Santa Maria Novella Train Station Guide

Firenze Santa Maria Novella Railway Station in Florence

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

Florence's Santa Maria Novella Station is one of the busiest train stations in Italy, handling over 59 million people per year. It is also the terminus of the Rome to Florence high-speed railway line, also known as Dirrettissima, which means anyone visiting Rome to Florence via this 1 hour, 40-minute journey will wind up at Santa Maria Station.

Located northwest of Florence's historical center and only four miles (six kilometers) away from the Florence Airport, the train station is within walking distance from main tourist attractions like the Basilica of Santa Maria and the Garden of Valfonda. If you're listening for your stop, you'll know you've arrived at the station when you see the signs for Firenze SMN, which stands for the station's proper name Firenze Stazione Maria Novella.

Florence Train Station Location and Hours

The train station is located in the northwest corner of Florence on Piazza della Stazione, which is across from the Basilica after which the station is named. Trains run from early in the morning until midnight so it is possible to access the station at any time of day, however, travelers may want to take extra caution and stay alert at night.

Know Before You Go

As you exit the station from your train, you will find a tourist information desk in the entry which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is also a train information office across from Track 5, which can help with buying tickets or learning about the train schedules. If you need to store your luggage upon arriving, there is a luggage check and lockers near Track 16, which is open until midnight.

If you don't purchase your ticket online, you can buy one at the automatic ticket machines, but lines may be long so consider leaving early to give yourself plenty of time. If you'd rather talk to a person, you can also buy your ticket at the ticket window until 8 p.m. If you have purchased a regional ticket, which is good for a long period of time, be aware that you will still need to validate your ticket before boarding your train, or you could incur a large fine. While you're waiting for your train, there are numerous restaurants, shops, and a pharmacy in the station where you can pick last-minute snacks and supplies.

Getting There

From the center of Florence, the train station is a short 10-minute walk away. If you are in the city center, you can follow Via Penzani, Via degli Avelli, or Via della Scalla to reach Piazza di Santa Maria Novella and Piazza della Stazione. You'll know you are close to the station because it is right across the street from the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Florence's famous 15th-century church with a green-and-white facade. If you are arriving by car, there is one parking garage underneath the station but you should be able to find other alternatives in the immediate area since you are in the city center.

Florence Train Station to the Airport

From the Florence Peretola Airport, you can take a 15-minute taxi to the train station or opt for public transportation. which will only take 25 minutes. From the airport, you can get on the T2 orange line and ride until Unita, which is right across from the train station. There is also an airport shuttle that can drop you off right at the station. It leaves every half hour between 5:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. and then once per hour until 12:30 a.m. The shuttle is more expensive than the metro, but it's still a better deal than taking a taxi. You can purchase a one-way ticket for the shuttle directly from the driver.

Florence Train Connections and Track Locations

Travelers can connect to both high-speed and regional trains from the station, which has 19 platforms labeled from 1 and 1A to 18. In the main building, you'll find Tracks 5 to 16, but you will have to go to the west wing for Tracks 1A to 5 and the east wing for Tracks 17 and 18. You will have to wait for your train to appear on the station departures board to know which track to go to. It is simple and easy to walk between the platforms if you are making a connection. Many high-speed trains originate from this station with destinations in Italian cities like Rome, Milan, Turin, Venice, Naples, Bologna, and Padua.

Other Florence Train Stations

Florence has two other, smaller railway stations, called Campo di Marte Station and Firenze Rifredi Station. When entering Florence, it is likely you will stop at either one of these stations before arriving at Santa Maria Novella, but you won't want to get off unless it happens to be closer to your hotel. Most likely, you should skip them and wait to arrive at Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station. Look for the signs that say "Firenze SMN." If you do get off too early or miss the stop, you are only a short drive away from the city center from either of the two smaller stations.

Train Alternatives: SITA Buses

The SITA bus station is just to your right if you've exited the station and orient yourself facing the Santa Maria Novella church. SITA Buses can take you to many destinations in Tuscany and the price is about the same as train travel. In some cases, the buses are more convenient, especially if you don't have a lot of luggage and are traveling to a town where the train station is far away from downtown. For example, Siena's train station is outside of town, but the bus, which takes just an hour from Florence, will bring you directly to the city center and is slightly faster than the train.