Having reached the top of the Scalone dei Morti, you cross the Portale dello Zodiaco (“Zodiac Portal” - 1128-30), a Romanesque work sculpted by Master Nicolao, a famous architect-sculptor from Piacenza.

The portal is called thus because the door posts in the façade facing the stairway are sculpted on the right with the twelve signs of the zodiac and, on the left, with the australis and borealis constellations. The historic and symbolic capitals, and the bases of the columns, are also of significant value.


Having passed through the Portale dello Zodiaco, you face the last flight of stairs to the church: it is a solemn stairway in green stone, beneath the play of four imposing buttresses and flying buttresses designed by the architect Alfredo D’Andrade and completed in 1937. At the end of the 1800s, this area was completely occupied by constructions and, thus, the Portale dello Zodiaco did not give access to an open terrace but to covered areas through which you reached the church. D’Andrade intervened by demolishing these rooms and designing the stairway and flying buttresses to address the static instability of the church's south wall.

The artistic entrance portal of the Sacra di San Michele - of Romanesque origin in grey and green stone that leads into the church - can be seen from a spacious piece of level ground. It was constructed by Hugon di Montboissier’s architects in the early 1000s. Very elegant and rounded with a wide embrasure, it still communicates a strong sense of welcome, safety, and calm. The arris and cordon arches are supported by half columns with floral capitals.

Above, there is a dripstone that, on the right, ends with the head of a hooded monk, and, to the left, ended with that of a boy (now missing). The columns with clearly Gothic trilobe arches, which were added later, are the remains of the arcade that protected the portal. The knockers on the walnut door, created in 1826, show the weapons of St. Michael the Archangel and the devil in the form of a serpent with a human face.

On the left top of the portal is inserted the Roman tombstone of Surio Clemente dated first century A.D.; clear evidence of the presence on this mountain of a Roman garrison.


Plan your visit to the Sacra di San Michele and purchase your ticket.


Contact us for any request for information not included on the website.

We will respond, as compatible with current activities, during the Sacra di San Michele opening hours.

TELEPHONE: +39 011939130
ddress Via alla Sacra, 14 - 10057 S. Ambrogio (TO)