The Sacra di San Michele is a religious complex situated on Mount Pirchiriano, on the south side of the Valle di Susa. From the abbey, overlooking the village and the lakes of Avigliana, the view sweeps from the Alps and the lakes of Avigliana to the city of Turin.
The church, whose construction lasted for many years, is characterized by the unusual position of the façade, which is at a lower level than the floor of the church’s interior.
The 41 m-high façade gives access to the Scalone del Morti ("Stairway of the Dead"), flanked by arches, niches and tombs in which, until recent times, skeletons of dead monks were visible (hence the name). At the top of the steps, where the panorama was taken, stands the Porta dello Zodiaco, a masterwork of 12th Century sculpture. The church itself is accessed by a Romanesque portal in grey and green stone, built in the early 11th Century. The church has a nave and two aisles, and features elements from both the Gothic and Romanesque styles of architecture.
The complex includes the ruins of the 12th-15th Centuries monastery, which had five floors. It ends with the Torre della Bell'Alda ("Tower of the Beautiful Alda") The so-called "Monks' Sepulchre" is probably the remains of a chapel reproducing, in its octagonal plan, the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
More information on Wikipedia
A special thanks to Fulvio Senore