Well how is that for a title of what we did today? We went to tour the Palazzo Pfanner ( a 1660 palace in Lucca). We had seen parts of the beautiful garden from our walks on the Lucca wall but the view from the ground was stunning. The Italian garden which was made in 1686 is described by Wikipedia perfectly; “With its lawns, its ornamental flowers, forest plants, and earthenware pots of lemons that accompany the monumental string of 18th century statues depicting the deities of Greek Olympus and the Four Seasons, the Palazzo Pfanner garden, ascribed to the genius of Filippo Juvarra, represents an excellent example of a baroque garden laid out in the heart of medieval Lucca” . When you go into the inside of this baroque mansion you are presented with; “The Residence has a permanent exhibition of medical-surgical instruments and ancient medical texts that belonged to Dr. Pietro Pfanner (1864-1935), the surgeon”. These medical instruments were from about 1860 to 1910. The ones I took photos of are the gynecological tools. They make my insides grip with terror just looking at them. To me 1910 does not sound like that long ago but remember there were no antibiotics and no MRIs. This first one was called an endocrine syringe. The long hook one was an decollation hook and craniotomy instrument that was developed in 1868 to remove a fetus who died in the womb. If you want to know how it worked look it up, I cannot write about it. And the final “y” shaped tube was the treatment for cystitis before antibiotics , it was called a double flow vesicle catheter. I am sure that when people in the future look at our medical instruments they will feel like they were primitive too, but these were used on my grandmother.
After this experience we went to a small private museum (3 euros) showing Roman ruins that lie underneath all of Lucca. They are about 10 feet below the street level. This museum is called Domus Romana Lucca and we had an excellent tour guide named Anna to explain what they found in 2010 under a current mansion. It was the remains of a 1 AD house. They located the under the floor drains that took out used water from the house to the gutters. The Romans were so far ahead of the Lombards, who invaded Lucca after them.
It was an interesting day in Lucca