April 29, 2019

History of La Morra – 500 meters above sea level

La Morra commune is located 40 km north-east of Cuneo and 50 km south-east of Turin, in the Italian region of Piemonte, province of Cuneo. The commune unites several territorial divisions: Annunziata, Santa Maria, Rivalta, and Berri.

The area of La Morra is a just over 24 square kilometres; in a commune reside just under 3,000 people.

La Morra: the origin of the name

In the estimation of most people, the commune name comes from the Benedictine place-name “murra”, meaning “closed place”, surrounded by stone fences, which pinfolds livestock (mainly sheep and goats).

Others believe that the etymology of the name comes from the Italian word “mora” – fragrant blackberry, which grows in abundance on local hills.

According to other researchers, La Morra comes from the word “mola” – millstones that have been frequently found in this area by archaeologists.

If the first version seems to be the most plausible for local residents, and the second one – the most romantic and fragrant and tasty, like the local cuisine, the latest version is considered as incorrect but it still has the right to exist.

History of La Morra

At the dawn of the second millennium, when the council of Alba-Pompeia (now Alba) decided to expand the town, the surrounding hills were refined and cultivated. It was then that the village of Murra (“closed place”, “sheepfold”) was founded on the top of one of the hills. The first settlements appeared on the site of the present village of Annunziata, and by the middle of the XII century, the town was removed to the top of the hill, where the main settlement was built, protected from enemies by a high wall.

In 1269 for special services to Italy La Morra was handed over to Sordello da Goito (Sordello da Goito), the knight of Charles I of Anjou, one of the most famous minstrels in Italy, mentioned in the second part (canticle) of the Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” – “Purgatorio”. Sordello himself died that same year, and his wife and children remained to live on this land, according to extant sources.

In 1340, La Morra fell under the authority of the Falletti family, under the wardship of which it was for several centuries. Particular emphasis was placed on agriculture and winemaking.
In 1402, the head of the Falletti family issued his own Charter, which for the first time in this region mentions the Nebbiolo (Nebiolium) grape variety, from which to this day the magnificent Barolo wine is made.

In 1435, the territory of the commune was passed under the authority of the Duke of Milan.

Then, after the long hegemony of France and Spain, in 1631 La Morra came under the authority of the House of Savoy, one of the oldest dynasties in Europe.

Now life in the town has become more relaxed. In the following centuries was formed the famous radial structure of the city with the centre by the parish church of San Martino (Parrocchia Di San Martino). Stately buildings and churches were built; new areas began to appear near the city walls that surrounded the “old city”.

Today La Morra has become the recognized tourist centre of Piemonte. The town’s landmarks are built in 1699 historic San Martino church, 31 meters high campanile (Campanaria di La Morra), which commands a magnificent view of the town and its surroundings, a bronze sculpture of an Italian wine-maker made in 1972 – an unusual and slightly ominous marble bust of Giuseppe Gabetti, composer and author of the first Italian national anthem, who spent the last years of his life in La Morra.

But above all, La Morra is a symbol of natural beauty, the centre of winemaking and guardian of traditions of the famous piedmont cuisine. Here, from Piazza Castello, you can enjoy stunning views of the Lower Langhe. La Morra is a large wine-making region where you can sample real Italian wines. The grapevine in La Morra is protected by the law of the country and UNESCO. The punishment for damage to the grapevine Nebbiolo is a large fine, and punishment for cutting down grapevines that have brought to the town international fame is an amputation of arm or hanging.

Staying in Altezza, you can admire the most beautiful views of the Lower Langhe without leaving your room; all the sights of La Morra will be at a walking distance. Come and visit us to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and rest in peace while walking around La Morra, tasting local wines and the best dishes of Piedmont cuisine.

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