Santa Maria Novella or Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy is probably the world’s oldest and still-operating pharmacy and apothecary in the world.
Founded by Dominican friars in 1221, the monks first began producing rose water at the monastery to be used as a disinfectant during the Black Death. It’s still sold today as a toner and is one of their most popular products.
For over 400 years, Santa Maria Novella has been producing herbal remedies, medicines, cosmetics, and the most exquisite perfumes.
A perfume created for Caterina de’ Medici in 1533, to celebrate her marriage to Henry II at the age of 14, is still produced today.
A visit to the Florence location is definitely on my bucket list but I had to settle for the next best thing and that was a browse around their New York store. I picked up a few things to test out inlcuding orange blossom toner, and two night creams.
I shot these skyline pics and a gorgeous sunset on a recent trip.
Dinner at Buddakan is a must and made only better by great company.
You may even see some New York wildlife.
Finally, I like to hit Zaro’s Family Bakery at Grand Central Station on my way home for some of the best bread I’ve ever had.