Harvesting Blossoms and the Ancient Perfume Manufacturers in Venice

by Stefania Bufano

La Venessiana

Early fall is a boon for gardeners in Venice. Rainy weather and cooler temperatures allow plants and vegetables to thrive in the moist Lagoon. Farther south, for example on the Amalfi Coast, autumn is considered a second spring – la primavera in autunno. That’s also true for Venice to some extent.

Early fall is the main harvest season and Venice is brimming with colorful produce. But the colors we can see in early autumn must be nothing compared to what harvesting time looked like for more than 1000 years in our town, until the early 18th century.

30c14a5f336068e540035e1361efed07300 years ago, you would have seen manufacturing sites in all parts of Venice that may well be called factories, using tons of blossoms to make ointments, soap, essential oils and flower waters. Blossoms were used to make herbal remedies and distilled to flavor sugar (no Venetian noblemen would have eaten plain sugar 300 years ago !!)…

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