If you are a oenophile seeking out fine examples of Italy’s finest wines, it’s a pretty sure bet that you’ve come across the colorful Barolo Chapel surrounded by the prestigious vineyards of Brunate shown below in a picture from 2005. Today’s Piemonte embraces the modern as much as it does the traditional.
Why am I showing you a picture from 13 years ago, taken in early May? Well, it turns out that the paint on the chapel has faded quite severely since then, and the exterior may no longer represent what the artists who painted it intended. You can see a picture from 2012 here.
This particular chapel was never consecrated. It was built in 1914 as a sanctuary for vineyard workers trying to escape rain and hail storms. When the Ceretto family bought it in tatters along with 6 hectares of prime Barolo vineyards in 1970, they decided to make it into a special Barolo landmark.
So in 1999 they called in English artist David Tremlett, who enlisted his friend, American artist Sol LeWitt to help him make the place into a wine temple. LeWitt is responsible for the colorful exterior.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to make the trip on the little strada bianca just to see the Barolo Chapel, even if you planned to drink a glass of fine Barolo near it as the artists intended.
So you might want to do some wine tasting while you’re there. It is normal in Piemonte that you need to make a reservation for tasting. It turns out that the Ceretto family has taken a Napa Valley approach and if they aren’t busy, you can drop in. If you peruse the website, you’ll find there are many different tastings available, and 2 different wineries to try. You can also make your visit complete by having a meal at their restaurant La Piola.
As you stand on the ridge by the chapel, you can look out and spot one of the symbols of Barolo, the cedar of Lebanon that caps Monfalletto hill if the legendary Barolo fog isn’t too thick. Il Cedro de la Morra has been there for over 150 years.
The views from under the tree are noteworthy as well:
And just to give you the impression that May can hold some surprises that show up in your lanscape photographs, here’s a view of the castle of Serralunga d’Alba with the Alps behind.
The picture was taken from the fabulous Trattoria nelle Vigne in Diano d’Alba, which I highly recommend. Sabrina Farioli makes the best of the local ingredients and the view is…well, you can see.
Map of the Barolo Chapel and Nearby Attractions
The map shows the major town of La Morra to the east. There are plenty of places to stay in La Morra.