A strategic area for arrivals and departures is the Santa Maria Novella railway station, a unique match between old churches, noble palaces and common buildings. Antiques, interior designers and luxury hotels in Borgo Ognissanti stand next to historical fried food shops and African spices from ethnic groceries in Via Palazzuolo.
The Old Pharmacy
On Via della Scala lies a place that seems to come from out of time. Europe’s oldest perfumery developed from the Black Friars and their skills in herbalism dating back from before the fourteenth century. A visit to this historical and monumental shop is absolutely a must. You do not need to buy, but you will be conquered by the square footage, the high ceilings, and the beautiful rooms.
A Look on the Contemporary World
Piazza della Repubblica, a look on today’s world, is only five minutes walking. Yet the streets of the Santa Maria Novella quarter shift our attention from Renaissance to modern days. Despite many historical buildings with architectural inventions, this part of town is not for those who want to imagine people riding buggies. Here people use motorcycles, rush to reach the Todo Modo bookshop and cafeteria in Via de Fossi for a cultural event, take a friend for a taste of the real Florentine steak in the small trattorias.