Past Present Future


Past Present Future

Past Present Future

The story of a trajectory: Innovation, Sustainability and Commitment

Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.

Via Palermo 26, Parma

16 February — 18 May 2024

Book your visit

“The greatest commitment has been to embrace and respond to change, quickly adapting to changing internal and external contexts, and understanding the need for innovation ahead of time”

From the book “70 Years of Healthcare 1935-2005”

“Past, Present, Future. The story of a trajectory: Innovation, Sustainability and Commitment”, is the title of the exhibition sponsored by the Chiesi Group that will open to the public from 16 February to 18 May in the former warehouse spaces of the historic industrial site in Via Paler-mo, Parma.

This is the first opportunity to access this space, which is offered free of charge to external visitors subject to online booking. The public will have an opportunity to visit an area of the site where Chiesi Farmaceutici’s industrial set-up began to take shape. Starting from that 8 October 1955, when Dr. Giacomo Chiesi, together with some fifty employees, mostly women, opened the site in Via Palermo, purchased a few years earlier to house the first production plant, to the status of a research-oriented international biopharmaceutical group with a workforce of over 6,500 people, directly present in 31 countries, developing and marketing innovative therapeutic solutions in the field of respiratory health, rare diseases and speciality care.

The exhibition

Divided into three sections — past, present and future — the “Past, Present, Future. The story of a trajectory: Innovation, Sustainability and Commitment” exhibition features a layout designed by art curator Alessandro Canu, who has successfully transformed the charm and complexity of industrial environments into a contemporary exhibition space with a strong communicative and immersive appeal. The site’s architecture, featuring the recovery and trans-formation of shelving and pallets into display elements, and a careful selection of works, in-cluding archive photos, historical documents and various objects, are the distinctive elements of the entire project, a true link between the company’s historical past and a future of growth and innovation.

CREDITS: CHIESI_Past Present Future_ph Alessia Leporati

Sections: Past

The first section, Past, tells the story of the Chiesi Group through archive documents, historical photographs, laboratory instruments and products from decades gone by. The company’s first steps are exemplified by the drugs it produced, the sketches of its promotional campaign posters from the 1950s and 1960s, and the awards it received for its commitment to research and development, with the aim of improving the living conditions of patients and their caregiv-ers. Particularly noteworthy exhibits include an early 20th century copper distiller for alcoholic preparations such as mother tinctures, used for medicines/cosmetics/perfumes, and samples of the "Roi de Rome" perfume line, a legacy of the acquisition of Borsari Profumi in the 1950s. Indeed, it was the 1950s that marked a turning point for the business: numerous products and specialities were produced and marketed by Chiesi, and an embryonic sales network was set up throughout Italy. The exhibition features several drug packages, price lists and advertising posters that testify to the dynamism of the company's products.

Innovative and modern thinking is also reflected in the choice of communication, which aligned with the progress and resourcefulness of this forward-looking company. Hence Dr. Giacomo Chiesi’s decision to use the language of the artistic avant-gardes of the early 20th century, while also embracing the graphic design of the schools of Armando Testa and Erberto Car-boni. The Past section of the exhibition is therefore an opportunity for visitors to familiarise themselves with the cultural and historical context in which Chiesi Farmaceutici began its grad-ual transformation into an international biopharmaceutical group.

CREDITS: CHIESI_Past Present Future_ph Doruntina

Sections: Present

The Present section focuses on a crucial moment for the Chiesi Group: the urban regeneration project of the entire Chiesi site in Via Palermo seventy years after its creation.

The site, which has experienced mushrooming growth in line with the company’s development needs, has become the heart of the Chiesi Group, up to house all the activities of a pharma-ceutical group in an area of around 10,000 square metres: R&D laboratories, production, drug storage, offices and management areas.

In recent years, most of these departments have been relocated to other company sites in Parma, giving Chiesi the opportunity to write a new chapter in its history and transforming – in line with its value system – the Via Palermo site into a driving force for urban regeneration.

For these reasons, in March 2023, the Chiesi Group launched the international “Restore to Impact” call for ideas, a project aimed at soliciting innovative, evolutionary, and cross-cutting ideas as the basis for the guidelines for a future architectural building project to transform the Via Palermo site.

Two categories, professionals and under-30s, were asked to identify possibilities, solutions, and forms for reflecting on the future of architecture at the Via Palermo site in relation to build-ings, outdoor spaces, and indoor spaces – understood as an ecosystem of natural, functional, technological, and sustainable elements – that can create an environment conducive to interac-tion between people, planning, and training linked to shared skills.

The central section of the exhibition features a display of the best projects selected in the in-ternational “Restore to Impact” call for ideas: a project intended to accompany Chiesi into the fu-ture, marking the beginning of an open and participatory reflection on the urban regeneration of the Via Palermo site. A place destined to become a hub for innovation and training, with the creation of the COI&C – Center for Open Innovation and Competence, and a driver for revitalising the San Leonardo district, a delicate context requiring special attention. Featuring high-density housing with a strong multi-ethnic feel, the neighbourhood alternates between commer-cial spaces of various sizes, residential buildings and uninhabited spaces. This fragmented context is addressed by the Via Palermo urban regeneration project, which is in line with the Shared Value approach that guides the Chiesi Group.

CREDITS: CHIESI_Past Present Future_ph Doruntina

Sections: Future

The third and last section of the exhibition is all about the future. This future is embodied in the 1:1 scale wooden model of a portion of the industrial line for filling sterile vials that will be soon in operation in the new Biotech Center of Excellence that the Chiesi Group has almost fin-ished constructing in Via San Leonardo, in the district of the same name in Parma.

This model is emblematic of the concept of future medicine, just as “Restore to Impact” con-denses the notions and values represented in the future identity and appearance of the Via Pa-lermo site. The Center for Open Innovation & Competence will be located here, next to the Chiesi Italy commercial branch, along with spaces for the community to use.

Conceived as an innovative business playground and a place for interaction between the com-pany’s staff and external stakeholders from the worlds of research and continuous innovation, the Center for Open Innovation and Competence will be an open and collaborative platform that can foster and finalise initiatives, harnessing and integrating the Chiesi Group’s internal exper-tise with external skills in line with an interdisciplinary approach.

Taken as a whole, the “Past, Present, Future. The story of a trajectory: Innovation, Sustainability and Commitment” exhibition is a model and symbol of a vision and method. Namely, continuous re-search and the ability to refresh in-house skills and transform the spaces in which they take shape in order to leave a mark and make an impact. An ethical, social and environmental im-pact, both on a local scale and with a global outlook. In the present and with an eye to the fu-ture.

CREDITS: CHIESI_Past Present Future_ph Alessia Leporati
CREDITS: CHIESI_Past Present Future_ph Alessia Leporati



Free admission with prior reservation


Reservations open from 14:00 on Monday 5 February

Exhibition services

Guided tours in Italian. English-speaking guides are also available on request.

Opening period

Friday 16 February to Saturday 18 May. Open every two weeks, on Fri-days and Saturdays. Full calendar available at

Visiting Hours

On Fridays, admissions h: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00.

On Saturdays, admissions h: 9:00 and 11:00

Each tour lasts approximately 60 minutes.


To ensure the best possible wel-come for everyone, in case of special needs, please send an e-mail to

General Contacts


Event promoted by Chiesi Group


Andrea Chiesi, Michele Nebuloni


Ilaria Zani

General Coordination

Alessandro Canu

Executive management

Francesca Beretta

Exhibition project

Matteo Salsi

Coordinated image and exhibition graphics

Gabriela Starciuc

Texts and narrative coordination

Davide Paterlini, Giovanna Usvardi




Teknostage srls


Pozzi associati Luci

Multimedia devices

ICT Italy & Digital Media Department


Alessia Leporati

Doruntina Film


Doruntina Film

Materials printing service

Servizievole e CRTLprint

Administrative Coordination

Parmaconcerti s.r.l.

Guide service

Volunteer employees of Chiesi Farmaceutici

Guide coordination and visits secretariat

Adriana Schianchi


Materials belonging to the Chiesi Far-maceutici historical archive

Collection owned by Mr. Giuseppe La Starza

Wooden model – property of Chiesi Farmaceutici

Cardboard maquette – property of Chiesi Farmaceutici


Michela Beretta

Stefania Bianchini

Lucilla D’Adamo

Maria Pia Fusè

Anna Maria Miglietta

Gianluca Parziale

Simona Pironti

Cecilia Plicco

Aldo Santoro

Silvia Tosini

Alberto Ubertalli

Andrea Volpato

Special thanks to the ICT Italy & Dig-ital Media Department staff and the Chiesi collaborators who made pos-sible the creation and fruition of the exhibition.

Press Contacts

Gruppo Chiesi

Davide Paterlini

Local Community Communication Manager

M. +39 345 7983132


Gruppo Chiesi

Carla Arrieta Martinez

Head of Global External Communication & Media Relations

M. +39 340.8879754


Past Present Future

Samantha Punis

Head of Communication AtemporaryStudio

M. +39 339 5323693