One of the highest vineyards in Europe, about 1340 m above sea level, surrounds the large pure-white complex of Monte Maria Abbey in Malles Venosta. The Benedictine monastery was originally founded in around 1150, by Count Ulrich of Tarasp and his wife Uta, members of a noble family from the lower Engadine valley, now part of Switzerland.
The abbey's appearance has been shaped by different architectural styles over the years. It is crowned with elegant turrets and rounded domes, and is built around a large inner courtyard. One of its most surprising features is the crypt, featuring numerous sacred objects and artworks. Located under the main church of the abbey, the frescoes that embellish and colour the walls of the crypt are very old, dating back to the time of the abbey's foundation.