The Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella (The Ancient Pharmacy)

This ancient and wonderfully atmospheric building is certainly worth a visit particularly when one remembers that there is no entrance fee.  It is situated on Via Della Scala fairly close to the railway station.

As soon as one enters one is immediately impressed by the ‘full on’ sensory sensations – smell, sight, sound (or lack of it), a very peaceful environment with opulent decorations and a view to the wonderfully peaceful cloisters of The Church of Santa Maria Novella.

The atmosphere is loaded with the smell of the ancient brews all made to the original recipes of the monks who started the place. in the 16th Century.  Soaps, perfumes and the very famous pot pouuri which can be bought as a souvenir or a gift beautifully presented and lasting for ages (€13 when I last bought one and quite a bargain)

Interestingly, the place featured in the Anthony Hopkins film of Hannibal – this was substantially filmed in Florence and the plot hinges round the fact that the villain Hannibal was tracked to the city by the  scent of a letter he wrote – the paper carried the  unique smell for this old pharmacy and a perfume expert was able to accurately locate it.

It is situated at Via Della Scala number 16.  The telephone number is +39 055216 276

Opening Hours: Daily 09:30 to 19:30 – free admission.

View the website of the ancient pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella (will open in a new window)

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