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Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Ireland
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Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Can anybody tell me if the construction work is finished in Piazza Santa Maria Novella. We were about to book a hotel there and am now afraid that it may be very noisy and unsightly.

Ravenna, Italy
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1. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

I would e mail or ring the hotel and inquire.

Chorley, United...
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for Venice
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2. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Some may have finished but more may have started by the time you arrive. Why commit yourselves to accommodation on the Piazza when there are lots of excellent places to stay on both sides of the river.

washington, dc
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3. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

There were reports on this board several months ago that the work was finished.

The piazza is one of the most wonderful medieval squares in all of Europe.

There are several excellent hotels on the square, and many, many terrific restaurants are within a five-minute walk.

Virtually all the major sights in Florence - and most of the famous shops - are within an easy 10-minute walk.

I would heartily recommend staying there.

nashville
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4. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

it has been awhile since we spent a couple of months in Florence -- a town with a number of lovely squares -- the one in front of Santa Maria Novella has never struck me as one of the magnificent squares in Florence much less Europe

it was hot, desolate, filled with bums -- the church is charming -- the square not in my recollection

I have watched groups of sleezebags track and hassle young female tourists who didn't notice them creeping up -- just not my idea of the place to stay in Florence

washington, dc
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5. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

graceh9

I have no way of knowing how many times you have been in the piazza, nor how recently.

I have walked through it hundreds and hundreds of times, most recently on several occasions when we were there in February and again in April.

In years gone by, one of our favorite restaurants, Giovanni's, was on the eastern side of the square.

There used to be an occasional, unfortunate type at the end of the square near the station, but I haven't seen any of them in quite some time, and they weren't terribly bothersome when they were there.

As for the esthetics of the square itself, I am sorry if you don't appreciate them, and I do suggest that the next time you are in town you take the opportunity to get to know it better.

The facade of the church is one of the great works of Florentine architecture, with the lower part a masterpiece of 13th, 14th century design, and the upper part one of the major works of Alberti.

The facade with the arcade opposite the church is a very early and admirable imitation of Brunelleschi's facade for the Innocenti. The decoration is by Andrea and Giovanni della Robbia.

The rest of the unusual five-sided square consists of a wonderful eclectic collection of buildings dating from the 14th century, almost all of which have been beautifully restored in the past few years. Of course the two obelisks in the center rest on wonderful bronze tortoises by Giambologna.

Among others, Nathanial Howthorne, Henry James and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow all lived on this square.

Ravenna, Italy
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6. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Just to help those going to Florence where would you recommend staying in Florence, Grace?

Chorley, United...
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for Venice
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7. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

The church of Santa Maria Novella is certainly a fine one with its Alberti designed facade but to say "The piazza is one of the most wonderful medieval squares in all of Europe." is hyperbole to say the least. It does Florence no justice to make over-inflated claims.

washington, dc
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8. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Robert,

What medieval squares would you rate higher?

nashville
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9. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

I haven't been to the square recently-- perhaps it is magically transformed from the bum littered hot dirty square with empty plastic bags blowing in the wind that I remember --

I prefer hotels on the river, or near San Marco -- the Orto de Medici was one nice little spot -- not expensive and easy walk to the station without being at the station

if proximity to the station is not the issue then an inexpensive place out of the bustle is Hotel David

there are several in the center not far from the Duomo and there are several lovely places on the back road from Porta Romana up to Piazzale Michelangelo -- although they are pricey

We have had apartments near San Marco, near Santa Croce and across the river near Boboli Gardens -- we prefer places across the river

Florence, Italy
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10. Re: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

The square has gained a lot with the recent face lift it received, it is clean and there is less traffic going around the square. The work on the square has been completed - fences were left around the grass areas for a while to allow the new grass to take but a sign on the fence said they would eventually come off.

Here is a picture of the piazza and church as it was in June florencepictures.com/historical-center/santa…