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accademia della farmacia

The Salvioni Pharmacy in Montalcino

 

Giulio Salvioni 1881-1941

 

The Salvioni Pharmacy opens onto the Piazza del Popolo, the main square in the centre of Montalcino.  Its history, from the profession practiced in the old apothecary’s shop to the profession practiced today, can be traced back as far as the 16th century while for the current pharmacists it all started in 1905 when Doctor Giulio Salvioni took over the pharmacy.  This legacy also refers to the actual premises where apothecaries and pharmacists preceded the Salvionis.
For such a favourable location, we can consider that the space occupied today by the pharmacy has always played a special role in the life of the old Piazza del Mercato, Market Square.  It is enough to observe the arches that protrude from the façade and consider its vicinity to the market gallery.
The pharmacy occupies two of the three shops which notary Giovanni di Meuccio di Nardo donated to the convent of the Franciscan Friars Minor on the first of March in 1371.
The apothecary has been here since at least the 15th century when Paolo Dei and Giacomo Marzuoli, ilcinenses aromatarios in civitate ilcinea, were requested to pay a sixth of doctor Giovanni Maria de Sereni’s salary for his role as district medical doctor as stipulated on September 4, 1499 with the priors of the town.
During the economic boom after the fall of the Sienese Republic in 1555, favoured by the influx of foreign investors for considerable tax advantages granted to the goods produced in Montalcino, the town council conceded the reconstitution of the profession to the apothecaries with a new autonomous charter.
Then in 1592 even the apothecaries from Montalcino would have to officially qualify for the profession in Siena and undergo regular inspections of their practice and of the state of their shop by the protomedico, chief physician, from Siena.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the apothecary in the main square had passed from the Tinelli family to the Angelini family.
Apothecary Ascanio’s workday was certainly marked by the continuous tasks of his profession. He prepared his electuaries: filonio romano, diatartaro which cleared slimy phlegm and mucilage, alessandrino to relieve pain, discordio di Fracastoro against contagion, trifera magna to start menstruation, pillole di cinoglossa (dog tongue) as a narcotic.
He was undoubtedly a healthcare worker, but people came to him to buy ingredients for cooking as well: pepper, old-fashioned almond paste and white or rose powdered sugar, quince jam, rose or violet conserves, strong spices, isinglass and so on in addition to local specialities pan pepati, copate and Christmas biscuits, biricoccoli.
This also made the apothecary shop an important place in the centre of Montalcino, a meeting place that animated daily life.  Nowadays that role remains as only a memory after a renewed professionalism in the duties of the pharmacist.

Clemente Santi  
Clemente Santi  

The Santi Apothecary
As we have seen, the Angelinis took over from the Tinellis. In 1704 when Ascanio, the last of his family, dies, the apothecary is bought by Giovanni Boldrini who worked there until 1745. Upon his death, the canon Girolamo, his brother, donates the apothecary to the Santa Maria della Croce Hospital, and Tullio Canali, the rector of the hospital, entrusts the administration to a young apothecary, Clemente di Livio Santi.
This acquisition by the hospital marks a new period in the history of the apothecary, a fortunate event since in the hospital archive there is a rich collection of administrative documents and the final disposal document imposed by the reforms of the Opera Pia as decreed by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena in 1782 for which the apothecary soon returns to the hands of private owners. Among these documents stands out an inventory for appraisal purposes that is rich in information about “every sort of medicine, drugs and simples, vases, boxes, laboratory glassware, books” in addition to the “cupboards, basins, workbenches, drawers, tables” and finally “articles made in iron, copper, bronze, brass and tin, various types of scales, and everything else”.  Of special note is the original bell-shaped bronze mortar bearing the date 1751 and the coat of arms of Santa Maria della Croce Hospital, which is currently stored at the Salvioni Apothecary, or rather Salvioni Pharmacy. 
At the end of the complex administrative procedure, the apothecary came into Clemente Santi’s possession on September 20, 1788.
Clemente became a citizen of Montalcino having married Petronilla Canali, niece of the rector of Santa Maria della Croce Hospital, Tullio Antonio.  Their son Luigi had been born in 1758 and would be guided by his father to learn the profession.  By October 19, 1781 we already find him presiding over the apothecary. After purchasing the business, the building still belonged to the Franciscans.  With the Napoleonic dissolution of their monastery in 1808, the same building presumably became part of the Patrimonio dei Resti Ecclesiastici and was subsequently sold.
In 1834, Clemente, the oldest son of Luigi and brother of lawyer Tullio Santi, becomes owner of the pharmacy. Having been raised in the classical cultural environment of the family, which refined his feelings and directed his interests, Clemente graduated in pharmacy in 1814 at the University of Pisa while the aforementioned Giorgio Santi taught natural history. Noteworthy are Clemente’s historical-artistic interests and even more his correspondence with the Accademia dei Georgofili of Florence and his collaboration with the publication, Giornale Agrario Toscano. He would keep the pharmacy until 1874 when the property is registered to a certain Carlo Ridolfi.
Antonio Galassi and Flavio Angelini were registered as the taxpayers on the building in 1889, however it is not clear which of the two families owned and managed the pharmacy on the main square.
In 1891, Garibaldo Tempesti took over.  On November 18, 1894, the local bi-weekly publication Il Progresso published an advertisement for the “Farmacia Bacciarelli di Piazza principessa Margherita”, the name of the main square at that time, which offered “medicines and goods of an excellent quality grocery at a low price”.  They sold mineral water, Alchermes, rum and Marsala, China bark digestive elixir, extra fine chocolate, candies, and spices for Vermouth, scented face powder in addition to the unfailing quinine. Finally Il Progresso of April 15, 1900 reassured its readers “The pharmacy in Princess Margaret Square was purchased by Mr. Curzio Costanti, son of the nobleman Tito Costanti.  At one time, it was befitting of the best and most learned people of the town. We hope that it may resume its honourable tradition once again.”

renato salvioni  
Renato Salvioni 1910-1967  

We finally come to the Salvionis, to Doctor Roberto's grandfather. Giulio, son of Antonio, graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Siena in the first session of exams in the academic year 1903-1904, took over the premises over a century ago in 1905 and purchased the building on April 28, 1917. Renato, the second of his four children, would graduate in Chemistry and Pharmacy in Siena on July 11, 1937 and take over the management of the pharmacy after his father's passing in 1941. His short life was enriched by his marriage to Rita Fratini with the birth of five children. The oldest, Doctor Roberto, who graduated in Pharmacy in 1968, would assume responsibility of the pharmacy after obtaining his pharmacist qualification on January 1, 1969. While Carlo, Roberto's oldest child, graduated in the field of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology in 1999 and chose to work in the field of management consultancy, his brother Fabio would achieve a degree in Pharmacy in 2001. Today, Roberto and Fabio manage the family pharmacy as partners, replicating the almost century-long legacy of three generations of the Santi family of Montalcino between the 18th and 19th centuries in the Pharmacy on the main square.

 
 

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