The Florence Main Railway Station or Florence Santa Maria Novella station is located in the center of the city and acts as a focal point of the Florentine public transport system. It accommodates more than 400 trains daily and is an interchange point between numerous bus and taxi routes. The station has 19 tracks, and its numbering starts from west and ends in the east. The station serves approximately 160,000 daily commuters, totaling 59 million annual visitors.
History of the Florence Main Station
The station represents a typical example of a terminal station and is situated in the city center. Its characteristic features include its compact and horizontal design, which was designed to avoid conflict with the verticalism of the adjacent Santa Maria Novella church. The first station in Florence was “Leopolda,” which was built in 1844 outside the city walls. Four years later, the second station, “Maria Antonia,” was built within the city walls, but it was destroyed to make way for the present station.
In 1932, a national competition was announced for the new station building, which was won by the Tuscan Group led by architect Giovanni Michelucci. The station was inaugurated in 1935, and its main features include a large glass and steel-covered atrium and a head gallery that anticipates the one later built in Rome. The station’s external cladding incorporates the materials and colors of the city, while inside, we find valuable artworks such as the sculptures by Italo Griselli and the paintings by Ottone Rosai and Mario Romoli.
The station underwent refurbishment, which aimed to restore and enhance the historic spaces and finishes by removing all the various additions made over time. The intervention did not significantly alter the spaces, but by removing all the protrusions that prevented a correct reading of the spaces, the station immediately regained the grandeur originally conceived by Michelucci. The station’s architectural features that adorn its interior spaces also regained value after the cleanup.
After the restoration and recovery work, the station required an enhancement of internal travel flows, given the increase in traffic over the years that has affected the Florence transport node. The internal routes have been improved through the reuse of the spaces, the reorganization of the commercial areas, and the construction of new paths.
In conclusion, the Firenze S. Maria Novella railway station is a modern masterpiece of Italian rationalism architecture and a vital hub of the city’s public transport system. After the restoration work carried out, the station has regained its original grandeur, allowing passengers to experience its rich history and cultural significance.
What are the main Italian cities served by train directed from the Florence Main Station?
Florence Main Station, also known as Firenze Santa Maria Novella, serves as a major transportation hub in Italy, connecting Florence to many other cities by train. Some of the main Italian cities that can be reached by train from Florence include:
These are just some examples of the many destinations that can be reached by train from Florence. It’s important to note that there are different types of trains that operate on these routes, including high-speed trains and regional trains, and travel times and ticket prices may vary depending on the route and train type.
Florence Airport to Florence Main Train Station
There are a few options to travel from Florence Airport (Peretola) to the Florence main train station (Firenze Santa Maria Novella):
- By taxi: Taxis are available outside the airport terminal and can take you directly to the train station. The journey takes around 20 minutes and the fare is usually around €25-€30.
- By shuttle bus: The Volainbus shuttle bus runs between Florence Airport and the Florence bus station, which is located next to the train station. The journey takes around 20-25 minutes and the fare is €6 per person.
- By public transport: You can take the T2 tram from the airport to the train station. The journey takes around 20-25 minutes and the fare is €1.50 per person. Alternatively, you can take the bus 62 or 389 to the train station, which takes around 30 minutes and the fare is also €1.50 per person.
Is the Florence Main Station Open 24 hours a day?
No, the station is open from 4 am to 1 am.
Is there WiFi in the Florence Main Station?
Yes, and also in many parts of the central Florence. more information is available here.
Hotels in Florence
Hotel della Signoria – a great option if you want to stay close to the Ponte Vecchio area.
Hotel Rosso23 – a reasonably priced option in the Santa Maria Novella area, close to the train station.
Other Resources for Traveling in Italy
If you are traveling in Italy beyond the capital, you might want to check some of our guides to the city. Check our guides on where to stay in Venice, where to stay in Florence, the best places to stay in Milan, and our guide to Bologna.