The Valley of Biodiversity and food plants

This post is also available in: Italian

Would you fancy a slightly unusual trip out of town? Well, I’d suggest paying a visit to the Biodiversity Valley, in Astino, a small village near Bergamo. This Biodiversity Valley is a branch of the “Lorenzo Rota” Botanical Garden in Bergamo, located in Astino, next to the former monastery (now a cultural centre), and the Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale (National Linen and hemp mill).

It covers 2.22 acres dedicated to food plants with 300 species and over 1500 varieties. They are seasonally organized, including the most rustic and the tropical ones in pots, such as tomatoes, corn, potatoes, vines, beans, quinoa, amaranth, wheat, rice, salad, beets, etc.

A leaflet with the map is available at the entrance to the Botanical Garden, in Italian, English and German. The visit can take advantage of multimedia content, while the “Smile Visit app” offers a lot of information about the Biodiversity Valley and the different routes in Val d’Astino.

Dogs are allowed only when on a leash, but not on the main routes.

Should you go back there in the summer, you could enjoy the spectacular crops of the National Linen and hemp mill. That’s a historical market leader of the high-quality yarn sector and it has just launched a massive promotion of such an important Italian weaving tradition.

The crops cover about 5 acres and are sown in April, reaching their very best blooming peak in mid-June. Right after the harvest, the fibres are spun on-site. It’s such a great place to visit and right after this most unique experience, you may want to enjoy some local treats in the nearby restaurant inside the old monastery.

This post is also available in: Italian

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.