Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
Founded by Dominican friars shortly after 1221, Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. The pharmacy used medicinal herbs grown in the monastic gardens to make medications, balms and pomades for the monks’ infirmary. The majority of the medicinal herbs used to this day are grown locally on the hills around Florence.
As news of the quality of the products produced spread, it was opened to the public. In 1612, Father Angiolo Marchissi was appointed head of the pharmacy, upon which the Grand Duke bestowed the title of His Royal Highness’ Foundry (Fonderia di Sua Altezza Reale).
The Officina continues to follow its original recipes including Liquore Mediceo, Alkermes, Elisir di China, Aceto dei Sette Ladri (smelling salts) and Acqua di Santa Maria Novella.