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The Old Pharmacy: Guided Tours

Old Pharmacy of Asso – Old Metal Boxes

The pharmacy of Asso is one of the oldest pharmacies in the Como district that which has been in business since 1922, in an older building, and since 1934 at the current location. The pharmacy has the original mahogany furnishing and the fittings from the beginning of the 20th century.

Over the years, the range of this historic store has expanded and, in addition to the most common drugs and medications, it is also possible to find the products of Antica Officina Profumo Pharmaceuticals of Santa Maria Novella (Florence), homeopathic remedies, supplements as well as prepared and natural cosmetics produced at our pharmacy (Letizia & Bellezza/trad. Letizia & Beauty – Letizia & Salute/trad. Letizia & Health) without forgetting, at the same time, the importance of eating healthily fot the well being of our body and the discipline that combines the traditional medical knowledge with that of various natural medicine

To book a free guided tour of the pharmacy in English or to have further information, fill out the contact form.

Things to Do on The Como Lake: Visit a Historical Store

Visit this unique shop in the area Como – Bellagio (Larian Triangle) is an idea not common among the things to do on Lake Como in Italy during the holidays.

Asso is easy to reach because it is in the heart of Lake Como, near Milan, Lecco and Bellagio (= for how to reach us please click the bottom under of the page).

The tour begins outside because the Pharmacy is located in a fan-shaped house built in 1934 and restored in 2007, maintaining the old features (external decoration and fixtures). Entering the hall you will see the main mahogany selling furniture and black marble. The tour continues in the perfume department, where besides the modern shelves, there is the original counter of the pharmacy Andreotti that was bought by Dr. Milesi in 1922. The tour ends in the small museum where it is possible to see the early 19th century metal boxes of traditional drugs, the complete equipment from a chemist’s laboratory in the early 1900’s and old photos.

Upon request, Dr. Costanza Del Nero also teaches children how to package the “pack pillows in an old way“.

All the tourists who visit Italy go to Milan, Rome or Venice to eat pizza, visit the Coliseum or the Duomo or via Montenapoleone (famous for shopping), or the Grand Canal, and take photos of the beautiful country as everyone expects … but only a few true tourists will leave the most popular hiking tracks to discover other treasures that Italy hides.

A Long History Around The Como Lake

In 1922, a doctor, Enrico Milesi, bought a pharmacy that was in a different building not far from the current location (almost opposite). There was a well-equipped medicine manufacturing that was well-known in all the nearby villages. The doctor and pharmacist, Enrico Milesi, prepared creams, ointments, oils and medicines (and many of these tools can still be seen during the tour). The pharmaceutical laboratory was provided and also well-known by the people of the neighboring villages because there were no other drugs stores in Valassina. The main product was a decoction that was used for constipation. Between 1923 and 1924, five vases were bought from Schubert, an antiques dealer in Bellagio. Nowadays it’s possible to see these first five vases, as well as others which were added to the collection in the following years.

In 1934, the store was moved into the new building “home – pharmacy” created by engineer Flavio Ravasi. The furniture in mahogany and black marble counter were decorated according to the specific requests of Dr. Milesi who personally executed the designs for the cabinet makers.

When doctor Milesi died in 1960, the pharmacy was managed by his wife, Maria Verri Milesi, and by their son, Enrico Milesi. In 1972 Mina Milesi, the daughter of Maria Verri Milesi bought the pharmacy which was later bought by doctor Pietro Del Nero and his wife Tina Argenteri (the daughter of Mina Milesi) in 1986. From 1986 to the present day, the pharmacy has been totally managed by the family Del Nero. In 2002, Costanza Del Nero, the daughter of Tina and Pietro, achieved her degree in pharmacy and the tradition is now continuing..

In 2007 the building was restructured, maintaining the original structure, in particular the external decoration and the fittings.

Old Metal Box of Drug – Pharmacy of Asso

Where and What to Do on Como Lake, Avoiding the Usual Tourist Routers

The pharmacy is in the town centre of Asso, a relaxing and peaceful village in the province of Como with about 3.500 inhabitants. Asso is not as busy as the other major centres of the Como lake, but this makes it an ideal place for a day excursion or for weekend breaks or longer holidays.

Asso is situated in a strategic position and it’s possible to reach it easily from the nearby bigger centres by car (it is infact on the country road Erba – Bellagio), by train or by bus.

  • From Milan (60 kilometres): you can drive to Asso. As an alternative, you can reach Canzo Asso by train from Milan Cadorna Station (Milan city centre) and, from there have a lovely 10 minutes walk. You can have a pretty walk along the Lambro river.
  • From Bellagio (15 kilometres): by car or by bus.
  • From Como (20 kilometres): by car or by bus.
  • From Erba (7 kilometres): by car, by bus or by train (stop Canzo Asso).
  • From Lecco (25 kilometres): by car or by bus.

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Link utili:

Asso: read more

Asso to see: read more

Train from Milano Cadorna/Bovisa to Asso – Canzo station: search for timetables

Transports in Lombardy: search for timetables

Milan Metro: search for timetables

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