Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella
Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Dominican friars founded in 1612. Here the monks grew their own medicinal herbs and some of the formulas are still used today. Don’t miss their oldest perfume. It’s a special essence that was created specially for Catherine de' Medici, (daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici) and is still available today.
Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella is close to central train station and only hundred meters from Santa Maria Church. If you are looking to stop here just make sure you are paying attention. It's a little hard to find because of the small subtle sign outside. Nonetheless it is lovely inside.
When you enter the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella your senses are awakened with the most amazing scents. Although it is called a pharmacy, this is not a store to go to get a prescription filled. They sell soaps, perfumes, lotions, hair and beauty products, herbal products and delicious chocolates.
Not only does the pharmacy smell terrific the architecture is wonderful. The woodwork is magnificent. The central chandelier is stunning. Amazing frescoes line the walls and ceilings. It is quite remarkable.
The retail experience the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella created is exceptional and very smooth. The buying process is very well thought out. They will give you a digital card to register. You can browse all the different rooms and when you see something you wish to purchase you just scan the product. You don't have to carry any product around with you. Once you are finished shopping, you head towards the check out station where you order is waiting for you. Your order is wrapped and ready to go. You just need to pay and you can go on your way.
For those who love movies you probable recognize the main room as it features in a famous scene of the thriller movie Hannibal with Anthony Hopkins.
I really enjoyed shopping at Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella. The staff was very helpful and happy to let us test the products. They were all quite professional and knowledgeable of their products. In my opinion the fragrances are so unique. The prices are a bit high but the products are particular and it doesn't cost anything to enter. It’s worth visiting if you have enough time, and if you are around Church of Santa Maria Novella Florence.