The abbey of Santa Maria to Staffarda is located on the plain nine kilometers from Saluzzo, in the direction of Pinerolo. The abbey was founded on July 25, 1135 by Manfredo I. del Vasto, the first margrave of Saluzzo.
The complex was built in the Romanesque and Gothic style. The Cistercians preferred simple structures for their buildings, did without pictures and used natural building materials, such as clinker bricks, which remained unplastered.
The first monk of the abbey was Pietro, a student of St. Bernard. The abbey was a division of the Tiglietto Abbey, also founded by S. Bernhard. Santa Maria zu Staffarda soon became the most famous brotherhood of the Cistercians in the Margraviate of Saluzzo.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, Staffarda developed into a thriving agricultural center where fairs and markets were held; since it was only an economic power, the monastery could even lend money.
Due to the lack of reforms, only a few monks lived in the monastery at the end of the 15th century.
The abbey suffered another severe blow from the famous Battle of Staffarda in 1690, which was won by the French General Catinat against the Austrian – Piedmontese troops led by Vittoria Amedeo 1.
In 1750, the monastery was given to the Turin Order of Mauritians by the bull enacted by Pope Benedetto XIV, who is still the owner today.
Santa Maria zu Staffarda is currently a large agricultural estate, the church is the seat of the parish of the same name.