Route: Via Ferrata Carlo Giorda, of the Abbey of Sacra di San Michele - Sant'Ambrogio (m.350)
Climbing grade Fairly Difficult-, gap 600 meters, total estimated time 5 – 6 h
The via Ferrata runs on the north side of the Mount Pirchiriano (962 meters) on top of which the Abbey os Sacra di San Michele was built. this the symbol of the region Piemonte (Piedmont) and also a very important Monument. Everybody can reach the abbey by car and enjoy the panoramic view. But very different is reaching the abbey climbing the sides of the Mount Pirchiriano, and at the same admire the Valley of Susa. Once on the top it also possible to visit the Abbey with a guided tour. This via ferrata not only is extremely panoramic, but is also full of history: Halfway on old abandonet path takes to spectacular terrace, which in the past was called Pian Cestlet by the inhabitants of Sant'Ambrogio, and Piasa Buè by the inhabitants of Chiusa San Michele. Right on this terrace the key of the border between the two municipalities is carved on the rock. Higher up a horizontal crack forms a secret small valley that in the past was used as hiding-place by the partisan of this area. Futher up there is another path that in the past was used to connect the hamlet of San Pietro with the village of Chiusa: It runs upon a ledge called "U Saut du Cin". Interesting are also the marks left by the glacier movements in this valley, as rocks of withe granite (which is a kind of rock that has nothing to do with the local serpentine) taht have been carried on this side during the ice age.
Reach the village of Sant'Ambrogio, go to the entrance of the Valley of Susa by A32 of Frejus tunnel, exit to Avigliana, take the main road SS 25, and park your car in the area called Croce della Bell'Ada, a bit outside the village towards Susa. The path starts immediately after the parking lot. Find the sign-post. Follow the spur along the very big abandoned quarry, halfway there cross to the right towards the biggest spur coming down from the top. The route is technically not very difficult, nor there are vertical walls, however we recommend to be prudent since the route is quite long. There are two emergency walkways, the first one is after nearly 300 meters by Pian Cestlet, here an easy path takes to the village. The second one is after a nearly 500 meters gap by "U Saut du Cin" and from here you can walk to the village of San Pietro. From the top of the via ferrata which ends against the wall of the abbey, you can proceed going to the right along a quite uncomfortable path with some ups and downs, until you reach a paved road few meters away from the entrance of the abbey. Way down: from the paved road take the old path indicated by a signpost. It winds through the village of San Pietro and goes back to the village of Sant'Ambrogio. 1 h 30.