Venice is not only full of gems, but even it's street and canal signs are real little frescoes.. they are hand-painted directly onto the plaster or brick wall of the houses. The type face is beautiful in it's simplicity and always black, placed in a white rectangle with a black border. There is a special name for them 'Nizioleti'. (The signs which help tourists navigate through the labyrinths of tiny alleyways, bridges and canals are called 'Nizioleto', and have a dark red border and writing. Sadly some of these are now being replaced by yellow metal panels).
A pretty little side street off the Campo San Polo
On the square itself, you find a beautiful pharmacy, which dates back to 1586. Initially, it wanted to be called 'The two columns', as did another pharmacy in the Campo San Canciano. According to The Registry of the Apothecaries of Venice (1258) no two pharmacies could have the same name, or use the same sign. To solve the dispute, the judge sent a servant to destroy one half of one of the columns in front of the San Polo pharmacy, and it ended up being called "Column and a Half".
In 1963 it was bought by Dr Elisha Burati, who turned it into a herbal pharmacy, and developped his own range of herbal teas, pure essential oils, various ointments as well as a cosmetic line.
I was very happy to spot the cosmetic range of the Antica Farmacia dei Monaci Camadolesi (Antique pharmacy of the the Monastery of Camaldoli ) which was founded almost at the same time, in 1543.
I brought back the hand cream form the Monastry's line (9.50 EUR) and also tried a face cream from Dr. Burati (16 EUR)... I could not be more pleased with both.
Farmacia Burati Alla Colonna e Mezza, San Polo 2012, Campo San Polo