Discovering the Abbey of Novacella and its wine

abbey of novacella

Welcome to the largest and oldest convent in Tyrol, inhabited by the Augustinian Canons. It is located in the municipality of Varna, in the immediate vicinity of Bressanone, and is one of the most prestigious abbeys in northern Italy and the Alpine Arch. The Abbey of Novacella was founded in 1142 by the blessed bishop Hartmann, initially conceived as an autonomous institution for practicing the arts and education. In the course of its evolution it has also been a hospice for pilgrims going to Val Pusteria, and today it has become a reference point for local companies that find agriculture, viticulture, herbal medicine, a cultural and training center here.

A beating heart of activity with which to spend a few kilometers from the Val Pusteria. The artistic level of the convent is very high and very varied. Here we find in fact mingling of all the ages that the abbey of Novacella has lived: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. A walk inside the Chapel of San Michele, called Castello dell'angelo, brings us to the baroque era, but near the cloister you can breathe a Gothic air with beautiful frescoes all to admire. The interior of the basilica of Santa Maria Assunta is as fascinating as the vastness of the over 65,000 volumes preserved in the library, with unique manuscripts and a vast art gallery, the result of the fact that this place has represented a cultural center for many scholars of science, philosophy, arts and technology.

The Abbey of Novacella: the vineyards and the Abbey cellar

The Abbazia is part of an expanse of woods and fields planted with fruit and vineyards. It is the wines from the Abbey Winery that have made it a symbol of the church and have made it one of the oldest active wineries in the world. In the visit to the cellars you can taste the symbolic wines of the Isarco Valley such as Praepositus, Sylvaner, Kerner and Gewürztraminer.

Already at the beginning of the foundation of the Reginbert Abbey of Sabiona, it donated masi and farms to the monks, including the famous vineyards. The possessions rise from the bottom of the valley 600 meters above sea level up to 900 meters.

To conclude the tour, do not forget to taste the wonderful herbal teas, prepared with the mixtures created from the garden. And, if you have time, stop in the Osteria to taste typical local products!


The guided tour lasts 50 minutes, for those with small children we recommend bringing the baby carrier because there are some stairs to do. You can find all the info on the official website of the Abbey.