The Staffarda Abbey: Piedmont’s crown jewel
Welcome to Staffarda di Revello, in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont. The Staffarda Abbey (Abbazia Santa Maria di Staffarda, in Italian) was built here in the 12th century, on land Manfred I, Marquis of Saluzzo, donated to the Cistercian monks so they could start reclaiming the surrounding countryside and thus spur the economic development of the area. Soon, Staffarda became a flourishing economic hub for agriculture and food processing, as well as a leading political and social center in the region.
Today, the Romanesque-style complex includes the monastery, nine farmhouses and a wonderful medieval church that stands out for the two contrasting colors of its materials. Inside, you’ll see Pascale Oddone’s polyptych and a 16th-century wooden sculptural group representing the Crucifixion. At the center of the structure is the cloister: the real heart of monks’ communal life, with arcades supported by columns offering protected access to the adjacent rooms and buildings.
The abbey’s chapter house is particularly precious, with trifora openings through which monks could listen to the abbot’s sermon and the refectory, where the remains of a painting of the Last Supper are kept.