Chiusa di San Michele, placed in correspondence to the constriction of the heights of the valley bottom, owes its name to the characteristic geomorphology of the landscape. Here in 773 the Franchi of Charlemagne defeated the Lombards of desire by opening the way to the conquest of Italy. The identification of the fortified system of Longobard closed is complex and the recent archaeological excavations of the chapel of Saint Joseph have highlighted a masonry engaged on the southern flank of the ancient monument, identifiable probably with the portion of the defensive wall connected to the fortification.
The original structure of the building seems to be then was maintained and used over the centuries until its transformation into the church in the eighteenth century the town of Chiusa winds along the old road of France, or the Via Francigena which runs along the right bank of the Dora until Bussoleno and that sees the most ancient nucleus said the rustic unravel through alleys and courtyards (vi overlook some of the most ancient houses of the country) until the parish church of San Pietro Apostolo, built between 1796 and 1825 in the highest point on the inside of the inhabited area, probably on the site of an ancient Romanesque church of the 850, which was consecrated in 1825: internal frescoes by Luigi Morgari have a refined wooden choir in the presbytery attributed To Giuseppe Antonio Riva. Adjacent to the Church, on the south-west side, we find the majestic bell tower, 36 meters tall, whose spire in wood, coated with metal, houses the prestigious iron cross.
In the square in front of it stands an old fountain in stone of 1722 architectural style of a particular whose water is very appreciated. In front of the fountain is still preserves an ancient landmark dating back to the Napoleonic era. Just near the church climbs on the mountain trail that leads to the Sacra di San Michele, founded in 987, crossing the cave De Andrade from which they were extracted stones for the restoration of the monument. At the end of the track of the Lombards you meet the little church of Santa Croce (1760). The bell tower of 1789 and the bells were blessed by Pope Pius VII while he went to France a prisoner of Napoleon. Continuing toward: Vaie you still encounters the ancient post house so called because used for the change of the horses of the diligence and the Chapel of Graces. Also of interest are the little churches of mountain villages: Madonna della Neve in borgata Basinatto and Madonna degli Angeli in borgata Bennale.
Chiusa di San Michele is also appreciated for its liveability in contact with nature and greenery. Among the events is to remember the gastronomic festival of taste of Meliga, linked to the handicraft production of rolls with a base of flour for polenta, raisins and dried fruit. The maize cultivation and the production of bakery products is very widespread in the area of Low Susa Valley.
between the end of the IV and the beginning of the V century the Roman Empire strengthened the alpine defense by means of a system of "closed", i.e. of fortifications in the barrier of the valleys in the compulsory transition points of the main communication routes toward the crossings. They were also used by the Goths and Byzantines and became the subject of repeated interventions of restoration on the part of the king the Longobards, still interested in maintaining the function of the fortifications and controlling transit along the border areas.
Between the defensive works of the Alpine arc, the clausurae of Val di Susa had a considerable importance in the middle ages: in 773 A.D. in fact were the scene of the famous battle between desire, King of the Lombards and the troops of Carlo Magno. After the conquest franca turned the functions of closed, but the material structures of the fortifications were still used for some centuries to defend the stranglehold of the valley. The chronicle of the abbey of Novalesa, drawn up around the middle of the XI century it he still remembered the vestiges clearly visible and located between the Monte Pirchiriano and Caprie, where also mentions a Palatium of the Lombards.
it is precisely in this area, between Caprie and closed San Michele, which we must therefore imagine the localization of the ancient defensive system, where the valley becomes more narrow due to the presence of two natural spurs dei monti Pirchiriano and Caprasio. Of the ancient fortification does not remain secure today traces materials but is likely to have been made through a system of curtain walls with the function of the barrier of the valley, rather than a single powerful structure, described in the chronicle of Novalesa as a wall with lime extended "and from mountain to mountain".
The historic tradition local identifies the remains of clusae langobardorum in a mighty wall structure which flanks the rio Pracchio, in the municipal territory of closed S. Michele, but to date the attribution of this masonry to famous fortification remains still strongly dubious and has never found the archaeological findings.