We got a parcel today.
On June 26th (today – as you see – is July 29th) we placed an order for some shampoo and soap and body moisturisers – and then we waited . . . and waited . . . and emailed to check they got our order okay . . . and waited . . . and today it arrived.
And oh, my goodness!
You never – I assure you, never – sniffed such glorious beautiful fragrances as these. I mean, they are the real thing. I have a good nose for discerning authentic floral/herbal/essential oil ingredients from cheap laboratory crap – and these are the real deal. So worth waiting for.
They aren’t terribly expensive, and they have the classiest packaging ever. These products are just stunning.
They came from the Abbazia di Praglia (in English that’s Praglia Abbey).
Praglia Abbey is a Benedictine monastery, at the foot of Mount Lonzina, in Padua. It was founded in the eleventh century and is still going with a community of 44 monks after the usual long history of ups and downs, closures and renewals. It houses the National Library – an Italian national monument – and has a tradition of book restoration.
At this abbey, they cultivate plants to make cosmetics, and for honey and wine. And their stuff is heavenly.
It just lifts my heart to think of our soap and shampoo being made with slow care and faith and excellence, in the Italian countryside, by men for whom prayer is work and work is prayer, in the beautiful way of St Benedict.
Their website and most of the info about them online is all in Italian, so you may need an online translation tool to help you understand it all.
The main website is here.
The cosmetics department of their online shop is here.
They take Paypal at checkout.
There's a virtual tour of the abbey here (you click on the arrows to go through the doors to a different area).
You can see the abbey, with the flowers they cultivate for their products, and the daily life of the monks, in their YouTube video here.
And I only wish I had some way of letting you smell the fragrance of the propolis cream on the back of my right hand and the foot cream on the back of my left hand. Mmmmm . . . Well, bless my soul - that's just glorious!
[English readers may like to know, we first came across the Abbazia di Praglia's products in Devon - Buckfast Abbey has a shop where they sell goods produced by lots of different monastic communities; all of a very high standard. Some - but I think, not all - of their range is online: here]
(Source of photo at the top of the page: http://www.venezia.net/escursioni/abbazia-di-praglia.html )