History of
Relais Sant’Uffizio

The splendid Relais Sant’Uffizio Wellness & Spa, nestled between the hills of the Langhe-Monferrato area and the Barbera vineyards, was created from a 16th century monastery elegantly restored and transformed into a charming relais. This residence with ancient charm in the heart of Piedmont – surrounded by vineyards and pretty red brick villages – evokes 16th century atmospheres that have their roots in the era in which it was a monastic seat.
The current Relais Sant’Uffizio was, in fact, the seat of the Congregation of the Sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition known as the Holy Office, a structure of the Catholic Church created in 1542 by Pope Paul III with the promulgation of the bull Licet ab initio, the constitution which establishes the protection of the doctrine of the Catholic Church, the integrity of the faith and the fight against false doctrines and heresies.

Here the Dominican Friars, defenders of the harsh rules of the ecclesiastical Tribunal, raised silkworms in the attics and produced good wine intended for the Mass… so good as to arouse the envy of the Franciscan Friars, who in nearby Moncalvo were, in turn, owners of three convents.

Il monastero fu poi smembrato nel 1800 con l’arrivo di Napoleone, dopo la battaglia di Marengo. Divenne in seguito una tenuta agricola e infine abbandonato fino a quando, negli anni ‘70 assunse la destinazione d’uso di struttura ricettiva.

After numerous changes of ownership by well-known local families, in the early 2000s it became an elegant, charming relais that fascinated well-known names from the world of finance and entertainment such as Umberto Agnelli, Paola Borboni, Maria Callas and Joseph Ratzinger, then Cardinal and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Office).