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  • Interior of the Pharmacy "Canto alle Rondini", Florence.zoom in altra finestra
  • Detail of the sales counter of the Pharmacy "Canto alle Rondini", Florence.zoom in altra finestra

Antica Farmacia del Canto alle Rondini [Ancient Pharmacy "Canto alle Rondini"]

The pharmacy was founded in the 14th century, probably after the death of Dante (1321), here recalled by a portrait bust. One of its early pharmacists was the famous Matteo Palmieri, who managed it until 1480, the year of his death. Originally the pharmacy was located on the corner of Via Verdi, on the ground floor of Palazzo Uccellini, from whose heraldic arms, representing three silver swallows ("rondini") flying against a red field, it had taken its name.

In 1919 the architect Adolfo Coppedè, brother of the better-known Gino, remodelled the pharmacy, retaining its fourteenth-century character. Coppedè commissioned of Umberto Bartoli a "Madonna" enclosed in a mandorla formed of a flock of swallows in flight, which was then lost during the flood of the Arno in 1966.

In 1936, within the context of a project for upgrading the Santa Croce quarter, the pharmacy was transferred to its current location. On that occasion, the furnishings designed by Coppedè were readapted to the new premises, basically retaining their original character in spite of the damage caused by the flood of 1966. The continuous shelves, distinguished by lintels, pilasters, consoles, niches and capitals, are enhanced by rectangular metal panels painted with floral motifs and male figures in fourteenth-century costume. The sales counter is decorated at the center by an oil painting on wood with a scene representing assistance to the ill. The wall decoration, an imitation curtain, and the wooden coffered ceiling reflect the style of Coppedè's project for the ancient pharmacy.


Texts by Antonella Gozzoli

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 19/gen/2008