Colle di San Sudario and castle ruins

The Rocca del Santo Sudario is a sheer, approximate 100-metre-high cliff over the town of Roccavione. The area can be reached on foot along a simple dirt road.

Typology Building

Period 1380 – 1600

Accessibility Yes

Visitable Yes

The Rocca di San Sudario represents the last offshoot of the dividing chain of the Vermenagna and Gesso valleys. Of a modest-sized height, it must have played a strategic role in the development of the municipality, so much so as to be represented in the heraldic emblem in which, on the summit, a Tower is represented, probably referring to the castle settlement quoted by some sources and of which today there are only a few illegible ruins.

The castle of Roccavione is documented several times in reference to war events and judicial acts that have concerned the municipal territory. Despite the lack of certain information, it is likely that the castle was located on the top of the Rocca di San Sudario, built to guarantee a strategic observation point over the entrance to the Vermenagna and Gesso valleys. The structure gradually lost its importance until the 16th century when it was finally demolished by order of the Dukes of Savoy. About a century later, in 1561, a small chapel dedicated to the Holy Shroud was erected on the ruins of the castle. Documented several times between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the chapel was demolished in 1786 because it was in ruins.

Today it is impossible to reconstruct the extension of the castle and the chapel, the ruins on the top of the cliff are too fragmentary to let the ancient organization of the site be reconstructed. What is certain is that the environment of the Rocca is fascinating for its jutted position over the town.

Conditions of visit

To access the summit of the Rocca di San Sudario, follow a simple dirt road that starts from the Giardini d’Ara. To reach the gardens, from Piazza San Magno (the central square of the town), take via Santa Croce and turn right into via delle Fontane.
To reach the area, go along the simple dirt road which takes you up the 100-metre cliff.
Freely visitable.


Additional information


  • AA.VV., Le valli tra i parchi Marguareis e Alpi Marittime. Gesso, Vermenagna, Pesio, territorio della Bisalta , PiùEventi 2018, pp. 131 132.

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