The Sacred Valley, located between the Valle Soana and Valchiusella, is easily accessible from Castellamonte and offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Here, you can take leisurely walks in enchanting places suitable for children, as well as tackle more challenging trails for trekking and mountain biking enthusiasts.
The valley is rich in religious buildings, including the famous Sanctuary of Santa Elisabetta. Those who love discovering churches and chapels can find many surprises along the ascent towards the mountains of the valley. The appellation “Sacra” was used by Costantino Nigra, an illustrious resident of the valley in the 19th century, in his literary works and studies on the religious folk theater of the area. In the past, the valley was known as the “Valle di Castelnuovo,” taking its name from Villa Castelnuovo, a property of the San Martino Castelnuovo since the 12th century.
The last municipality in the Sacred Valley is Castelnuovo Nigra, formed by the union of the urban centers of Villa Castelnuovo and Sale. This municipality is dedicated to the diplomat and writer Costantino Nigra, who brought prestige to the entire valley. In the area, three equipped areas with picnic tables have been created, offering a splendid panoramic view of Canavese: Pian delle Nere, Palasot (1000 m), and Bric Filia (760 m). The latter area also has a naturalistic educational path accessible to visitors with visual disabilities. It’s worth taking a hike to Pian delle Nere between April and May to admire the extraordinary narcissus bloom. In the town center, you can also admire ceramic mural nativity scenes, works created in collaboration with the Ceramic Artists Association of Castellamonte, recalling the strong connection with the valley’s religiousness.
The valley is dotted with sanctuaries, churches, and chapels. In Castelnuovo Nigra, you’ll find the Chapel of the Visitation, while in Colleretto Castelnuovo, there is the Sanctuary of Santa Elisabetta. Other places of interest include the Chapel of Belice in Chiesanuova, the Sanctuary of Piova in Cintano, and the Basilisk monument, linked to the legend that the last specimen of the species was sighted and killed in Cintano.
The places in the valley, forming a crown of hills, are also starting points for a network of trails suitable for both tourist walks and more challenging excursions.
Leaving the hills at the entrance to the valley, you’ll find the town of Castellamonte, famous for ceramics since ancient times thanks to the deposits of red clay in its hills. The Museo della Ceramica, artisan workshops in the center, and factories producing the renowned stoves of Castellamonte are definitely worth a visit. An ideal time to spend a few days in the ceramic city of Canavese is during the Ceramics Exhibition of Castellamonte, which takes place in summer.
The Sacred Valley thus offers a fascinating mix of nature, spirituality, history, and artisanal tradition. It is a place where you can enjoy peaceful walks in the surrounding natural beauty, explore ancient churches and chapels, admire ceramic art, and immerse yourself in local culture. With its strategic location and wealth of attractions, the Sacred Valley represents an ideal destination for adventure, history, and artistic beauty enthusiasts.