Saint John's Spiceary
The first news of the existence of a spiceary in the abbey complex
of San Giovanni Evangelista, dates back as far as 1201, but its foundation could be
before this time, since the convent originated in 980.
Shopping in the Abbey|
It has been noted that on the inside of the monastery in the past,
a place was arranged for outsiders to host and help pilgrims and it is likely that
before this the spiceary was used only by the Benedictines and only later it became public.
The present system dates back to the end of the 16th Century whilst the layout of
the shop went under a radical modification in 1766 when the Benedictines were forced
to secularise it so as to avoid the definite closure imposed by the minister Du Tillot.
The communicating door to the monastery was walled up, leaving a small window with bars
for the passing of pharmaceuticals meant for the monks and the entrance for the public
was opened towards the outside as it is now.
The job of running the spiceary was given to Luigi Gardoni who transmitted it to his
son Ferdinando (1820) and was carried on by his grandson Luigi (1881) the last herbal
shopkeeper, whose death interrupted the activity.
The Government bought the shop in 1896 and it was re-opened to the public in 1951.
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