The Benedictine Monastery Of St John The Evangelist
A small port on the western front of the Monastery of St. John, towards the current Borgo Pipa (formerly Borgo S. Giovanni), opens the guided tour of the Old Apothecary. Although the first reports of a Apothecary in the Benedictine Monastery of St. John the Evangelist dates back to 1201, the year of its opening to the public, its existence is the next millennium. A door with a beautiful carved wooden eagle, symbol of Saint John the Evangelist, leads into the second room, called the "mortar" room. The mortars in marble and bronze, of various shapes and sizes, which are essential tools of the pharmacist for pounding and grinding the herbs, date back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The next room, called "Sirens", owes its name to the allegorical figures carved pilasters in the shelves that, in turn, contain a rich collection of vases, jars, manuscripts and rare pharmaceutical publications of XVI-XIX centuries. The fourth room is the real laboratory, with the well and the entrance to the cellar, where many of the spices used in the preparation of medicines were kept. Among the rare furnishings of the room, in addition to sinks in Verona marble of the sixteenth century, notably a series of stills and glass bottles hanging on the walls, of different origins dating back almost all the eighteenth century. These objects constitute the most significant testimony of the intense activity of producing medicaments Spezieria carried out by the monastery, which to the most common and traditional processing methods workshop pharmaceutical flanked in time those introduced by alchemical practice and its toolkits.