Across the street from the train station, the area around Piazza Santa Maria Novella is perhaps the most varied neighborhood in the city. The urban streets leading to the station are pretty busy (both cars and people) while the other side of the grassy Piazza is formed by narrow, serpentine little streets, beautiful buildings, and top-notch shopping.
The area stretches from the mail railway station, a rare example of the city’s modern architecture to Via Tornabuoni, the city’s prime shopping center. Between these two extremes you will find a mixed bag of attractions. Santa Maria Novella, for example is one of the city’s largest and most prestigious churches, crammed with sacred art; The Santa Trinità church is home to the outstanding fresco cycle by Domenico Ghirlandaio; and the shopping street of Via della Vigna Nuova boasts the lion’s share of Florence’s designers. In other streets such as Borgo Ognissanti you can find an overspill of smarter stores and designer’s ateliers. Artisans’ furniture and other workshops can also be found around Via della Porcellana.
Best of all: you are close to the station but, at the same time, you are in the heart of the city, only a 5-10 minute walk from all the main city monuments, churches and museums.