Antica Farmacia di Sant’Anna in Genoa, an elixir for body and soul
The Discalced Carmelites friars who work in Genoa’s Antica Farmacia di Sant’Anna surely know and agree with the words of Dionysius, a 5th-century priest and ‘anárgyros’ doctor (meaning “moneyless”, according to the long and strong tradition of Christian doctors who cured their parents for free):
Ars veneranda fidem, fidei decus extulit artem, meaning “The art of medicine should worship faith, and the decorum of faith enhance the art of medicine”.
Indeed, the pharmacy – which opened in the Castelletto district in the 17th century, inside the convent founded in Genoa by the Discalced Carmelites in 1584 – declares a similar motto in red letters, on the gold background of a cartouche held by a wooden angel:
Nos medicinam paramus, Deus dat nobis salutem (We prepare medicine, but God gives us health).
This historical shop is outstanding for at least two reasons: it has never changed hands (a real exception in Genoa!), and has been making and selling the highest quality products for centuries. It is also well known for its fine phytotherapy systems, based on extraction methods that keep plants’ original proprieties intact.
A short visit here is like an elixir for body and soul.