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Next to the Santa Maria Novella square is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world: the Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, created by the Dominican Friars shortly after 1221, the year of their arrival in Florence. The rails began to cultivate, in their gardens, official herbs that were used to prepare medicines, balsams and ointments for the small infirmary of the convent.