The Antica Spezieria di Santa Maria della Scala is located in piazza della scala 23 at the church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome, in the Trastevere district. Established in the second half of the sixteenth century, and one of the oldest in Europe. Open to the public at the end of the seventeenth century, it continued uninterruptedly to process Galenic products until 1954, when the barefoot Carmelites, chemistry scholars and scientific researchers, abandoned the production of their preparations that they made by growing spices in the gardens of the convent. It has currently been reopened to the public.
Antica Spezieria di Santa Maria della Scala History
The ancient Spezieria or Pharmacy is located on the first floor of the convent of the Discalced Carmelites, annexed to the Church of Santa Maria della Scala, and is a small jewel that preserves the original Galenic laboratory and the oil mill, together with the colored majolica, the vases, the scales, distillation stills, mortars, while the furnishings, shelves, showcases and counter are from the eighteenth century, and the adjacent liquor laboratory dates back to the nineteenth century.
The Antica Spezieria was in operation from 1600 until the 1950s, sealed by the last apothecary to be admired by posterity. Inside it still retains the fascinating eighteenth-century furnishings and above all the ancient laboratory with precious relics such as vases, stills, pill containers, ampoules and a very rare herbarium attributed to Fra 'Basilio, a pharmacist of the eighteenth century, containing the list of all the herbs used in the pharmacy.
Originally built to meet the needs of the Carmelite friars themselves, over time, they made it so famous as to become a reference point for popes, princes and cardinals, so as to obtain the title of "Pharmacy of the Popes".