According to legend, in the second half of the 1800s, the ancient Mazzolini-Giuseppucci Pharmacy, in Fabriano, was the location of regular freemason meetings. After night had fallen, some say the adepts of the lodge hid in these neo-Gothic rooms, among walls covered in carved wood, mortars, spices and stills, sitting around a counter/altar surrounded by six chairs – an important number in the freemasons’ exoteric beliefs – for their occult rituals.
And after all, Ermogaste Mazzolini – the descendent of a well-respected family of pharmacists in Fabriano, and the owner of this particular store – was a freemason. So was Adolfo Ricci, the Perugia-born sculptor who renovated the spice shop’s space between 1895 and 1896, creating a unique series of images that sing the praise of experimental science and pharmacists’ skills.
The busts of notable chemists, physicists and biologists peer from the armoires’ cusps, while illustrious doctors and pharmacists pose in the ceiling’s bas-reliefs, allegories of every field in science emerging in a triumph of maple wood and ebony.
Ermogaste stopped at nothing for his temple, and wanted the best even for the vases and containers to be used in his galenic laboratory. He had them made by Ginori, in Doccia. His 400-piece collection is almost intact to this day, and enjoys the same prestige and relevance of the pharmacy’s outstanding wooden architecture.
The venerable Pharmacy opened once again in 2010. And it doesn’t hold any secrets anymore.