A podcast series and a photographic journey to discover traditional medicine practices still alive in the Italy of the new millennium.
This story begins one autumn morning, in Trastevere neighbourhood, in the heart of Rome, where the Antica Spezieria di Santa Maria della Scala is hidden in a small square of the area. Some people consider this Antica Spezieria the first pharmacy in Europe, for more than four hundred years potions and drugs have been made inside its dark rooms for popes, aristocrats, nobles and common people. Today scales, ampoules and jars still testify the glory of the ancient times. Among the rooms of the pharmacy, walking among herbs and spices and enormous machines to compress tiny tablets, we discovered a rounded, mysterious, dusty barrel made of marble and brass. We asked to our guide to allow us to take the heavy lid off. Once opened, an intense, thick, pungent smell emanated from the barrel filled our nostrils and our heads. We were smelling a substance with a very ancient history: the Teriaca. Its recipe, consisting of over fifty ingredients, was formulated for the first time by Andromaco the Elder, Nero’s doctor, and has come down to us thanks to word of mouth and the preservation ability of men and women of all times.
From this small ancient pharmacy in the heart of old Rome our journey continued throughout the Italian Peninsula, going up the Umbrian Apennines to find its ancient water sources, then resting in the shade of a walnut in the peaceful Campania countryside , or discovering the power of magical rings kept by a young Emilian peasant woman. The episodes and the pictures of Il Terzo Paesaggio will accompany you to discover an hidden Italy, ancestral traditions that still resist among the chaotic folds of our present.
To listen to all the episodes of Il Terzo Paesaggio visit the project website:
Il Terzo Paesaggio is created by Marzia Coronati with Andrea Cocco and Marco Stefanelli
Recording, story editing and sound mixing by Marzia Coronati (Ep. 1 & 6), Andrea Cocco (Ep. 2 & 4), Marco Stefanelli (Ep. 3 & 5)
Produced by Echis with contributions by the organizations Sabrina Sganga and Wwoof
Pictures by Gabriele Lungarella, Cristina Panicali and Noemi De Franco
Original musics by Dario Coletta