Italy is known for its incredible historical and cultural heritage, however there might still be one thing or two you don’t know about this wonderful country.
So, today I’d like to make a small list of some of the things that contribute to make Italy special.
Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy
How can a pharmacy contribute to make Italy special? Well, because it’s the oldest pharmacy in the world!
L’officina profuma farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is located in Florence.
To track its origins it’s necessary to go back to 1221, to the Church of Santa Maria Novella and its monastery.
One day the monks started experimenting with herbs and flowers and created the first elixirs and medicaments.
In 1381 they opened an on-site infirmary where they treated themselves and other people using their creations like Aceto dei sette ladri and acqua di rose – vinegar of the seven thieves and rose water.
In the 16th century, the fame of the monks spread. So, they decided to sell their products to the public for the very first time. In that period, they also created new products like the first perfumes composed of alcohol rather than oil or vinegar.
Between the 17th and the 18th century the monks opened their first shop in via della Scala and created new products like the famous liqueur Alchermes.
In1886 the property of the Church of Santa Maria Novella was confiscated by the state and the pharmacy was passed to Cesare Augusto Stefani, who was the nephew of the monastery’s last director.
Nowadays the pharmacy of via della Scala is still open and sells all the most traditional products like medicaments, fragrances, wax products, tea, honey, liqueurs, etc. Visiting the pharmacy can be interesting since in some of the rooms there are frescoes by Paolino Sarti and Mariotto di Nardo, and, there’s also a museum.
Where could the first gelato university be opened, if not in Italy? It’s located in Anzola, in the Emilia-Romagna region and it was an idea of the ice-cream machine maker Carpignani.
People from all around the world come to attend this university to learn how to produce delicious gelato.
The university teaches more than 500 courses that can last from a few days to several weeks.
There are courses meant for beginners and courses meant for experts and their topics range from ingredients, sugars, techniques, food intolerances, entrepreneurship, etc.
Do you know some other things that in your opinion contribute to make Italy special?
Original image by enriquelopezgarre