A journey into the chemical and pharmaceutical identity of the Parma area


This local project was inaugurated in February 2020, but was immediately suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency. Since June it has been partially restarted, gradually opening more and more activities to the public with the aim of becoming fully operational again towards the end of the year. The project will also continue in 2021.

Pharmacopea is the project designed by the Davines Group and the Chiesi Group to promote the rediscovery and appreciation of the chemical and pharmaceutical identity of the Parma area during the “Italian Capital of Culture” year, 2020. Thanks to the involvement of company volunteers, the project has made it possible to launch a new tourist route which, from mid-September 2020, will allow visitors to retrace the historical places that safeguard this identity, such as the Botanical Garden, the Oratory of San Tiburzio, the Ancient Spice Shop of San Giovanni and the Ancient Pharmacy of San Filippo Neri, which preserves the ancient Archives of the Congregation. At the latter, an ancient 16th century formulation created by Caterina Sforza, Acqua Celeste, has been rediscovered, and the Davines Group has committed to reviving it by starting production of a limited edition for 2021. The Pharmacopea project has also funded a scholarship devoted to the study of the Gardoni Herbarium, the creation of a publication on the chemical and pharmaceutical tradition and Florilegium, the installation by artist Rebecca Louise Law which from June 2020 will give the Oratory of San Tiburzio a flowery guise.


Community (public and private institutions, private citizens, local companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector).



  • Increased awareness and visibility of the historical chemical and pharmaceutical identity of Parma and its province.
  • 36 volunteers, including private citizens and employees of the Davines Group and the Chiesi Group, involved in February 2020.
  • € 20,000 donated to support the Gardoni Herbarium research grant devoted both to the recovery of cosmetic formulations from the Middle Ages and to cataloging the indigenous biodiversity of medicinal plants.