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  • Entrance to the Pharmacy Massagli, Lucca.zoom in altra finestra
  • Old pharmaceutical preparations, Pharmacy Massagli, Lucca.zoom in altra finestra

Farmacia Massagli [Massagli Pharmacy]

Known as a pharmacy since 1850, it was documented as a spice shop at least from 1772, as seems to be demonstrated by an antique Sienese prescription book. Dr. Pasquale Massagli became famous for his preparation of cinchona, which was used in place of quinine to treat a malaria epidemic that swept through the city in the mid-nineteenth century. The traditional preparation of medicinals made up according to prescriptions used for over a century has continued with Dr. Giuseppe Sartini, today's owner. The pharmacy, which since its foundation has been located in the extraordinary setting of Piazza San Michele, has recently moved from number 38 to number 36 in the same piazza.

The fine original furnishings, although having lost their characteristic of continuity with the former premises, for which they had been specially made by a craftsman from Lucca to harmonise with the decoration on the ceiling, have been conserved and tastefully installed in the new premises. For this initiative, the proprietor of the pharmacy has been awarded a gold medal by the Chamber of Commerce for having provided an "excellent example of how the antique and the modern can be harmoniously combined".

The pharmacy possesses a number of cobalt glass bottles (blue in color, to protect medicinal substances from the light) and a set of droppers and jars still containing the old medicinals. It also has an antique prescription book printed in Lucca in 1650, a Sienese prescription book from 1770 and a collection of prescription books dating from a period ranging from the second half of the 19th century to the first years of the 20th.


Texts by Francesca Romana Guglielmi

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 30/gen/2008