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Museum and Apothecary of Santa Fina

The Archaeological Museum and Apothecary of Santa Fina are inside the ancient monastery of Santa Chiara, in which the Raffaele De Grada modern and contemporary art gallery is also located. The Archaeological Museum contains evidence of the history of San Gimignano, from the most ancient foundations dating back to the Etruscan period up to the 18th century. The museum is divided into two parts: the firs is Etruscan and Roman and contains artefacts from the necropolises found in the area, while a second part is dedicated to production activities of an artisan nature, glass and ceramics produced in the city during the Middle Ages.
On the first floor of the ancient monastery and hospital of Santa Fina, there is the Apothecary of Santa Fina, acquired by the Civic Museum of San Gimignano in 1906. In the rooms, ancient ceramic and glass containers used to preserve medicines and balms are on display. The preparation was described in the ancient recipe books kept in the manuscripts. The atmosphere and characteristics of the ancient Apothecary trace a path in the history of medicines and all the activities related to the work of the apothecary. Some rare and ancient medicines are also on display, such as scorpion oil, or other elements used for preparations, such as mandrake. This ancient plant was used as the basic ingredient of numerous medicines due to its anaesthetic properties. It was considered a magical plant during the Middle Ages and is the protagonist of an amusing comedy by Niccolò Machiavelli. The itinerary also continues outside the museum: in the Garden of Santa Fina, plants and flowers that were once used for therapeutic and even culinary use are still grown.

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  • Progetto finanziato a valere sui fondi Legge n. 77 del 20 febbraio 2006 “Misure speciali di tutela e fruizione dei siti italiani di interesse culturale, paesaggistico e ambientale, inseriti nella “lista del patrimonio mondiale”, posti sotto la tutela dell’UNESCO”