The medieval town of La Morra, in the Barolo area of the Langhe, has an unusual fan-shaped layout and is one of the Langhe’s most-visited tourist destinations. Visitors can not only enjoy the beautiful sweeping views of the landscape, but also sample the excellent local food and wine.
Date: 12th-13th century (bell tower); building from the 15th century; modifications in the 17th century..
The world-famous Barolo wine is made in this area.
To make the area’s cultural and natural treasures more accessible, local organizations recently created a network of seven footpaths, which lead through woods and vineyards to reach historic buildings and remote viewpoints.
Descending three kilometres from the current town, on the way towards Grinzane Cavour, you reach the hamlet of Annunziata. Here, in the splendid setting of the La Morra hills, rises the former Benedictine monastery, dating back to the 12th/13th century, with the attached church dedicated to Saint Martin of Mercenasco. This was La Morra’s first settlement, and the town was only later moved to the top of the hill. The base of the internal columns and the bell tower remain from this phase.
There is also a tombstone from the 2nd century AD set in the floor next to the main altar.
Significant reconstruction was carried out in the 15th century, leaving the apse, the small chapel to the side with a fragment of fresco and the stone bell tower with single- and triple-lancet windows. The current façade is the result of 17th-century modifications, based on plans by Michelangelo Garove, when the church was dedicated to the Most Holy Annunciation.
To the side of the abbey’s façade, an entrance allows access to the cellars, home to the Museo Ratti dei Vini d’Alba (Ratti Museum of Alba Wines). The collection, curated by Renato Ratti, recounts the history of vines and wine in the Langa around Barolo. Displays include ancient wine-making tools and vineyard maps.