As you leave Turin on the SS25 road you enter the Susa Valley. The road traces the whole length of the valley, gradually climbing up through the mountain. After 15 kilometres you come to the monastery and hospital complex of St. Antonio di Raverso, founded in 1186 and enlarged during the 13th and 14th centuries. You can see frescos by Giacomo Jaquerio and an early polyptic by Defendente Ferrari.

Avigliana lies on the way to Susa. The Celts were living here as long ago as the 6th century B.C. In Roman times and in the Middle Ages the towns position on he route to France made it of strategic importance. The Borgo, the Medieval heart of the city, has rich architecture, such as the 13th century Casa della Porta Ferrata which has a magnificent ogival door with carved stone capitals. The 14th century Palazzo del Vescovo, with its original façade, rear portico with painted arches and ornate capitals should not be missed.

The Abbey of San Michele on the summit of mount Pirchiriano, inspired Umberto Eco to write his novel "In the Name of the Rose". The Avigliana Lakes nature Reserve lies at the base of this mountain. Through the woods, reed beds and meadows around the lakes there are many beautiful walks. The abbey, at a height of 962 metres, dominates the valley. Originally founded around 1000, the abbey was at its most powerful in the 12th century. The zodiac portal over the church entrance was created by Nicolo and is probably Italy's oldest existing Romanesque zodiac cycle. From the terrace, just outside the church there is an amazing panorama of the whole valley and of the mountains. Back on the SS25, make a diversion to visit the Chiaocco Gorge, a canyon scoured out in the Ice Age. In this area various treks can be made through the holm oak woods.

In the heart of the valley, 10 kilometres further on we reach Susa. Because of its important position at the junction of the roads from Savoia and Delfinato the city is known as "the key to Italy". Just how old this city is, is indicted by surviving monuments from the Roman Era, such as the Augustan Arch and the Arena. In religious terms it is also important, as the site of the first Franciscan building in Piedmont- the 13th century Church of San Francesco, which is associated with St. Francis' visit to France in 1213-1214.

Following the road to Venaus-Novalesa, make a turn off the main road to see the Novalesa Abbey. The Abbey was remade in the 18th century but the in Chapel of Sant'Eldrado the 10th century apse and frescos from the 12th century can be seen. An amazing vista greets you after climbing upwards into France to Colle del Moncenisio (2081 metres). Around the great lake, constructed here to produce electricity for France and Italy, are beautiful walks amidst the mountain scenery.

Returning to Susa and taking the road towards Colle del Montginevro you enter the High Susa Valley. In the thick pine forests of the Gran Bosco Park routes intersect with the famous Franchi Path on which Charlemagne, in 744, set an ambush for the Frankish king, Desiderio. Many locations used for the 2006 Turin Olympics are in these mountains. Bardonecchia was used for the snow boarding. This town has become the place to be, with its state of the art sports amenities, set in an awesome mountain landscape.