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Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella Tours

Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella
Adjacent Florence’s Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest known pharmacies in the world. Established in 1221 by Dominican friars, the pharmacy still produces natural and herbal remedies, soaps, and fragrances displayed and sold in the historic shop. 

The Basics
The Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, officially known as the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, initially produced natural medicines and balms crafted by Dominican friars from herbs and plants grown in the monastic gardens. By the 17th century, their reputation for quality had spread such that they began to sell their products to the public. The pharmacy is now privately owned, but continues to produce herbal elixirs, soaps, perfumes, potpourri, and other natural products using traditional techniques and original recipes to sell in the vaulted and frescoed landmark shop. Visitors can see the shop, historic apothecary workshops and sales rooms, and small museum collection of ceramic apothecary jars, scales, decanters, and other tools.  

The Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella is often combined with a tour of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella as part of a walking tour of Florence’s historic center that can also include other Florentine highlights like the Duomo and Uffizi Galleries.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella is an herbalist shop, and all of its products use natural, traditional herbs and oils. 
  • Most of the medicinal herbs used in the pharmacy’s products are grown on the hills around Florence and none of its products are tested on animals. 
  • There are product lists in a multiple languages, and a large computerized display allows customers to explore the variety of products and their histories. 
  • The shop is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers (children should be kept under strict supervision while in the shop).

How to Get There
The pharmacy is located on Via della Scala n.16 just off Piazza di Santa Maria Novella in the historic center of Florence. The entrance to the shop is very nondescript and it’s easy to walk right past if you’re not paying attention. 

When to Get There
The pharmacy is open from 9am to 8pm daily, so the perfect stop during the midday hours when many of the city’s sights and shops are closed for lunch.

Water of the Queen
The pharmacy is attributed with producing the first eau de cologne for Catherine de Medici, created in the 16th century and known as the “Water of the Queen.” Visitors can still purchase the scent in its original formulation, today called simply “Acqua di Santa Maria Novella.”
Address: Via della Scala, 16, Florence 50123, Italy
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13 Tours and Activities to Experience Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella

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Private Guided Visit of Florence Santa Maria Novella Basilica and its Officina Profumo Farmaceutica

Private Guided Visit of Florence Santa Maria Novella Basilica and its Officina Profumo Farmaceutica

star-4
Enjoy an in-depth private look at one of Florence's prettiest Renaissance churches and its ancient pharmacy with this Basilica of Santa Maria Novella tour. Then, tour the basilica's charming Cloisters, decorated with frescoes by Paolo Uccello, and explore an ancient pharmaceutical workshop.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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$74.13
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From
$74.13
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Basilica of Saint Maria Novella and Officina Profumo Farmaceutica - Private Tour

Basilica of Saint Maria Novella and Officina Profumo Farmaceutica - Private Tour

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If you want to experience the wonderful art and religious architecture in Florence, this is the trip for you. Enjoy a guided tour of one of the most beautiful gothic Renaissance churches in Florence and the ancient pharmacy.
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A more Unusual Florence

A more Unusual Florence

A tour that wants to show you a less obvious side of the city. A route will start from a visit to the interiors of the church of Santa Maria Novella and then take you to visit L'Officina Perfume of the Friars, Palazzo Strozzi, Via Tornabuoni with its prestigious shops, the church of Santa Trinità with its masterpieces of the Renaissance, passing for Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo and then conclude between the arcades of Santa Maria Annunziata and the hospital of the innocents.
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The Summer tour in Florence

The Summer tour in Florence

The best of town temptations: visit the antique Florentine perfume shop, Officina Profumeria-Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella, the Salvatore Ferragamo shoes museum & store + famous Icecream parlour.
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$118.37
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Made in Florence Tour

Made in Florence Tour

Learn a bit about Italy's famed fashion industry on a private tour to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum (Museo Salvatore Ferragamo) in Florence. You'll see sketches, photos, and other displays related to the designer's coveted shoes and other fashion items; then visit the nearby Church of Santa Maria Novella to finish up the tour. This tour provides a way for you to explore a piece of Italian culture.
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Florence Hidden Sights Private Tour from Livorno

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Spend the day exploring Florence—and opt to see sides of the city that many visitors miss—on this full-day, private shore excursion from Livorno. Meet your guide directly at the port, and hop into your air-conditioned minivan. You’ll drive through the scenic Chianti region en route to Florence. Upon arrival, discover the city’s most in-demand landmarks (including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Piazzale Michelangelo). You can also upgrade to add on an extensive, multi-hour walking tour of the city and its lesser-known attractions.
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  • 9 hours
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Florence Hidden Sights Private Tour from La Spezia

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Make the most of your time in port with a full-day, private tour of Tuscan y from LA Spezia port. See the vineyards and olive groves of the Chianti wine-producing region en route to Florence where you explore the city with a local to see hidden sights and tour popular sights like Michelangelo’s Square lookout and Ponte Vecchio. Embark on a three-hour guided walking tour or if you prefer, tour the city by air-conditioned van, equipped with wifi.
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  • 9 to 10 hours
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Shop in Florence

Shop in Florence

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Discover the trendiest stores in Florence and some unique boutiques off the beaten track! I will take you to some of the best shops ranging from contemporary with up-and -coming designers to shops focusing on leather goods, jewelry, gifts and accessories designed and Made in Florence. During the tour I can offer you my fashion expertise on upcoming trends, colours and silhouettes and guide you to find best quality and fit possible. My goal is to get you excited about your purchases and show you all the amazing shops which are unique to this great city and it’s artisans that make each product a work of art. If you can't find my tour scheduled for the date or time you're looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to accomodate you!
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  • 3 hours
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Taste of Florence Sensory Delights, Roses and Delicious Food Tasting

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Welcome to heaven if you love scents, food, wine and ....flowers ! Florence hosts an extraordinary large number of indipendent perfumeries: you will find special artisan perfume creators, perfume shops housed in old "palazzos" and, at the same time, enjoy smells of delicious truffle shops and wine bars. Florence offers many parks and gardens too: spring bloomings will be a joy for your eyes and... nose ! Guided by a local expert tour guide you will understand the meaning of the italian way of saying: "Dolce far niente" litterally "The sweetness of doing nothing" an essential part of Italy's personality: the idea that moments of simple slow pleasure are the basis of a good life. Dolce far niente is about guiltless joy !
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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$226.18
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Florence sightseeing Tour

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Questo tour vi farà conoscere la storia della città , sviluppo dell'architettura dal Medioevo fino Rinascimento, e la cosa più importante - di capire perche il famoso Rinascimento si è cominciato a Firenze, città che ha dato al mondo Leonardo, Dante e Michelangelo. Importantissimo anche lo sviluppo economico della città, a partire dal 11 secolo. Formazione dei quartieri e dell'oligarchia della città, formazione dei mestieri, delle prime banche.
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Florence tour art, alchemy and spirituality.

Florence tour art, alchemy and spirituality.

The walking tour was designed to make you discover historical and anecdotal points in Florence that go beyond the classic tours; in fact together we will discover a part of Florence, of the medieval period, which developed thanks to the religious orders. We will discover how these Religious Orders of the 13th century they have Christianized and brought art closer to spirituality, but above all how they have been able to preserve and pass on the ancient craft of apothecaries, one of the seven Florentine Major Arts.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
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Florence ... among perfumes, art and spices ...

Florence ... among perfumes, art and spices ...

A tour that will rejoice your senses and where you will visit places of great Florentine heritage. We will focus on discovering the origins of the art of perfumery, herbal craftsmanship and infusions made with particular herbs. We will walk the streets of the historic center of Florence, we will tell you the curiosities about the Medici family, and their links with alchemy and in particular the "Studiolo di Francesco I" inside Palazzo Vecchio. Finally we will take you and we will leave you in the most exclusive Fiorentina tea house that for 40 years, thanks to its owner, offers its customers, who often become his friends, a real taste-olfactory sensory experience that consists in a tasting of tea coming from all over the world, accompanied by desserts and biscuits made specifically for each type of drink. In addition, the environment is very suggestive and with areas where you can relax and recharge and then resume, when you want, to explore the city.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
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  • Taking safety measures
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Florence ... Among perfumes, art and spices ... Private Tour

Florence ... Among perfumes, art and spices ... Private Tour

A tour that will rejoice your senses and where you will visit places of great Florentine heritage. We will focus on discovering the origins of the art of perfumery, herbal craftsmanship and infusions made with particular herbs. We will walk the streets of the historic center of Florence, we will tell you the curiosities about the Medici family, and their links with alchemy and in particular the "Studiolo di Francesco I" inside Palazzo Vecchio. Finally we will take you and we will leave you in the most exclusive Fiorentina tea house that for 40 years, thanks to its owner, offers its customers, who often become his friends, a real taste-olfactory sensory experience that consists in a tasting of tea coming from all over the world, accompanied by desserts and biscuits made specifically for each type of drink. In addition, the environment is very suggestive and with areas where you can relax and recharge and then resume, when you want, to explore the city.
More
  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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From
$106.42
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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