Many who visit Firenze, arrive or depart on the railway line in the direction of the Firenze Station, Santa Maria Novella. The station gets its name from being in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest temples of this beautiful Italian city.
By 1279, the Dominican Friars began the construction of this church and monastery with cloister, on the remains of the church “Santa Maria delle Vigne”, a temple on the outskirts of the city walls dating from the ninth century. The “New” Church of Santa Maria is of Gothic style, its bell tower is Gothic-Romanesque and Renaissance.
Although the church is located in front of the railway station, its front facade faces the large square.
This piazza was the scene of the “Palio dei Cocchi”, a race of charriots that was celebrated between the 16th and 19th centuries. The twin obelisks in the “piazza” mark the start and finish of the race.