The Pharmacy of the Incurables: a mix of art, science and magic

The Pharmacy for the ncurables a mix of art, science and magic

The Pharmacy for the ncurables a mix of art, science and magic

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Exploring the ‘heart’ of Naples, it is incredible to see how many wonders it hides. One of these, for example, is The Incurables’ Pharmacy, which belongs to the Incurables’ Monumental Complex. But why it is called this way? What are the origins of the name? Let’s see together.

History of the Pharmacy of the Incurables

The Incurables’ Monumental Complex is an astonishing building that dates back to 1522. The structure, a recovery place in Baroque style, includes some of the most important pharmaceutical labratories, among which a miliarstone in the history of Neapolitan scientific field: The Incurables’ Pharmacy.  It was built around 1740 and 1760, in order to host all the sick people and take care of them through medicins, poisonsand whatever could heal them soon. Founder of this caritative work, was Maria Longo, a Catalan aristocratic womawho, stroke by a bad disease, decided to dedicate herself to the all incurable people. Soon, this project became a big and functional hospital, where all the  biggest exponents of the Neapolitan society came up to visit it.

Pharmacy Structure

Since its origins, the Pharmacy was structured into specialistic wards and disposed of various additional services, such as: kitchens, ovens, several chemists, a library, a medicine school highly qualified and also a service for interpreters due to the increasing number of strangers. It is divided into two areas: the laboratory room and the representative room. Along the perimeter, there is a magnificent chemist’s work table,upon which a little showcase holds several little bottles containing old medicines and decorated with biblical scenes. On the bottom, a big pavement in cotto tile and majolica, in which all the colours of the bottles are gathered all together.

The Pharmacy of the Incurables today

Today the Incurables’ Pharmacy still represents a gem of the Neapolitan scientific world and, thanks to its appeal, numerous legends born inside of it. It is said, in fact, that the numbers and the disposition of the bottles find their corrispondence into some precise Masonic rules; or that, for example, the pictures on both sides of the ceiling belonged to some Masonic intellectuals. In conclusion, it is to be said that this place has much to tell yet, with its stories and its mysteries hidden into each of that bottles. 

How to reach the Pharmacy of the Incurables

Address: via Maria Longo, 50.

Time: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays,  from 9.oo AM to 5.00 PM; Sundays, from 9.00 AM to 1.00 PM (closed on the other days)

Contacts: for the reservation , just call the number 081-440647, or send an e-mail to: [email protected]  All the tours are organized by the cultural association Il Faro di Ippocrate

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Chiara De Filippo

Appassionata di viaggi, musica e libri, la scrittura è sempre stata una fonte di ispirazione. Laureata in lingue, nel 2015 ha pubblicato la sua prima traduzione letteraria dall’inglese all’italiano del romanzo ‘Alice Underground’, per la casa editrice Montecovello.

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