located under the bleachers and the remains of a circular building, perhaps a spoliarium, where the wounded or killed gladiators were deposed.
- the remains of a Roman Aqueduct built with limestone blocks, whose pillars rest on an altar of Celtic origin.