The Sacra di San Michele, or Sacra di San Michele in Italian, sometimes called the Abbey of Saint -Michel, is a religious complex on Mount Pirchiriano, located on the south side of the Val di Susa overlooking the villages of Avigliana and Chiusa di San Michele , Northern Italy . The abbey , which for much of its history has been under Benedictine rule , is now entrusted to Rosminians. A special regional law recognizes it as the ” symbolic monument of the Piedmont region.” The book The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco was inspired by this monumental abbey.
Little is known of the early years of the abbey of Saint-Michel. The oldest existing account is that of a monk, William, who lived here in the late 11th century and wrote a Chronicon Coenobii Sancti Michaelis Clusa. It sets the foundation of the abbey in 966, but, in another passage, the same monk affirms that construction began under Pope Sylvester II ( 999-1003 ).