The thorough guided visit of a marvelous Renaissance Basilica and its beautiful Cloisters, followed by the discovery of the fascinating setting of an ancient pharmaceutical workshop.
Santa Maria Novella Basilica was founded by the Dominican Fathers at the beginning of 1200 and magnificently stands with its splendid Renaissance façade, in the namesake beautiful square. Inside it, we will have the chance to see masterpieces such as the "Crucifix" by Giotto the "Trinity" by Masaccio and the spectacular frescoes by Filippino Lippi and Ghirlandaio and also hear the story of the "mendicant order" of friars who have always been present in this church. Our tour ends inside the elegant "Green Cloister" so named for its beautiful murals in green earth by Paolo Uccello. As early as the 14th century the Dominican monks of the Santa Maria Novella monastery, who cultivated the land belonging to the monastery behind the cloisters, were selling rose water to use as a disinfectant, primarily during periods of epidemic. In the 16th century, under the influence of Cosimo I de' Medici and his successors, who took a profound interest in the natural sciences, and with the founding of the first "Giardino dei Semplici” (medicinal plants), the monks began to cultivate a wide variety of plants, distil herbs and flowers and prepare essences, ointments and balms. The current "workshop" at Santa Maria Novella dates back to 1612, a period when apothecaries were plying their trade here, which we will have an opportunity to visit after seeing the Basilica. Here, within the ancient halls that form part of the old Dominican monastery, beneath the vaulted ceilings with their magnificent frescoes and surrounded by the aromatic scent of herbs from the Tuscan countryside, you will be captivated by the irresistible and extraordinary products that are known and acknowledged throughout the world. A real “top must see” amazing place!