Connecting with 400 Years of History in Florence, Italy
This centuries-old "pharmaceutical workshop" gives visitors a chance to experience part of Florence's unique bespoke heritage. It was established by Dominican monks of the adjacent Santa Maria Novella church around 1221 and opened to the public in 1612, exactly 400 years ago. Since then it has served the public by offering medicinal herbs, remedies, perfumes, and creams. Though the Dominican friars no longer run the pharmacy, it sells unique products that are connected with the past, and which use the same traditions and natural ingredients.
The extraordinary interior, composed of three main rooms, is alone worth the stop. Visitors are not obligated to buy; instead, the interior is called a "museum of tradition," and the staff are happy to explain the pharmacy's history and products. Detailed information is also available in pamphlets visitors can pick up inside the main room.
The pharmacy is open every day and is located behind Santa Maria Novella church on Via della Scala, 16. It is within easy walking distance of the train station and the Palazzo Vecchio area. It makes a great outing combined with a stop in Santa Maria Novella church to see its Renaissance masterpieces.