The Officina di Santa Maria Novella has ancient origins closely linked to a small group of Dominican monks
Officina di Santa Maria Novella. History, spices and alchemy
The Officina di Santa Maria Novella has ancient origins closely linked to a small group of Dominican monks who in 1221 took over a small church outside the walls of Florence. In the silence of their hortus conclusus they began to cultivate flowers and medicinal herbs, using those plants to distil them and prepare essences and elixirs.
Those monks had realised how important the link was between science, alchemy and the secret mechanisms of nature and sought to make medicines suitable for the care of the body as well as the soul. In the rooms of the Officina di Santa Maria Novella we will recall the history of the ancient Chapel and Sacristy once present there, see the machinery and ancient instruments used and immerse ourselves in the world of perfumes, aromas and spices that so fascinated the Medici family.
Once upon a time, science and religion were a single cultural heritage that was also able to speak to the conscience.
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