A HISTORY OF MEN AND IDEAS
Traditionally, the Mazzolini Giuseppucci pharmacy has had strong ties with freemasonry due in particular to the two main protagonists of this story, Adolfo Ricci and Ermogaste Mazzolini, so no historical account is complete without a reference to the Masons.
Adolfo Ricci, as previously mentioned, pursued his political activism and civil creed by participating in secret societies, most probably the Carbonari but certainly as a member of the Freemasonry his whole life.
At the time, the Italian Freemasonry gathered together many intellectuals, scientists and political activists devoted in particular to the Mazzini movement who espoused Republican and Italian Unification ideals and many of them are depicted and commemorated in Mazzolini’s pharmacy.
Ricci got involved with Freemasonry as a young student while attending the Perugia Academy of Fine Art along with many of his fellow students who were also Freemasons. After the unification of Italy, the republican associations were disbanded and all their members were invited “to become members of secret Freemasonic Lodges which the government is unlikely to disband and where secrecy is guaranteed” (a quote from a letter written by the Prefect in Rome to the Head of the Police in December 1874) an advice that probably Ricci followed as well.
His first biographer, Pietro Castagnari, describes Ricci as one of the founders of the popular lodge “Spartaco”opened in Rome in 1882 and we are sure that once settled in Fabriano, he became an active member of the “Gentile da Fabriano” lodge, of which Ermogaste Mazzolino was also a member.
His Freemason brothers’ funeral oration is rather fitting:
“The Freemasons of Fabriano are invited to participate to the funeral service of their dearest brother
Professor ADOLFO RICCI
a veteran and tenacious supporter of freedom, brotherhood and equality. He passed away still longing for the same creed he believed in when he was fifteen years old, when he left for Rome to participate in 1849 campaign. He never betrayed the Freemason’s noble principles, not for adulation and not for adversity.
Honour and imitate his memory!
Fabriano, 6th of February 1904”.
It is quite possible, still subject to further investigation, that the Mazzolini’s pharmacy hosted secret meetings. The pharmacy architecture, its imposing arch dividing the chamber in two open spaces, the engraved counter placed under the arch as an altar and the 6 stools, recall not only a church but also an authentic Freemason temple.