Bourbon del Monte Palace in Sansepolcro
Bourbon del Monte Palace, prestigious Renaissance palace, is located in the historic center of Sansepolcro and is currently home to Aboca Museum. Herbs and health over the centuries. This museum, unique in its kind, aims to recover and pass on the millennial relationship between man and women medicinal plants, both through the exposure of the sources of the past (precious herbaria, books of pharmaceutical botany, glass objects and ceramics) and through the faithful reconstruction of the places where herbs were once worked.
The route starts on the ground floor with the entrance to the Museum and with a showcase in which the main historical-artistic findings are exposed. Also on the ground floor is theherbal medicine of Aboca, where you can buy all the products of the Aboca - Planta Medica group and the bookshop, where you can consult and purchase both the Aboca Edizioni publications and a wide selection of texts related to health and natural well-being.
On the walls of the staircases, from the first to the fifth floor of the Palace, precious collections of botanical tables drawn from the herbaria preserved in the Bibliotheca Antiqua of Aboca Museum, which are periodically replaced.
On the first floor the real museum exhibition begins, deployed in nine rooms where historical-artistic finds are exhibited (mortars, ceramics ...) or which reconstruct the ancient working environments of medicinal plants. Thus, from the herbal room we move on to the 1600 spezieria, to phyto-chemical laboratory of 1800, to the cell of poisons and to the pharmacy of the 1800, in wood and perfectly preserved. All these rooms are expertly furnished with all the tools necessary in those centuries to extract the substances from which to prepare the medicines. The visitor is thus led into a fascinating journey into the past, where curiosity, anecdotes and natural scents are intertwined to tell the story of herbs over the centuries.
On the fourth floor is the Bibliotheca Antiqua, one of the most important collections in the world for its specificity, intended for scholars and researchers. It preserves about 1900 antique printed volumes that tell four centuries of botanical history (XVI - XIX century): these are various types of works, from the first treatises on the Simple (the basic medicinal plants), to the studies of the Pharmaceutical Botany, from the volumes of Alchemy to the Renaissance Pharmacopoeias, up to the nineteenth-century compendiums of Physics, Chemistry and Natural Sciences.
Within the Bibliotheca there is also a Study Center, coordinated and directed by a scientific committee composed of international experts in the botanical-pharmaceutical sector
Above the Bibliotheca there is finally the turret, very scenic place from here you have the view of all Sansepolcro.
The history of Palazzo Bourbon del Monte
After battle of Anghiari in 1440 Borgo Sansepolcro, with great satisfaction of its inhabitants, was sold by the papalini for 25.000 gold ducats to the Florentine Republic, under whose lordship it remained until the Unification of Italy. In the 1500 Giuliano da SangalloLorenzo de 'Medici's trusted architect was sent to Sansepolcro to provide the city with new walls and fortifications and, according to his plan, the city was embellished with walls that can still be admired today. From this moment began the construction of the most beautiful buildings that are the ornament of the city, including Bourbon del Monte Palace which, after a skilful restoration, from the 2002 houses the museum exhibition of Aboca Museum.
Characterized by the seventeenth-century facade and leaning against the Church of San Rocco, the building is the result of more unifications made on probable medieval constructions, of which traces are preserved in the basements and in the Tower of the Catolino, dated between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and part of the ancient city walls. The building, built in the late seventeenth century, already suffered serious damage in the 1703 due to an earthquake and from this period changed properties several times. This building has a large party hall that was also used as a theater for performances by companies of actors and musicians from Biturg. The coat of arms of the Marquis Bourbon del Monte is depicted in the hall: a blue shield with three golden lilies crossed by a knotty stick.
Moreover, as imperial feudal lords, the Marquises of the Mount had the privilege of raising on their arms the two-headed eagle of the Habsburg-Lorraine who had taken over from the Medici in the government of Tuscany. The Bourbon del Monte family was closely linked to the history of this city since very ancient times. The marquises acquired the palace at the end of the seventeenth century from the Alberti family and the Marquis Monaldo, the twenty-second regent of the marquisate, looking like the milder and more comfortable Sansepolcro climate than the one in Monte Santa Maria, lived there between 1685 and 1757. At the end of the 1700 the palace will pass to the Capassini family, then to the Cattani family and finally to the Tricca family.
Bourbon del Monte Palace is currently home to Aboca Museum in the rooms of which the "Herbs and health over the centuries" path develops, visible in the following opening hours: from 1 ° October to 31 March from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.30 to 18.30, with closure on Monday; from 1 ° April to 30 September from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00.
The ground floor of the building welcomes the bookshop with the publications Aboca edizioni e l'herbal medicine of Aboca with Aboca, Planta medica and Apoteca Natura products and the presence of qualified personnel ready to give advice and respond to the various needs of customers.
The building is located on the top floor of the building Bibliotheca Antiqua, closed to the public but can be visited by appointment by scholars, researchers and enthusiasts. The Museum has a toilet and an elevator.
In front of the museum is the Garden of Piero della Francesca, furnished with medicinal plants taken care of by Aboca Museum, and the Osteria "Il Giardino di Piero", a restaurant managed directly by Aboca that works exclusively with organic raw materials, according to the company philosophy.
Places of interest nearby
Aboca Museum is part of the museum circuit "Valtiberina Museums Pass": With the museum ticket, you are entitled to a reduced ticket in the other museums of Sansepolcro, Anghiari, Caprese (mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil) michelangelo, sestino e Monterchi, and viceversa. Moreover, with the ticket of the Museum there is also the reduction to the Museums of Città di Castello.
The Museum also has agreements with many accommodation facilities in the area, such as hotels and farms.