Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy is a must-include on your trip to Florence 💜 In fact, I make a stop here every time I’m in Florence.
The Church of Santa Maria Novella and its monastery were established in 1221 outside the city gates of Florence. The monks began experimenting with herbs and flowers grown in the monastic garden, creating balms, elixirs, and other medicines. By 1381 an on-site infirmary was in operation, where the monks’ products were used for treating themselves and Florentine patients. One of the products developed about this time was a distilled rose water intended to treat the plague.
And my favorite part of the rich history of this pharmacy – By the mid-16th century, the pharmacy’s widespread fame induced the monks to offer their products for sale to the public for the first time.
The shop expanded its product range, developing curative tonics and perfumes including Acqua della Regina, a fragrance specially designed for Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, the pharmacy’s most important patron. Acqua della Regina (which I wear almost daily!) was given to Catherine before her departure for France in 1533, and was the first perfume to use an alcohol base, rather than the traditional vinegar or olive oil.
Through Queen Catherine’s patronage of Santa Maria Novella, their products were introduced to the French court, where perfume hadn’t previously been used. And there you have it folks – your #lezionedelgiorno 💜💜
Last fun fact? There are over 75 stores now and you can also order online! But this original one is so special. The skincare line is also a favorite of mine!!