You’ll be pleased! To find tracks of the origin of Susa, you need to jump back in time until 500 B.C. When Turin hadn’t even been found yet, to the confluence of the Dora Riparia river with the Cenischia stream, in a strategic position for the control over the direct ways to the Mont Cenis and Montgenèvre passes, in Susa already lived a Celtic tribe, under the careful aegis of the druid priests. As evidence from this remote time remains the cup-marked stones placed on the fortress of the city.
The maximum glory came without doubt in the Roman age and the artistic and historic heritage of the city, going back to that great period, makes Susa one of the richest and better preserved Roman cities of Italy. It’s from 8 B.C. the Arch of Augustus, distinctive monument of that age; from II century the Amphitheatre; from IV century the arches of the aqueduct thermal baths and from III-IV centuries the gateway, now called Porta Savoia, restored during the Middle Ages.
Well, yes… Susa was the Savoia’s outpost in Italy! Here was born indeed Adelaide, daughter of Ulric Manfred, Margrave of Turin, who married Otto, son of Humbert aux blanches-mains, Count of Maurienne and Savoy, and thus begun the Savoia dynasty in Italy. The Countess Adelaide remains today the most extraordinary historic personality born in the city, since, among other things, she became the mother-in-law of the Emperor Henry IV, who married her daughter Bertha.
Perhaps you are wondering… why does our hotel is called “Napoleon”?
Of course “our” Napoleon is Bonaparte! And he brought a lot of trouble in Susa! He caused unfortunately the destruction on 1796, following the treaty concluded in Paris on May 16 of the same year, of the Brunetta Fort, a fortress built in XVIII century, which was the most modern and efficient at the time. But at the same time, with the decision of building the carriageable road leading to the Mont Cenis pass, he changed for the better the economic conditions of the lower part of the Susa Valley.
Passing through here is not only the Via Francigena Alta, which from the Mont Cenis and the Montgenèvre led to Vercelli, but also the Via Micaelica, also known as the Saint Michael’s Way, which from Mont Saint Michel in France led the pilgrims to Monte Sant’Angelo sul Gargano, in the south of Italy.
Do you need more suggestions about the historic and artistic heritage of the Susa Valley?
It’s very rich so we’ll just make a simple list… all to be discovered… and visited!
The Sacra of Saint Michael (symbolic monument of the Piedmont Region), the Novalesa Abbey, the Banda and Montebenedetto Charterhouses, the Abbey of Sant’Antonio di Ranverso, the Fort of Exilles, the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, The civic Museum of Susa (soon to be reopened) and much more…
We are sure you’ll want to discover the tastes of the Susa Valley too…
So allow us to take you on the Turin Royal Wine Road, which in the Susa Valley reaches the 1000 m of altitude of the Exilles and Chiomonte vineyards, where the classic Valsusa DOC and the extraordinary Ice wine are produced.