Private Guided Visit of Florence Santa Maria Novella Basilica and its Officina Profumo Farmaceutica

Firenze, Italy

From $67.89

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Enjoy an in-depth private look at one of Florence's prettiest Renaissance churches and its ancient pharmacy with this Basilica of Santa Maria Novella tour. Then, tour the basilica's charming Cloisters, decorated with frescoes by Paolo Uccello, and explore an ancient pharmaceutical workshop.
  • Learn about the founding of the church in the 13th century
  • See works of art inside the church by Ghirlandaio, Giotto, and more
  • Admire the peaceful Green Cloister with frescoes by Paolo Uccello
  • Visit the historic Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy in its original building

What's Included

  • Local professional Guide at your side
  • Earphones for groups of more than 7 participants
  • Basilica admission ticket to be paid on the spot: Adult: € 7,50; ages 11-17: € 5,00; 10 and under free
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • Everything not mentioned as Included

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
    P.za di Santa Maria Novella, 18, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

    Starting Time: Morning Option at 10:00 am - Afternoon Option at 02.30 pm Meeting with the guide at the entrance of Santa Maria Novella Basilica

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Meet your guide outside the entrance of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Admire its multi-colored marble facade overlooking a pretty piazza.

Inside the church, learn about the 'mendicant order' of Dominican friars who founded the church in the early 13th century. Look for important pieces of art, such as frescoes by Filippino Lippi and Ghirlandaio, the 'Trinity' by Masaccio, and the 'Crucifix' by Giotto.

Make your way to the adjoining Green Cloister, which takes its name from the dominant color in the frescoes painted by Paolo Uccello. Continue on to the oldest pharmacy still in operation in the world, the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella – also known as the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy.

Originally founded in 1612 under the influence of Cosimo I de' Medici and his successors, the pharmacy workshop was focused on making ointments and balms from medicinal plants and herbs. Today, the pharmacy also creates unique perfumes and soaps using old recipes. Marvel at the interior of the pharmacy, which is still in the original building with vaulted ceilings and frescoes on the walls.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

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, you 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. Your tour ends inside the elegant "Green Cloister" so named for its beautiful murals in green earth by Paolo Uccello.

1 hour Admission Ticket Not Included

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

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 you 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!

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Not Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Operated by CAF Tour and Travel

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
4 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-1 of 4 reviews
La visita de la farmacia...
Lola_M, Sep 2022
La visita de la farmacia no merece la pena. Al menos no es lo que yo esperaba Punto de venta de colonias y artículos de cosmética El edificio como el resto de la iglesia sí es interesante