The history of the Foletto pharmaceutical laboratory begins in 1850 in a small valley in Trentino above Lake Garda. The Valle di Ledro is also known for the discovery of about 10,000 Bronze Age pile dwellings on the shore of the lake.

Giovanni Foletto, a pharmacist, moved to Valle di Ledro from Venice in 1855 to work for the Cassoni family, which owned a pharmacy and a laboratory for the production of mineral water. Giovanni first became head of the laboratory, then owner of the pharmacy from 1856 onward.

Giovanni Foletto

Like his father GIOVANNI, born in 1872, he was a pharmacist and had a passionate, educated mind, both for flora (we have more than 2500 plant finds by him from 1890-1895) and the history of the valley itself (he wrote a very detailed book about the Ledro Valley around 1900). His passion for botany led him to patent and market medicines and to build up a real pharmaceutical workshop alongside his pharmacy. Angelo and his whole family were deported to Katzenau (Austria) during the First World War, but after returning home they decided to rebuild the facility and continue their activities.

giovanni foletto arrivò in valle di ledro nel 1855

A wide and varied production, ranging from vials for injections to fruit syrups and many registered medical specialities, including the most famous, Tintura Stomatica Foletto, a herbal tea in a very high concentration dating from 1898, which was registered as eupeptic and digestive in the official pharmacopoeia until the 1990s. Achille Foletto, born in 1915 and still in nappies when he was also deported to Katzenau (Austria), studied pharmaceutical chemistry, specialised in botany and continued the production of medicines, which in the nineties was converted into a licence for the production of syrups and liqueurs. In 1940, while serving as a health officer in the hospital at Riva del Garda, he decided to create a liqueur that could revive the spirits and perspectives of the poor soldiers who were hospitalised: and so Picco Rosso was born, a strongly aromatic, fiery red liqueur.

Alberto, Annamaria and Chiara are Achilles's three children, who continue to bring passion to their jobs as pharmacists and liqueur producers. The owner Alberto was born in 1966 and shares characteristics with the company's production philosophy: he finds his plants for the liqueurs on his doorstep in the mountains or on the shores of Lake Garda. He invented Liquimenta, a delicate aromatic liqueur obtained by infusing liquorice roots and mint leaves in Trentino. And the latest Arancello del Garda, obtained by slow infusion of the peels of oranges from Lake Garda.

A historical museum was established above the production site in 2000, the original fittings of which are 130 years old, to let the history of the Foletto family overcome the barriers of time. The inside is home to a collection of all the instruments, machines, accessories and memorabilia that have enabled Foletto, very special pharmacists, to pursue such a fascinating and mysterious profession for almost two centuries.

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