Superga in Turin – Basilica and Natural Park
On the hill Superga, one of the highest hills in Turin, with a great view over Turin to the Alps, the important pilgrimage church of Turin is located at an altitude of 672 m. It is named Superga after its location.
In 1949, the entire soccer team of the Turin soccer club Grande Torino was killed in a plane crash on the Superga hill.
The Superga basilica is named Basilica della Natività di Maria Vergine. The history began in 1706 when Savoy was occupied by France. The Duke of Savoy and the Prince of Carignano watched the besieged Turin from the hill of Superga and vowed to erect a memorial at this point in case of liberation. The Piedmontese won the decisive battle a few days later. The influential builder Filippo Juvarra was given the task of building a basilica. All building materials had to be dragged up the hill with donkeys on stony paths. After 14 years of construction, the basilica was opened in November 1731 in the presence of King Carlo Emanuele III. consecrated by Savoy to the Virgin Mary.
The Superga basilica is considered a Baroque masterpiece, the shape of the dome is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The dome of the basilica is 75 m high and can be climbed. If you have made the 131 steps you enter the balcony. With good visibility you can enjoy a wide panorama over Turin and the nearby Alps. On a guided tour, you can visit the Savoy apartment with the original furnishings. In the basement of the basilica there are some royal tombs of the Savoy family.
The Cog Railway to the Superga
A cogwheel train leads from the Sassi district to the Superga hill, just a few hundred meters from the basilica. The former funicular was inaugurated in 1884 and modernized in 1930 as the Tranvia Sassi-Superga rack railway. The railway overcomes a height of 419 meters over a distance of approx. 3 km.
The Collina di Superga Natural Park
The Collina di Superga nature reserve is a nature reserve with beautiful hiking trails in the middle of a rich flora and fauna. The Superga hill is a popular challenge for cyclists and mountain bikers.
The Tragedy of Superga
In a plane crash on May 4, 1949 on the hill of the Superga, all the football players of Turin’s Grande Torino team died. The plane was on its return flight from a game in Lisbon and in bad weather and strong cross winds collided with the back wall below the basilica and crashed into the embankment of Superga Hill. There is a memorial for the 31 victims of the tragedy at the crash site. The top team Grand Torino never recovered from this loss and disappeared into insignificance for many years. Today Juventus Turin is one of the leading Italian and international football clubs. But the newly founded FC Torino now also plays a role in the first division of the Italian Serie A.
Visits for Groups
Groups with guides must be registered. The daily number of admitted groups is limited. Guided tours of the Superga Basilica can be organized. Milano24ore is happy to help with a tour guide in English or in other languages, maps and a headphone system.