Ohh.. Santa Maria...
One of the best parts about my EPM retreat was the fact that we had daily excursions throughout Italy. My favorite was Florence.
Florence or Firenze as it is called by the Italians is not just the capital of Tuscany but is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Luckily, we had an entire day to explore. Our first stop was Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. Trust me when I say, this was no Walgreens. Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy was founded by Dominican friars in 1221. The pharmacy used medicinal herbs grown in the monastic gardens to make medications and balms for the monks’ infirmary. Today, the pharmacy continues to use the traditional methods and carries original recipes of the monks. For a girl who is a skin care junkie like myself, this was a dream come true.
Located in an extraordinary building, each room was complete with vaulted ceilings, dark walnut cabinetry, and ornate gilded detail. Each room housed a different product. While the front of the building was focused on colognes, soaps and bath salts, other rooms highlighted original medicinal remedies and fragrances that could be used for your home. I had just enough time to find a lovely perfume that contained gardenia. Every time I put it on, it takes me back to Florence.
Ciao for now... More adventures from Florence soon!