Via della Scala, 23
The Antica Spezieria di Santa Maria della Scala (Ancient Pharmacy of Santa Maria della Scala), was set up in the second half of the 16th century and remained in business for the next four hundred years.
The pharmacy, which is located on the first floor of the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites in Trastevere, was originally established for the needs of the monks, who grew medicinal plants in the garden of their monastery.
At the end of the 17th century, the pharmacy was opened to all and sundry and gained such a good reputation that its clientele soon included princes, cardinals and even the doctors of the popes, earning it the nickname the 'farmacia dei papi'.
Unfortunately, the Antica Spezieria is no longer a working practice, having closed its doors in 1954.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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