The Route of Don Bosco

The Don Bosco Trail traverses lands which played an important part in the life and education of Don Bosco, the founder of the Salesian Congregation, also known as the "Social Saint", who in 19th century endorsed educational projects and charity work destined to the young and disenfranchised.

The Trail (Il Cammino) connects the historic city centre of Turin to Castelnuovo dAsti (now called Don Bosco). Saint John Bosco was born here, in a humble farmstead in the fraction of Becchi; in its place today, there lies an imposing basilica named after the saint. The trail branches off into three separate trails, which are great for both simple strolls or multi-day excursions: the High Trail (Cammino Alto), which goes from the Superga Basilica to the Vezzolano Abbey and Castelnuovo Don Bosco; the Middle Trail, which traverses Baldissero Torinese, Pavarolo, Montaldo Torinese and Marentino, passing by Arignano Lake; and the Low Trail, which extends between the parks of the Turin hills and its main centres, from Pecetto to Chieri and Buttigliera Alta.

From the starting point - that is Turin's  Maria Ausiliatrice Sanctuary (the birthplace and symbol of the Salesian order, founded by Don Bosco, who is buried here), you cross the Roman heart of ancient Turin until reaching its nucleus which dates back to the Baroque era, with elegant  UNESCO World Heritage Royal Residences (the Royal Palazzo, Palazzo Madama, the Royal Library, and the Arsenal), towered by the two splendid domes of the Royal Church of San Lorenzo and the Duomo (which once housed the Holy Shroud); both are works by Guarino Guarini.

Continue along the banks of the river Po and the Turin hill in the Natural Reserve of the Meisino (located in the  UNESCO Parco del Po Torinese Park and the Collina Po Biosphere Reserve ), then head up to the Natural Park of Superga up to the Baroque Basilica. Commissioned by Duke Victor Amadeus II to comply with the vows he made to the Virgin Mary after defeating French-Spanish besiegers in 1706, this sacred complex is located in a spectacular spot with a view of the plain of Turin and the Alpine Arch.   To get there, you can take the historic Sassi-Superga tramway, a unique cable tram which was first inaugurated in Italy in 1884 and is one of the few of its kind to still be operational.

The Don Bosco Trail also traverses historic hamlets, past castles and splendid artistic-religious masterpieces such as Vezzolano Abbey, a symbolic monument of Piedmont's Romanic heritage. It is here that the trail intersects the Superga – Vezzolano – Crea Trail, the ancient road traversed by pilgrims in the Monferrato of Asti and Alessandria area which reaches UNESCO heritage site  Sacro Monte di Crea . These are also the Roads of Colours and Flavours, a celebration of farmfood products worth trying in the Basket of Local Products of the Province of Turin, while sipping DOC wines from ancient vineyards such as Albugnano and Freisa di Chieri.