Since the sixth century the Benedictine monks stood out for their herbal knowledge. The study and production of medicinal plants were popular practices inside the convents and the Abbey of Lamoli was not an exception. The Metauro Valley was then in the middle of a prosperous trade, mainly connected to the dyeing of fabrics that it is related with the history of the whole territory.
Today the Lamoli Abbey complex houses a museum entirely dedicated to this important part of the valley's past: the Delio Bischi Museum of Natural Colors.
A journey to revisit the history of natural colors and the use that man has made of them over the centuries, from ancient times to the beginning of 1900s, when synthetic colors arrived on the market.
The museum offers a tour full of practical experiences, thanks to a laboratory for the extraction of colors and its use on different supports. A great way to learn about the nature of vegetable color, the cultivation of dyeing plants, the extraction of color, the use of pigments and their possible application fields.
One section of the museum is dedicated to the ford, Isatis tinctoria, a plant of the brassicaceae (brassicas) family largely used for the production of blue color. Information panels, dried specimens colored powders and dyed fabrics help us to reconstruct the history of natural colors. Outside, in the meadows surrounding the Abbey there are large lawns where medicinal and dyeing plants are still cultivated in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment.
It is highly recommended a pause for reflection on the bench under the centuries-old field maple, near the highest edge of the lawns.