High Times in Rome

NICK CORNISH FOR TIME

PEP PILL: Rome's PuraVida offers "smart drugs"

Are you experienced?" guitar legend Jimi Hendrix's loaded question helped define the mind-altering LSD culture of the late-1960s youth scene. In early 21st century Italy, there's a different query on the lips of young people: "Have you gotten smart?" No, they're not talking about university courses. And they're not talking about drugs, either. Well, not exactly.

The D word is carefully avoided by the nine friends who recently opened the PuraVida Shop in downtown Rome, even though most customers refer to their merchandise as "smart drugs." The store, along with similar "smart shops" recently opened in...

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