In 1561 the chemist Domenico di Vincenzo di Domenico Brunetti was the first manager of the Santissima Annunziata Pharmacy about whom we have information. (A.S.F. – Decima Granducale 3784 cc. 110v. – 111r A.S.F. – Arte dei Medici e Speziali, 12, c.123v.).Since that time the Farmacia Santissima Annunziata has always mantained, apart from the usual prestige typical of every pharmacy at that age, a special tradition in preparing galenic prescriptions and products for hygiene and the beauty of the skin. We have graduated, from ancient processes completely handmade, with pestle and mortar, to special quality controlled preparations made with modern and safe machinery, giving special attention to high standards and throughly researching our prescriptions which are made both with traditional and new raw products.Our ancient tradition has been mantained and the standards of our products have become, if possible, better and safer.
Therefore we are able to guarantee, First class quality of the raw materials which we use; careful preparation with modern machinery; the freshness of the final product, with the name of active ingredients, number of lot and expiry date written on the label; and particular attention to the skin requirements, according to the seasons, the various climates and the psychophysical situation of our customers.
The Farmacia SS. Annunziata of Florence is located at Via dei Servi 30 (black) and 80 (red) in a building that dates back to 1400. At the top of the first story facade is a pietra serena stone sculpture of an eagle bearing a ball on its back. The history of this coat of arms dates back to 1200.Between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Arti di Firenze (Guilds of Florence), which were guilds of arts and crafts, began to take shape. These were initially created as lay associations for the defence and pursuit of common goals that brought together those who worked in the same profession or those who practised the same trade. The extraordinary economic developments that permitted Florence to become one of the richest and most powerful cities in medieval Europe are owed in large part to these guilds. Seven guilds called the Arti Maggiori (Major Guilds) and another fourteen called the Arti Minori (Minor Guilds) were formed.Those belonging to the former managed and administered large interests and were able to create commercial and financial relationships in many parts of the world. The Arti Minori were guilds of a purely artisan character. Their services were limited to a local sphere and their involvement in politics was generally far more restricted than that of the Arti Maggiori One of the richest and most powerful of the Arti Maggiori guilds in Florence was the Arte dei Mercatanti or di Calimala (a guild of cloth finishers and merchants) who had shops in Via Calimala in the centre of Florence, where many of the various guilds’ shops were located.The Arte dei Mercatanti imported cloth mainly from France and England and then dyed, stretched and fulled it before re-exporting it to other countries. The Arte dei Mercatanti is represented by a golden eagle against a red background standing upon a white bundle of cloth. This symbol can be found on the inside of its original building situated on top of a large ball that is hoisted above the stairwell. It is the same coat of arms that is sculpted on the facade of the building where the Farmacia SS. Annunziata is located.
In 1298 the city began to urbanize. It was during this time that a street was formed that went directly to the area in front of the new church that was connected to the SS Annunziata Convent. Today this street is called Via dei Servi. In 1419, Fillipo Brunelleschi began work on the loggia of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) and in 1421 Via dei Servi was paved. At some point between 1471 and 1482, a map was drawn up by an anonymous connoisseur of Florentine wares and artefacts that clearly shows a two-storey unitary building located between the Annunziata and the Duomo. This building could represent the houses of Via dei Servi and not the original tiratoio (the building for the stretching and drying of cloth).Two-thirds of the original tiratoio was inherited by the Arte della Lana (Guild of Silk), and the Arte dei Mercatanti inherited the remaining one-third. The tiratoio was eventually demolished by both guilds and it is believed that they may have then built 13 houses (9 and 4, respectively) as evidenced by the positioning of the coat of arms of each guild. The building in which the pharmacy is located is amongst those built by the Arte dei Mercatanti di Calimala, as shown by the coat of arms on the building (see photo to the right). The Decima Granducale of 1561 is the first document that evidences the existence of the 13 houses. This document is a written land registry in which can be found the diligently noted names of owners and tenants along with any existing mortgages etc.…One of the volumes of the Decima, entitled Ricerca delle Botteghe a Firenze dell’anno 1561 (Research of the Florentine Shops from the year 1561), shows that a chemist’s shop existed on the second stretch of Via dei Servi which was the property of the Monache di S. Niccolò (Sisters of Saint Nicholas) and that was managed by the Domenico di Vincenzo Brunetti Apothecary (ASF, Decima Granducale 3784, cc. 110v. – 111r.). It is very possible that this is the same location where the current pharmacy sits today. Further research on Domenico Brunetti shows that he was registered on 1 Dec 1558 in the Libro rosso delle matricole di Firenze (The red registry book of Florence) for the Arte Medici e Speziali (the medical and apothecary guild) (ASF, Arte dei Medici e Speziali, 12, c. 123v.). Using this information we can reconstruct his story: after joining the Arte dei Medici e Speziali he opened the chemist’s shop, which sold medicinal herbs and prepared medicines.
The shop was located on the second stretch of Via dei Servi, which corresponds to the actual street number of 80r, and was owned by the Monache di S. Niccolò. We can therefore identify the Domenico di Vincenzo Brunetti Apothecary as the first known administrator of the Farmacia SS. Annunziata in 1561. The furniture present in the pharmacy can most likely be traced back to the 18th century along with the insignia affixed to the facade of the building (the round ceramic plate framed in pietra serena with the scene of the Annunciation).It is from this very symbol that the pharmacy derived its original name, all’insegna della SS. Annunziata (1876). (See photo at left). In 1935 it was renamed Farmacia della SS. Annunziata. Today the pharmacy is both owned and managed by the Azzerlini family. Aside from the usual prestige of every chemist of the time, the Farmacia SS. Annunziata, since 1561, has always had a particular tradition in formulating galenics and products for the hygiene and beauty of the skin The antique methods involved making products by hand with palette knives and pestles.These methods have now evolved into prestigious and innovative techniques that use safe and modern machinery, pay careful attention to quality and involve in-depth study of both traditional and new formulas and ingredients. The antique tradition of the pharmacy has been maintained throughout the years and the quality of the products has become even better and safer.
The Farmacia SS. Annunziata uses only the highest quality ingredients available on the global market and preparation is done with precision using advanced, high-tech machinery. The finished product is always fresh and in accordance with all current technical and legislative standards and the psychophysical needs of the client, as well as the needs of the skin according to the climate and/or seasonal changes, are always carefully considered in the making of both new and old products. Family The cosmetic line by Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 Firenze Italy is produced by KER srl.The family is the sole owner of both companies and is composed of two pharmacists and two business executives. By uniting the long-standing experience of the pharmacy with the modern and reliable technology of KER, we have created a happy union that has brought an efficient and functional quality to our cosmetics. The entire production cycle is under our direct control until final sale to the end client. None of the old traditions have been lost. None of the benefits of modern technology have been neglected.