The imminent eviction of the historical pharmacy in Piazza San Felice in the Oltrarno neighborhood, opened in 1810, from a building that is set to become yet another residence for wealthy tourists, is bringing under the spotlight, in these final days of the election campaign, the theme of “consumeristic” urban planning.
In response to the eviction, a group of residents from the neighborhood of San Frediano, Florence’s own “rive gauche,” have launched a petition addressed to Mayor Nardella. But the owners of the building have already filed for the cancellation of the pharmacy’s lease, and have petitioned for the removal of the constraints set by the Superintendence for Architectural, Landscape, Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage for the Provinces of Florence, Pistoia and Prato on the uses of the building, classed as a historical monument.
Among the signatories of the petition we find the director of the Uffizi Gallery, Eike Schmidt, who lives in the Oltrarno. “If the pharmacy were to close, I would be shocked. It would be a very bad signal,” she said. “Certain spaces, when they are still functioning, should be protected, because they represent an intangible heritage and are part of the fabric of this city. As someone who lives in this neighborhood, I say this: we will not sell off the Oltrarno.”