The Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella, is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. It was established by Dominican friars in 1221. Located at via della Scala, 16, this pharmacy now sells beautiful and wonderfully scented soaps, perfumes, oils, dried herbs, liqueurs, and balms. It is a museum and also a store, and definitely worth the visit. It is opened from 9:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and entrance is free.
The entrance contains beautiful frescoed ceilings, and the interior wonderful antique display cases. The fragrance as you enter is heavenly. This pharmacy and its goods are known the world over, and the prices here reflect the quality and popularity.
Piccadilly Sound is a shop in Florence located in the San Lorenzo area at via San Gallo, 69R. They sell new and used DVD’s, CD’s, and vinyl. They also feature art from some local artists. On Saturday evenings, they usually have free live performances at 7:00 p.m. followed by an apertivo. The performances are in the genre of blues, folk, rock, and jazz.
Recently I visited and heard Patti DeRosa and Livio Guardi. Patti is from Boston and Livio from Florence. Both have CD’s out and you can find out more about them and their music at these links. Enjoy!www.pattiderosa.com
The Museum of San Marco is one of the most interesting and best values in Florence in my opinion. The museum is located to the right of the church in Piazza San Marco, 3. The hours are from 8:15-1:15 Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:15-4:15 and the cost of admission is 4 euro.
The museum was actually a convent previously and was the home of the famous painter and monk, Fra Angelico in the 15th century. Girolamo Savoranola also resided there. You may remember one of his major parts in history was the “bonfire of the vanities”, and that he was burned in the center of Piazza della Republicca for heresy.
As a result of the residence of this famous painter, each of the cells in the convent are decorated with frescoes by Fra Angelico and they are extraordinary. The museum also contains relics and the library of Giraloma Savoranola. The last supper by Ghirlandaio is also here. Make it one of your must see destinations, you won’t be sorry!
The Uffizi Gallery is a must see sight in Florence. Even if you are not a huge art fan, the structure itself is worth visiting, and it is classified as one of the oldest and best museums in the western world. Prebook you tickets online to avoid long lines and hours of waiting. It will cost more, but it’s worth it.
The galleries are grouped by artist and time frame, so a little preplanning can make this visit much more enjoyable. Get a map of the museum when you go in to decide which artists you want to see. Might I suggest these as a good start?
1. Botticelli- Annunciation, La Primavera and The Birth of Venus
2. Leonardo DaVinci- Woman’s Head and Adoration of the Magi
3. Michelangelo- Doni Tondo
4. Raphael- self portrait
5. Titian-Venus of Urbino
Make a stop at the end of the corridors to look over the Arno. you can get some amazing photos through the windows. At the other end of the museum, there is a cafe which is outside over the Loggia. Another good photo opportunity exists there!