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  • Interior of the Molteni Pharmacy, Florence.zoom in altra finestra
  • Molteni Pharmacy, Florence.zoom in altra finestra

Farmacia Molteni [Molteni Pharmacy]

The pharmacy, already mentioned in documents from the late 13th century, still occupies its original site, between Via Calzaioli and Via Porta Rossa, on a corner known as "Canto al Diamante", a name deriving from the pharmacy's signboard, on which a diamond was painted. Its sound tradition dates from so long ago that it is even said to have been frequented by Dante, enrolled in the Physicians and Pharmacists Guild.

Among the products that made it famous are the sterile phials for hypodermic use invented by the pharmacist Alfredo Alitti near the end of the 19th century, and the "Steridrolo Molteni" used by the Italian army to sterilise drinking water during its African campaign.

Situated on the ground floor of the ancient Palazzo di Calimala, of fourteenth-century stamp, the pharmacy has retained only its bearing structure, while the present decoration scheme with cross-vaults and gold stucco-work against a cream-coloured background dates from the 19th century. The wooden furnishings with inlay work and gold decoration created by the Florentine sculptor Giovanni Duprč date from the same period.


Texts by Elena Fani

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 22/feb/2008