By following the Royal Road of Val Cenischia, you arrive at one of the most historically traversed places in Europe: Moncenisio, a crossroad for armies, pilgrims, and travelers. Located beyond the French border at an altitude of 2083 meters, Moncenisio is a privileged destination for...
You find yourself in the beautiful Val di Susa, or are you just eager to reach this enchanting and authentic place?
Do you want to know what to do in 2 weeks in Val Susa during the summer?
You’re in the right place!
In this 14-day itinerary of Val di Susa, we take you with us to discover Valsusa in the summer, with breathtaking landscapes, ancient history, authentic tastes, and healthy relaxation.
The Map: Susa Valley
In the map below, we have marked the main attractions of Val di Susa: historical points of interest in brown and natural sites in green.
We have indicated areas where we generally park near Turin, including the area camper comunale of Val della Torre where you can find shaded spots, water, and charging stations.
Why visit Valsusa in the summer
If you’re looking for the ideal itinerary for a summer vacation in Piedmont, Valsusa is the perfect place to spend 14 unforgettable days. Discover a territory rich in attractions and adventures that will leave you breathless.
After all, what better time than summer to immerse yourself in the mountain landscape of Val di Susa, with its natural wonders, ancient ruins, art and culture, and to delight your palate with local gastronomy.
But let’s not get lost in further chatter and let’s start our journey to the Valle di Susa right away.
Day 1: Turin, a magical and regal city
The first stop on our adventure in Val Susa? Turin, the capital of Piedmont, an ideal gateway between the Po Valley and the Val di Susa.
Turin offers a myriad of cultural attractions, from the majestic Royal Palace to the Mole Antonelliana, to the Basilica of Superga, from which you can admire the magnificent panorama of the entire City and the Alpine arc, especially in the evening.
And there’s also the splendid Valentino Park and the wonderful Piazza Vittorio, where you must sit down for an aperitif after a romantic walk along the path that runs along the Po river.
But Turin’s attractions are truly numerous, and perhaps, a year wouldn’t be enough to experience them all. For those who only have one day, maybe we have suggested too many already.
If you have more time, however, we will soon start writing a series of guides on the unmissable wonders of the city of Turin.
Where to park
To visit Turin, we recommend parking your car or camper in the numerous free parking lots in Alpignano (as long as camper and van parking is allowed), and reaching the capital of Piedmont by train in just 15 minutes from Alpignano station, or alternatively, arriving in Turin by metro from Collegno (Fermi station).
Among all, we recommend the area of Parco della Pace and the Cimitero, which are very quiet and have two water points within walking distance (one at the cemetery and one in the park).
If you’re not sure about parking, we advise you to inquire. We have always parked without any problems, but we are not aware of any specific regulations.
Alpignano and the Palio dij Cussot (July 21-23)
If you happen to be in Alpignano between Friday, July 21, and Sunday, July 23, don’t miss the exciting Palio dei Cussot.
During this festival, the city takes a leap into the past: in the medieval village and the surrounding streets, the glorious past of this town is revived, along with the unmissable race with water-filled pumpkins!
Not to be missed!
Venaria Reale and Rivoli, the charm of the worldly
From the City of Turin, we recommend making a short stop in Venaria, strolling along the ancient Via Maestra (now via Mensa), which leads to the imposing Reggia di Venaria, a masterpiece of the Baroque style, another unmissable wonder.
In the evening, we suggest making a stop in Rivoli, climbing up the ancient Via Piol to the Rivoli Castle, where the skillfully illuminated fortress and the view of Turin and Corso Francia - the longest avenue in Europe - will reward you for the walk.
Day 2: Musinè, a magical mountain
It’s time to immerse ourselves in the unspoiled nature of Valle di Susa.
We recommend starting from Monte Musinè, the closest peak to the capital of Piedmont, famous worldwide for its countless myths, legends, and UFO sightings.
However, the summer period might not be the best time to visit this mysterious mountain from the side of Caselette, as it is always exposed to the sun from this side.
Instead, we recommend stopping and visiting it from Val della Torre.
Where to park
If you are traveling in a camper or van, in Val della Torre, in the town square, right next to the Cravanzola municipal park, a huge free camper parking area has just been created in a truly unique natural setting.
You won’t miss this unique opportunity, right?
Val della Torre, an oasis of peace
Val della Torre is a small village full of history and attractions, and it is the closest town to Turin with the highest number of hills and trails suitable for both walking and mountain biking, many of which are well-maintained.
Considering the time of year, we recommend taking the paths that wind through the coolest and most wooded part of the valley, namely those that lead to Musinè, Mont Curt, Monte Motta, and the Sanctuary of Madonna della Bassa.
Given the presence of a dense forest on this side of the valley, it won’t be difficult to find shade along your route.
In this splendid little village, along the course of the Casternone stream, there are numerous natural pools (a tip: the higher you go, the larger the pools of Val della Torre are) that are frequented by locals and lucky Turin residents who know of their existence during the summer.
Finally, if you are passionate about history, in Località Brione di Val della Torre, along the course of the Casternone stream, the Cerchio di Airal was recently discovered. It is a huge circular prehistoric structure, likely used for planetary observation, and later reused by the Celts and during the Middle Ages.
Access is currently free at any time, but visitors are required to behave appropriately at the archaeological site, which we recommend respecting to avoid its closure to the public, as has happened to many other archaeological sites in the area.
You’ll hardly get tired of this beautiful little village, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to leave after just one day. But if you only have 14 days to visit the entire Valsusa, you won’t be able to linger too long before moving on to the next stop.
Day 3: Avigliana and Sant Ambrogio, among castles, lakes, and abbeys
Leaving Val della Torre, we set off for Avigliana, a town at the foot of the Cottian Alps.
Here, you can visit the charming historic center with its ancient houses and climb up to the picturesque Avigliana Castle, which overlooks the two Lakes of Avigliana.
We recommend taking a kayak trip around the large lake if you’re skilled, as it won’t take more than half an hour. Otherwise, treat yourself to at least a walk along the lakeside. Except on weekends, it’s a fairly quiet place.
The Small Lake of Avigliana is a nature reserve and is not navigable, even with non-motorized means.
From Avigliana, we quickly reach Sant Ambrogio, where we ascend to the Sacra di San Michele, a medieval monastery symbol of Piedmont, perched on a cliff above the valley.
We recommend not arriving late, or you risk finding it already closed!
Day 4: Susa, a cultural experience
We head north and reach Susa, a city rich in history.
In Susa, you can wander through the Roman cobblestone streets that cross the countryside of ancient Segusium, visit the ruins of the amphitheater, admire the remains of the fortified walls, the beautifully preserved city gates, and the arch of 2000 years that marked the peace between Rome’s Augustus and Donno, king of the Cozi.
You’ll be fascinated to discover the numerous Celtic artifacts, such as the sacrificial altar near the Arch of Augustus.
Furthermore, you can admire the military fortifications and visit the city’s numerous religious buildings, including the Diocesan Museum with its religious artworks and the Civic Museum, which tells the history of the city.
Day 5: Giaglione and Novalesa, a journey into the past
Our adventure takes us to another treasure of Valle di Susa: Giaglione and the unspoiled Val Clarea.
In Giaglione, you can admire the splendid Monumental Chestnut Tree - a centuries-old tree bearing witness to past centuries and particular traditions with somewhat eerie characteristics - the ruins of the Castle, the defensive forts, and if you’re passionate about trekking, you can visit the Canale Maria Bona and the Gran Peirtus (checking the water level in advance).
And in Giaglione, we recommend returning in January to witness the solemn Sword Dancers’ Dance: a truly unique experience!
Leaving Giaglione and heading north, we end the day in Novalesa, admiring the waterfalls and falling asleep in the suggestive and solemn atmosphere of the highly significant Novalesa Abbey.
Day 6: Colle del Moncenisio, discovering the forts
Let’s head to Colle del Moncenisio, a mountain pass with its beautiful lake and numerous trails that wind through nature, leading to the ruins of ancient military fortifications.
Day 7: Full relaxation in Valle di Susa
Here we are, about halfway through our journey. We’re sure that, like us, you’ll be quite tired!
So, what’s better than a whole day dedicated to relaxation?
Valle di Susa is famous for its thermal baths and wellness centers. There are indeed many facilities dedicated to relaxation and spots where you can rest.
Day 8: Exilles and Bardonecchia, visiting the forts
After a full day of relaxation, we set off again towards Exilles with its Fort of Exilles, a historic and imposing fortress perched on a hill, miraculously escaping the devastating fury of the French following the Treaties of Peace.
After seeing the fortress from the outside (currently not open to visitors, but worth seeing from the outside alone), we recommend getting lost in the narrow streets of the village below, with its houses featuring characteristic stone slab roofs.
Leaving Exilles and heading towards Bardonecchia, our destination is the Fortress of Bramafam, an imposing military construction that can be visited, housing numerous war artifacts and an incredible internal path through tunnels and military courtyards.
After finishing the visit to Forte Bramafam, you can enjoy a vast panoramic view of the valley.
Day 9: Bardonecchia and Sauze d’Oulx, outdoor activities
Especially during the summer, the Valle di Susa offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
We resume our journey from where we left off: Bardonecchia, a renowned ski resort that offers a wide range of outdoor summer activities, including trekking, mountain biking, and climbing.
In Bardonecchia, or Bardo as it’s known to friends, you can venture along the numerous panoramic trails and enjoy the unspoiled nature.
We retrace our steps for a few kilometers and reach Sauze d’Oulx, another important ski destination that transforms into a vibrant resort in the warmer months.
From Sauze d’Oulx, you can embark on numerous excursions in the surrounding mountains and relax on the beaches of the lakes.
We end the day in Cesana Torinese, taking a walk in the historic center and admiring the panoramic view of the valley.
Here’s the translated text in English, maintaining the original formatting:
Day 10: Valle Argentera, paradise of Valsusa
The Valle Argentera, located near Sauze di Cesana, is a beautiful secondary valley of Val di Susa. Characterized by the presence of the Ripa stream flowing through lush larch trees and green meadows, the valley offers breathtaking natural scenery.
Towards its end, the valley splits into two branches, the Valle Lunga and the Valle del Gran Miol, extending to the border with the municipality of Abriès, France. This spectacular landscape will give you an experience immersed in the pristine beauty of the Cozie Alps.
To reach the Valle Argentera from Cesana Torinese, after taking the road leading to Sauze di Cesana, follow the signs for the Valle Argentera. The route takes you through picturesque scenery and breathtaking views, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Cozie Alps.
From June to September, motor vehicles intending to travel through the valley between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM are subject to a toll. The daily flat rate is €5 and is collected in Ponte Terribile.
The Valle Argentera is a paradise for outdoor sports enthusiasts who want to go trekking and mountain biking.
Day 11: Salbertrand, mountain excursions (part 1)
Continuing north, we reach Salbertrand, an ancient medieval village with a charming old town and its Church of San Giovanni Battista, but known especially for the trails of the Gran Bosco di Salbertrand.
Note: Check the weather conditions and embark on the journey only if you are experienced and well-equipped!
Days 12 and 13: Rocciamelone, mountain excursions (part 3)
We bid farewell to Usseaux to experience a trip to Rocciamelone, a sacred mountain reaching an impressive height of 3,538 meters.
Indeed, we have decided to dedicate our last two days of exploration to the discovery of Rocciamelone, one of the symbols and most impressive places in the splendid Valsusa.
Here, especially, we recommend being well-equipped and informed and dedicating at least 2 days to mountain excursions.
From the peaks, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding Alpine arc.
Day 14: Delights of Valsusa, in search of authentic flavors
The Valle di Susa, in addition to offering breathtaking landscapes and a rich cultural heritage, is also an ideal destination for food lovers, especially for vegan cuisine.
There are truly many unique and delicious culinary specialties in this region that do not include animal products.
That’s why we have decided to dedicate a whole day to the discovery of the delicacies of Val di Susa!
We wanted this final stage to contribute, for us as well as for you, to seal an unforgettable memory of this splendid journey.
So, we spent the last day of our trip exploring shops, restaurants, trattorias, and piole that were recommended to us or whose reviews we found online, offering local culinary products, preferably cruelty-free, and we must admit that we were truly surprised.
We have included the recipes for preparing these dishes for those who, like many campers and vanlifers, enjoy eating in the serene and peaceful environment of their own vehicle or perhaps outdoors, without necessarily going to a restaurant.
So, here are the dishes that we truly adored and recommend you try, either at a restaurant or by preparing them yourself!
Here’s the translated text in English, maintaining the original formatting:
Polenta concia is a traditional dish from the Valle di Susa prepared with cornmeal.
It can easily be adapted to a cruelty-free cuisine by serving it with a topping made with vegan cheese (such as vegan toma), which gives it a creamy, rich, and intense flavor, or with vegan sausages to create a tasty and hearty dish.
The Val di Susa’s polenta concia is often enriched with mushrooms and grilled vegetables.
Recipe for vegan/cruelty-free polenta concia from Valsusa
- 300g of cornmeal for polenta
- 1 liter of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 200g of vegan cheese made from cashews or potatoes (such as vegan toma)
- 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil.
- Gradually pour the cornmeal into the pot, stirring vigorously with a whisk to avoid lumps.
- Continue stirring the polenta over medium-low heat for about 40-50 minutes until it becomes thick and creamy. Add hot water if necessary during cooking.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegan topping for the polenta concia. Grate the vegan cheese made from cashews or potatoes and set it aside.
- Once the polenta is ready, remove it from the heat and add the grated vegan cheese and nutritional yeast flakes. Mix well until the vegan cheese melts and blends into the polenta.
- Adjust the salt and add ground black pepper to taste.
- Transfer the polenta concia to a lightly oiled baking dish, leveling the surface with a spoon.
- Bake the dish in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes, until the surface of the polenta is lightly golden.
- Remove the polenta concia from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Before serving, you can drizzle the polenta concia with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with ground black pepper.
Your Val di Susa’s polenta concia is ready to be enjoyed!
Serve it hot as a main dish or side dish, accompanied by a fresh mixed salad or grilled vegetables.
Barley and Vegetable Soup
This rustic soup is a classic of the mountain cuisine in the Valle di Susa.
Prepared with pearled barley, seasonal vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and savoy cabbage, and enhanced with flavors like rosemary and thyme, this soup is nourishing and flavorful. You can enjoy it hot during the colder months or chilled as a light summer dish.
Recipe for barley and vegetable soup from Valsusa
- 200g of pearled barley
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (400g)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- In a large pot, heat a little olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.
- Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, and zucchini to the pot. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pearled barley to the pot and stir to lightly toast it.
- Pour the vegetable broth into the pot, followed by the diced tomatoes.
- Add the bay leaves and dried thyme.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer over medium-low heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the barley and vegetables are tender.
- Taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper according to your preference.
Once ready, serve the barley and vegetable soup hot, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of ground black pepper.
You can enjoy the barley and vegetable soup from Valle di Susa as a nourishing and flavorful main dish.
It’s a great option for colder days or when you’re looking for something comforting.
Recipe for Mixed Grilled Vegetables from Valsusa
Val di Susa is famous for its production of fresh and high-quality vegetables.
Take advantage of this culinary treasure by enjoying a dish of mixed grilled vegetables.
Eggplants, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes are marinated with olive oil, garlic, and Mediterranean herbs, then grilled to achieve a tender texture and smoky flavor.
This versatile dish can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or main ingredient for a delicious salad.
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 eggplant
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 red onion
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Slice the zucchinis and eggplant into long slices, about 1cm thick.
- Cut the peppers into strips and the onion into wedges.
- In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. This will be the marinade for the grilled vegetables.
- Lightly brush the vegetable slices with the marinade, making sure to coat both sides.
- Place the vegetables on the hot grill and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they become tender and lightly charred.
- While grilling, brush the vegetables with the remaining marinade to keep them juicy and flavorful.
- While the grilled vegetables are still warm, add the cherry tomatoes to the grill for a few minutes until they begin to soften and develop a slight smoky aroma.
- Remove the mixed grilled vegetables from the grill and arrange them on a serving plate.
- Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and, if desired, add a pinch of additional salt and pepper.
Serve the Mixed Grilled Vegetables from Valsusa as a flavorful side dish or light main course.
This recipe is perfect for outdoor summer dinners.
The mixed grilled vegetables from Valsusa are a delicious and colorful option to enjoy the fresh flavors and delights of the Valle di Susa. They are versatile and pair well with many other dishes, such as salads, sandwiches, or appetizers. Enjoy this tasty and healthy recipe!
Recipe for Potato and Vegetable Pie from Valsusa
Another specialty from the Valle di Susa is the potato and vegetable pie.
Layers of thinly sliced potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes are alternated with aromatic herbs like basil and baked until they reach a soft and golden texture.
This flavorful dish is perfect for a light lunch or as a side dish to a main course.
- 500g of potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 200g of fresh or frozen peas
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Boil the potato cubes in salted water for about 10 minutes until they become tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté for a few minutes until they become soft and translucent.
- Add the carrots, zucchini, and red pepper to the skillet.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables become tender but still slightly crisp.
- Add the peas to the skillet and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, ensuring all the vegetables are cooked evenly.
- Add the dried thyme, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to the vegetables.
- Mix well to distribute the flavors.
- In a bowl, lightly mash the boiled potato cubes with a fork. Add the sautéed vegetables and mix well to combine all the ingredients.
- Lightly oil a baking dish and transfer the potato and vegetable mixture to the dish, leveling the surface with the back of a spoon.
- Bake the potato and vegetable pie for about 25-30 minutes or until the surface becomes golden and crispy.
Once cooked, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing and serving.
The Potato and Vegetable Pie from Valle di Susa is a flavorful and nourishing dish, rich in fresh flavors and vibrant colors. It’s perfect to enjoy as a main course accompanied by a fresh salad or as a tasty side dish.
Experiment with the available seasonal vegetables and add your favorite spices to customize this recipe.
Artisan Vegan Ice Cream:
Let’s conclude with something sweet, by tasting the artisan vegan ice cream from the Valle di Susa.
These delicious sweet creations are available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, and vanilla.
From polenta concia to artisan vegan ice cream, thanks to the commitment of Valle di Susa in promoting a healthy, sustainable, and animal-friendly diet, you can enjoy the delicious and nutritious dishes of the local cuisine!
Valle di Susa awaits you with its natural beauty, millennia-old history, and authentic gastronomy.
Plan your summer adventure and discover all the treasures that this wonderful region has to offer, and don’t forget to end the day with a glass of Piedmontese wine! :)
See you soon, Valsusa!