Orvietan in Molière

In May a smart, interesting and incredible French woman, Michèle, attended Italian lessons at Lingua Sì, the Institute of Italian Language and Culture in Orvieto.
During the lessons, many times the teachers had to learn and know something new from the students!
Here it is a curiosity regarding my town that me, from Orvieto, I didn’t know and that she revealed to us:
“Orvietan in French, “orvietano” in Italian is the name of a medicine that was really popular in the 17th century.
The person that invented this medicine, called Girolamo Ferrante, was from Orvieto and from his nickname “L’Orvietano” comes the name of the medicine.
This medicine was made by powder melted with a syrup, honey and something else (also opium).
As he did not convince the people from Orvieto that realized it was a trick, Girolame Ferrante moved somewhere else trying to get success.
This medicine disappeared, but the word “orvietano” is still used to mean a trick, something that play on the people’s credulity.

It’s in this way that I discovered that the name of Orvieto is also named by Molière.

Thanks to Michèle!

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