• Religious Tourism
    • Food & Wine

The herbalist traditions of Lombardy’s monasteries

Elixirs, herbal liquors, infusions: in the monasteries and abbeys of Lombardy, age-old knowledge and all manner of flavours are being combined to create top-quality herbal products. Fancy trying out a new experience and giving them a go?

Religious tourism takes us to the province of Lecco and, more specifically, to the Abbazia di Santa Maria e San Nicolò, whose liqueur emporium is an oasis for all gastronomes! The Cistercian monks produce an unbelievable range of herbal products and liqueurs, from Elixir di San Bernardo to Ferrochina Piona, Mandarino, Gran Liquore di Casamari and Alpestre. Gocce Imperiali is another popular tipple, a high-percentage liqueur which aids digestion and prevents nausea.

You can also buy liqueurs and elixirs packed with health benefits and produced according to ancient recipes at the Abbazia di Chiaravalle in Milan, while the Abbazia di San Benedetto in Seregno specialises in pollen- and honey-based products, especially the Olivety Liqueur, which is made from 22 aromatic herbs, and the Benedettino ointment.

Bitters, propolis, royal jelly, medicinal herbs and chocolate – all produced by the monks – can be snapped up at the ancient Pharmacy at the Certosa di Pavia monastery, which is one of Lombardy's best-loved tourist attractions, but it's also worth visiting the Abbazia di San Nicola in Rodengo near Brescia, which is famous for its digestives.

Herbalism is a noble, ancient art, one that has been practiced in monasteries since medieval times. Follow the religious tourism trails on our website and you'll discover an array age-old expertise, recipes and remedies.

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