Visitors will discover many medicinal plants at the exhibition that will take place in September in the antique pharmacy of Santa Fina in San Gimignano, a World Cultural Heritage medieval city close to Villa le Barone. However, all year around, our guests can also discover many such herbs and plants in our gardens!
Santa Fina’s hospital in San Gimignano, a medieval city part of the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO at 40 kms from Villa le Barone, had its own pharmacy since the 15th century, which bought or produced medicines for both indoor use and outdoor sale. One of San Gimignano’s Museums today features the original layout of the pharmacy, the “kitchen”, the place where the medicines were prepared, and the “shop”, where they were sold. The medicines, which are still contained in ceramic and glass jars, were manufactured on the basis of precise recipes assembled in old manuscripts. However, all medicines needed raw materials, especially herbs, whose essences or distillates were the basis for their preparation: the supplies could be purchased elsewhere or cultivated around the hospital.
The visit to the pharmacy of Santa Fina and of its garden provides a great sensory experience, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in an atmosphere of aromas and scents. In addition, each Saturday between the 23rd September and 14th October, Dra Lucia Chelli, herbalism specialist, and founder of the “Officina de’Tornabuoni” (where Villa le Barone buys many of the amenities for its guests), will give conferences on herbs properties.
It is all year around that guests will be able to discover in Hotel Villa le Barone’s gardens many of the medicinal plants presented in San Gimignano’s Santa Fina Museum: lavender, peppermint, verbena, many types of sage, many types of thyme, lemon balm, basil, and many others herbs and plants!