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Life has returned to the hills of Montebello


The cradle of Italian organic agriculture

Organic growing and production methods began to become popular in the Marche region as far back as 1974, making this area, in the very heart of Italy, the first region in terns of incidence of organic farms. This is thanks to the hard work of Gino Girolomoni and to his visionary idea of bringing the Monastery of Montebello in Isola del Piano back to life. With this choice, Gino changed the fortunes of a whole area, but also of organic farming in Italy.

Just 13 years later, the first European regulations on organic production methods would arrive. Different regional concerns, together with our farming Cooperative took a pioneering role in the development of promotion of the Italian organic method, both at national and international levels. Today the Marche aims to become a “Single Organic District”, the largest in Italy and Europe.

The land of Federico da Montefeltro

We work the lands that were once ruled by the Duke of Urbino, Federico da Montefeltro, enlightened humanist and figure of reference for Gino Girolomoni, who appreciated his intelligence and ability “to turn a mountain town into a world capital.”

An impervious area in terms of production, but also depositary of great wealth in terms of environment, landscape, and culture.

It is for all these reasons that the mill for our 100% Italian grain and the pasta factory where we make our organic pasta have been built on the hills of Montefeltro, around and within the Monastery of Montebello.

Discovering a territory, the lands and villages of Urbino, through the stories of people, contemporary and past, which have determined its identity and uniqueness today

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Illustration of Daniele Garota

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The monastery

The Monastery of Montebello, the remains of which were observed by the young Gino from his bedroom, has always been considered the symbolic location of the rebirth of the village of Isola del Piano.

It was here that the Blessed Pietro Gambacorta founded a congregation for St James in the 14th century, going on to build the monastery where the Order of the Hieronymites was founded.

From the time of his election as mayor of Isola del Piano, Gino’s aim was to restore the Monastery of Montebello, making it his home but also a place in which to discuss the future of farming culture.

Since the 1970s, it has been home to the Girolomoni Farming Cooperative and the birthplace of Italian organic farming.

Today, the monastery has new hospitality and education areas such as:

  • Fondazione Girolomoni – Which carries out cultural activities, through live meetings and the quarterly review “Mediterraneo Dossier”.
  • Educational Farm – Where it is also possible to book visits to the Farming Culture Museum, “In the footsteps of our fathers”.
  • The B&B Girolomoni – With 5 rooms and 2 meeting rooms for study days, conferences and meetings of different types, yoga, training, and nature retreats.

Restoration of the Monastery’s church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was completed in 2011.

But there is more: soon there will also be a library in the sacristy, containing all of the books that Gino Girolomoni read and chose over the years, and which form the DNA of our cultural and business experience in organics. There is room for subjects such as environmentalism, ecology, agriculture, spirituality, Christianity, archaeology, history, and authors such as Ivan Illich, Alex Langer, Guido Ceronetti, Sergio Quinzio, Paolo Volponi, Manuel Anati and many, many more.

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