Our history

  • 1990

    Il Sentiero was founded with the activities of retail of flowers and plants, and consulting services in agriculture.

  • 1991

    A small experimental cultivation of Taxus x media “Hicksii” Rehder was started for the production of taxol.

  • 1994

    The cultivation of Taxus baccata L. starts for the production of taxol.

  • 1995

    Specialization in advisory services and in the cultivation of medicinal plants directly and indirectly grows.

  • 1996

    The experimental cultivation of Echinacea angustifolia DC starts.

  • 1999

    Cultivation of Echinacea angustifolia and Taxus baccata are increased with the acquisition of agricultural land.

  • 2001

    In the province of Bergamo is built a line of static dryers to allow drying operation of the taxus baccata cultivated in the province.

  • 2003

    Acquisition of additional properties in the province of Verona to increase crops.

  • 2004

    Il Sentiero began working with a farm in the province of Pavia.

  • 2006

    The cultivation of Ginkgo biloba L . starts.

  • 2008

    Il Sentiero starts working with a farm in the province of Bergamo for the construction of a shed to store appropriately the leaves of taxus baccata, gathered and stabilized in the same province.

  • 2009

    A machines for cutting the aerial part and for the collection of roots of Echinacea angustifolia is built under our project.

  • 2011

    Sofia and Rachel enter in the business: Il Sentiero becomes “a female company”.

  • 2012

    Il Sentiero buys 15% of a Latvian company that trades in berries (Berry) and mushrooms, both for food and medicinal use.

  • 2013

    The cultivation of Melissa officinalis L. is started.

  • 2013

    New land is acquired for the implementation of the cultivation of ginkgo, echinacea, and lemon balm. With the purchase of a 30 hectares property in the province of Trapani begins the adventure of La Valle della Luna (The Valley of the Moon) with wine. The grape varieties are Nero d’Avola, cabernet, chardonnay, merlot and catarratto.

  • 2014

    Another 20 hectares for rent are added to the cultivation of vines in Sicily, the vines here are Nero d’Avola, Grillo, merlot, cabernet, syrah and Inzolia.

  • 2015

    We enter the Sicilian regional call, with our CMO, for the renewal of old vines. The project will take place on an area of ​​16 hectares.


The year is 1958. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) starts a screening program of 35,000 plants species with the aim of identifying the active ingredients that can counteract cancer. Among the plant extracts analyzed, there are two samples deriving from Taxus brevifolia Nutt. showing anticancer activity. In 1964 a new sample of this species is accepted, after several refusals by other research laboratories, from Monroe Wall of the Research Triangle Institute. The choice of other laboratories to refuse the sample is dictated by the fact that plants with strong cytotoxic activity prove poorly usable in medicines because of the non-selectivity of action that leads to the death of not only cancer cells but also healthy ones. Yet, the researcher attempts Wall: his group has already analyzed Camptotheca acuminata Decne, isolating a principle (camptothecin) in which great hopes are pinned. In 1971 taxol it’s  isolated for the first time, it’s an antineoplastic agent that finds application in particular in the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer, in lung cancer and in Kaposi’s sarcoma. The molecule is now produced by semi-synthetic starting from 10-deacetylbaccatin, the precursor present in the leaves and twigs of other species of yew, in particular from T. baccata. This solution allows for greater sustainability of production since T.brevifolia is endangered, its growth is slow and the deprivation of the cortex, since it is not a renewable part , leads to the death of the tree.



Il Sentiero begins the experimental cultivation of this particular species of echinacea, at a time when most of the material is available from other two species, E. purpurea (L.) Moench and E. pallida Nutt . The retrieval of properly seed is quite difficult, among the three species is easy to have cross-pollination, and the confusion of breeding material can cause serious stretches of time trials. Growing E.angustifolia is also more complicated because of the strong need for tight control of weeds, whose invasion may reflect in a lower yield. Furthermore, this species has a smaller development than the other two and requires particular types of cultivation.

Already known and widely used by Native Americans to treat colds, wounds, snake bites, toothache and insect bites, its merits were revealed to a doctor in Nebraska, Dr. HCF Meyer, in 1870. Since then, the reputation of echinacea grew, and the plant received some success as a “remedy blood cleanser”, until it was supplanted by the arrival of antibiotics. To date, however, it is still cultivated for the production of roots that contain flavonoids (echinacoside and cynarin) and alkylamides. Today we know that echinacea acts as a stimulant of the immune system and light anti-inflammatory and is one of the world’s best selling herbal remedies.



Ginkgo biloba is the only living species belonging to Ginkgoacee, a family extinct in the Mesozoic. The ginkgo tree, was thought to be extinct in Europe because of the discovery of fossils of the typical fan leaves but not of living plants, was “rediscovered” by a German botanist, Engelbert Kaempfer, in 1691. If in the Western world this represented an important finding, the same value it was not definitely attributed by Eastern populations; In fact, the Chinese monks used to plant these trees considered sacred by the religious places and the species itself had already spread to Japan and Korea. The seeds of Ginkgo, collected by Kaempfer at the service of the Dutch East Indies, came back to Europe (in 1730: the first ginkgo tree is planted in Europe, in the botanical gardens of Utrecht). In 1754 it was also found in China a population of ancient ginkgo tree that made it even more famous in Europe.

To date, the ginkgo is one of the most popular herbal remedies; the leaves contain flavonoids (kaempferol, isoramnetina, quercetin), terpene lactones (ginkgolides), sesquiterpenes (bilobalide), amino acids (c. 6-idrosschinurenico, proanthocyanidins). The main pharmacological properties are: effects on memory and learning, antioxidant properties , anti-PAF (platelet activating factor), antischemiche properties, effects on glucose metabolism in the brain.



The genus Vaccinium includes more than 200 species, many of which are grown for their economic importance, such as the cranberry and blueberry.

The blueberry, Vaccinium myrtillus L., is a small shrub of the family Ericaceae, from 15 up to 50 cm high. It grows wild in Europe, where we find him through the trees up to 1500-1800 m, in acidic soils. One of the characteristics that distinguishes it from highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), the species generally grown, is the color of the flesh: the black blueberry’s one is reddish-purple, whilethe one of the US giant blueberry is pale in color, clear. Right here is the difference: the content in anthocyanins, responsible for shades from red to blue-violet in plants, in the black blueberry is four times higher than the one of the American species.
The anthocyanins are the most important compounds from the pharmacological point of view, as they vary rhythmically the diameter of blood vessels in the microcirculation, thus regularizing the blood flow. Furthermore, their action is also vasoprotective, especially at the capillary level. In the V. myrtillus there are also tannins, flavonoids, pectin and vitamin C.



Melissa is historically well known and used by more than 2000 years for its ability to attract bees. It has also been studied that this plant contains compounds, citral and geraniol, which are also found in the Nasonov gland of worker bees. Nasonov gland produces a secretion smelling useful to mark territory, to maintain the cohesion of the swarm and report areas of foraging. More pheromones of bees contain nerolic acid similar to nerol found in Melissa.

Melissa, whose drug is represented by the leaves, contains flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, apigenin), polyphenols (caffeic acid and derivatives), an essential oil made of monoterpenes (aldehyde citronellal, geranial, neral and the related alcohols) and sesquiterpenes (β-caryophyllene and germacrene). The German Commission E recommends it for nervous disorders of sleep, also the results from clinical trials on the effectiveness of its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s are encouraging.



La Valle della Luna our pride, a “dream”. It’s still a young company born in Sicily in 2014. We started with the idea of ​​creating not a winery, but a life plan that could support some families with precarious economic situations behind. These men and women are driven by a strong desire for redemption and love for their homeland, despite all difficulties, they never thought to leave. We are sure that the maximum effort and passion that they are putting in this project will take us far.

The quality of the product is confirmed by a few first signals, we are recognized as an abnormal reality but positive locally and we get lots of offers for the running of vineyards that would otherwise be abandoned. For the moment the grapes are fully sold to local wineries, but it is not impossible that one day winemaking can take place under our own brand. We caress the idea that oneday tLa Valle della Luna will become not only an established company and an extended family, but a symbol and a sign of hope, we repeat a wonderful “dream”.