The Santa Cristina circular route

Santa Cristina

A circular route that joins the Ala Valley to the Grande Valley by way of the suggestive Sanctuary of Saint Christine, standing on a rocky spur at an altitude of 1340 meters, dominating the entrances to the two valleys. A majestic construction that arouses admiration at the thought of how it was built and also gives a sense of peace, of religiosity and of vastness, considering that the view spans 360 degrees over villages and mountain peaks.
A votive pillar to Saint Christine already existed before 1440. It was erected following the apparition of the Saint to a shepherd. This pillar is still visible, incorporated and preserved within the Sanctuary.
According to tradition the first chapel was erected by the people of Ceres and Cantoira. Numerous disputes arose between the two villages over the ownership of the Sanctuary and, after a long discussion, the chapel was assigned to the people of Cantoira.
Frescos from the original chapel can be seen inside.
The festival of Saint Christine is celebrated on 24th July with an impressive procession that climbs to the top of the mountain, followed by a day of festivities


Suggested period
April – November.
Starting point
Elevation gain
700 m
Travel time
3.30 hrs
Trail indication
242, 301 and 301 A

Recommended for

  • Hikers
  • Families


Pass the traffic light on the county road indicating the Val Grande crossroad. Reach the railway station and, after two hairpin turns, enter Ceres downtown not taking into consideration the direction on your left for Ala di Stura. Find a parking space in the first little square or in front of the Town Hall on your right


Walk up the main road, Via Roma, to the first crossroad on your left (directional signs) and turn left. The paved road ends after about fifty meters and a comfortable trail enters a chestnut and beech wood. Pass nearby a few huts and reach the Cappella della Peste, a small chapel built in the past in a lonely site so as to avoid plague contamination. Keep on walking and reach, after a few hairpin bends, the Cappella degli Angeli. The trail steeply climbs in front of the building for a short stretch and then with a regular climb to Colle Bilance. Now proceed northward until reaching the characteristic Santa Cristina Sanctuary flight of stairs.

To descend to Cantoira, take straight away the descending trail on your right. At the beginning it climbs down on steps and then it winds in a beech and birch wood. You will then pass from beech to chestnut woods and will overtake many roadside shrines until reaching Località Inversa. Now follow the carriage road toward the Stura and, in the vicinity of a shrine completely renovated, you come to a crossroad with a dirt road on your right. Follow downhill the latter, corresponding to the Sport and Nature itinerary, along the left orographic streamside, through meadows and woods until you will meet the paved road climbing to the starting point.


“72 Escursioni fra le Uje di Lanzo” di Sergio Marchisio Ed. L’Arciere.


Alte Valli di Lanzo – carta n° 17 L’Escursionista & Monti editori; Valli di Lanzo – carta dei sentieri 3 Val d’Ala e Val Grande

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