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4 Monastery Shops in the Veneto, Italy to Stock on Authentic Monastic Products

4 Monastery Shops in Italy to Stock on Authentic Monastic Products - rossiwrites.com

Products made in Italy’s monasteries are some of my favourite things to shop for here in the Veneto in the northeastern corner of the country.

From organic honey to handmade cosmetics and from fragranced incense to scented vinegar and oils, there is a large selection of monastic products that make perfect presents and little treats both for myself and friends.

I first discovered the large range of products that Italy’s monasteries make a few years back when a shop specialising in them opened its doors in Vicenza – a small city in the Veneto where I have been living since 2014. I am not religious in the traditional sense of the word but I have always loved visiting monasteries and churches – first in my home country of Bulgaria and then everywhere in Europe that I have been to – for the art and history they preserve.

Cloister of the Basilica of St. Anthony - Padua, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

When moving to Italy, I was expecting to tick my fair share of world-known churches off my travel wish list.

At the same time, I didn’t expect that I will also have a chance to visit and learn more about the large active monasteries here that are dedicated to so many different activities that make part of daily life – from running primary and secondary schools to taking care of large depositories of medieval manuscripts and books, from growing vineyards to making remedies based on centuries-old recipes, from baking cookies and keeping bees to mixing creams and making fragrances.

A group of nuns and priests walking on Prato della Valle - Padua, Italy - rossiwrites.com

With monks and nuns very present in society and active on all levels of community life, in the six years that I have spent here, I was able to visit several abbeys, nunneries, and monasteries in the Veneto.

Some I got to know on a more human level through daily interactions with the nuns that have dedicated their lives to teaching children. Others were the destinations of day trips and excursions that I have taken in this corner of Italy.

The facade of the church of the Praglia Abbey - Teolo, Euganean Hills, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

And, starting with that Vicenza shop for monastic products (sadly, the shop is no more), soon I very gladly discovered the large range of products made in Italy’s monasteries, too.

Monastic products made in Italy's monasteries - Vicenza, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

While I am not big on shopping and I actively dislike window browsing and/or spending long amounts of time just popping in and out of shops looking at stuff, I make one big exception for monastic shops.

Cloister of the Basilica of St. Anthony - Padua, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The peaceful atmosphere inside, the unspoken promise that the products were made in more spiritually refined surroundings than a typical large production scale factory, and the fact that I can buy items produced following centuries-old recipes really appeal to me.

Oil of Santa Giustina - Monastic Shop of Basilica of Santa Giustina - Padua, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

After all, many of the monasteries and convents in the Veneto, Italy once had a pharmacy and/or a spice shop attached to them where remedies were made by hand and recipes for cure-alls with dozens of rare ingredients were honed over long periods of time thus giving the impetus for the development of the pharmaceutical sciences as we know them today.

Monastic products made in Italy's monasteries - Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

So, in case you have been searching for great places in Italy to stock on unusual yet authentic products both for yourself and as presents for family and friends, I thought I should share with you four monastic shops here in the Veneto.

The first three are, respectively, in the cities of Venice and Padua. The last one is in a monastery on the edge of the lush Euganean Hills – a volcanic group near Padua.

Cloister of the Praglia Abbey - Teolo, Euganean Hills, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

I hope that visiting them will be a great experience for you and it will allow you to discover some truly curious and unique monastic products that you will be delighted to purchase and use. 

Monastic products made in Italy's monasteries - Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Before we start in earnest, please, note that this blog post is based purely on my personal experiences and tastes. It is in no way an official endorsement nor a marketing/sponsored piece of text.

I just want to share with you interesting information that may help you experience Italy off the beaten track in a more authentic way.

Now, let’s start!

 

 

4 Monastery Shops in the Veneto, Italy to Stock on Authentic Monastic Products

 

 

1. Monastic Shop of the Discalced Carmelites, Venice

Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth - Venice, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth - Venice, Italy - rossiwrites.com

This is a small yet wonderfully stocked monastic shop. You will find it huddled on the side of the imposing Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth which is next to the Santa Lucia train station in Venice. As you walk outside of the station, you will see the shop’s entrance right next to it thus it is very convenient to pop in there either at the start or at the end of your visit to Venice.

Inside this monastic shop, you will find a great selection of locally-produced honey, essential oils, handmade cosmetics, a good choice of books, and religious items. Also here you can receive up-to-date information about the guided visits to the mystical garden of the Discalced Carmelites Convent in Venice. The garden is at the back of the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth. This is where the friars grow different types of herbs, vegetables, and above all heirloom vines in order to safeguard the biodiversity of the wine heritage of the Venetian Lagoon.

Most Famous Monastic Product: Acqua di Melissa – a lemon balm water that has been distilled by the Discalced Carmelites since 1710. It finds a wide application in the phytotherapeutic and naturopathic treatments of a wide range of medical problems and disorders. A line of cosmetics using the friars’ lemon balm water is also sold here.

Do They Sell Online: Yes, here is a link to the official e-shop (in Italian). 

What I Like Buying There: Different types of honey and the massage rose cream.

What’s the Address: Calle Carmelitani 54, 30100 Venice, Veneto, Italy. Here is a Google Maps link, too.

 

 

2. Erboristeria del Santo, Basilica of St. Anthony, Padua

Cloister of the Basilica of St. Anthony - Padua, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Basilica of St. Anthony - Il Santo - Padua, Italy - rossiwrites.com

This is a true oasis for herbal cosmetics and remedies made in Italy’s monasteries. You will find this monastic herbalist shop in the peaceful cloisters of Padua’s Basilica of St. Anthony which is one of the biggest Catholic Sanctuaries in the world. I like coming to the Erboristeria del Santo after yet another visit to the basilica where I can easily spend hours admiring the enormous body of artwork preserved inside it. So, a bit of thoughtful retail therapy afterward is a great way to relax my mind and my eyes.

The Erboristeria del Santo is a really well-stocked herbalist shop. It’s a pure delight to browse through its large selection of teas, syrups, cosmetics, unguents, soaps, dietary supplements, shampoos, creams, and essential oils. The contents and the packaging make the monastic products sold here great gifts for oneself, family, and friends.  

Most Famous Monastic Product: Here you will find the full line of products made under the name of Erboristeria del Santo by the monasteries and convents partners of the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua.

Do They Sell Online: Yes, here is a link to the official e-shop (in Italian).

What I Like Buying There: There are so many things I can’t resist here. From scented soaps and cosmetics to dietary supplements and fragranced incense, I find it hard to stick to budget here. 

What’s the Address: Piazza del Santo 11, Padua, Veneto, Italy (inside the cloisters). Here is a Google Maps link, too.

 

 

3. Monastic Shop of the Basilica of Santa Giustina, Padua

Monastic Shop of Basilica of Santa Giustina - Padua, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Basilica of Santa Giustina - Padua, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The Basilica of Santa Giustina is an enormous church on the edge of Italy’s largest square – the expansive Prato della Valle in the city of Padua. The basilica is part of the Abbey of Santa Giustina – a ten-century old Benedictine complex which in the past had a renowned pharmacy and spice shop where many different remedies and cure-alls used to be made.

Nowadays, in the cavernous depths of the Basilica of Santa Giustina, there is a tiny shop selling a nice selection of monastic products and religious items. Many of the herbal products here are made following the original recipes that the abbey’s monks had developed centuries ago. In addition, here you will find the celebrated wines produced in the abbey’s old vineyards.

The monastic shop of the Basilica of Santa Giustina is in the Corridor of the Martyrs inside the large church. The corridor owes its name to the early Christian martyrs whose relics were discovered in the 13th century in the well in its centre.

Most Famous Monastic Product: Oil of Santa Giustina – light, anti-inflammatory oil made according to a centuries-old recipe using 30 different herbs and roots. It’s applied against muscle and joint pains and it also soothes and relaxes anxiety, nervousness, and migraines. In the past, the oil of Santa Giustina was considered a panacea and there were two varieties of it – one produced with 62 ingredients and the other with 79 ingredients among which were exotic spices and white wine. 

Do They Sell Online: No. You can have a look at this official link (in Italian) for some photos and further details about the monastic shop in the Basilica of Santa Giustina in Padua, Italy.

What I Like Buying There: Balsamic honey and other types of honey as well as the cosmetics made under the name of Abbazia di Santa Giustina. 

What’s the Address: Via Giuseppe Ferrari 2/A, 35123 Padua, Veneto, Italy. Here is a Google Maps link, too.

 

 

4. Monastic Shop of the Praglia Abbey, Teolo, Euganean Hills 

The orchards of the Praglia Abbey - Teolo, Euganean Hills, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The upper cloister of the Praglia Abbey - Teolo, Euganean Hills, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

The Praglia Abbey is at the foothill of the lush volcanic Euganean Hills and a stone’s throw away from the city of Padua in the Veneto, Italy. Founded between the 11th and the 12th centuries, the abbey has a renowned library and a book restoration workshop.

The Praglia Abbey also has expansive vineyards, orchards, and beehives and maintains many centuries-old traditions and recipes for the manufacture of excellent wines, herbal teas, sweets, creams, soaps, and unguents. Visiting the abbey gives you a chance to join a guided tour of its premises and you can also spend time in the on-site monastic shop to get to know and purchase the local produce.

Most Famous Monastic Product: The Praglia Abbey’s cosmetics, wines, and honey are particularly well-known.

Do They Sell Online: Yes, here is a link to the official e-shop (in Italian).

What I Like Buying There: All sorts of cosmetics, sweets, and books. 

What’s the Address: Via Abbazia di Praglia 16, 35037 Teolo, Province of Padua, Veneto, Italy. Here is a Google Maps link, too. 

 

 

In Conclusion

Upper cloister of the Praglia Abbey - Teolo, Euganean Hills, Veneto, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Italy is a country that never ceases to surprise the curious traveller who is eager to learn about ancient traditions and to discover curious corners where centuries-old customs have been preserved.

Unexpectedly, one of the most interesting from this point of view places you can see for yourself here are Italy’s monastic shops. In other words, these are the shops attached to churches and monasteries where products based on ancient recipes and techniques are sold.

Through the centuries, many Italian convents and monasteries had lively pharmacies and spice shops. In them, cure-alls were developed on the base of dozens of ingredients, essential oils were distilled, various unguents were made. The recipes survive to this day and continue to be used for the manufacture of authentic and high-quality products that make great presents for oneself as well as for family and friends.

In the above blog post, I introduce you to four such monastic shops in the northern Italian region of the Veneto. One of them is in Venice, two in Padua, and one in the lush Euganean Hills. Visiting them will help you get in touch with an interesting side of Italy’s traditions. It will also help you stock on wonderful handmade cosmetics, different types of high-quality honey, and even wine.

History and retail therapy in one?! Definitely a great Italian mix!  

 

 

More Helpful Links for Authentic Experiences in the Veneto, Italy

 

 

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About the author

Rossi

Rossi

Hello! I am Rossi - a Bulgarian currently living in England after 6 years in Italy which were preceded by 14 years in England. This is my blog about my life in these three countries and travels around Europe with history and culture in mind. For regular updates, please, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on social media online. You can also get in touch via the Contacts form or by commenting on the articles in my blog.

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