We reached Firenze's central train station by mid day. I couldn't help noticing and photographing a painted panel above its exit. Once outside the 1935 station's external façade seemed not to have anything to do with its interior.
Because the hotel we were booked at was located slightly away from the centre we risked venturing into the city centre with our back packs rather than waste unnecessary time to walk there and back. Just across the road from the station we came across the Gothich church of Santa Maria Novella built by the Dominicans between 1279 and 1357, whose façade we were strongly impressed by.
The three portals are spanned by round arches, while the rest of the lower façade is spanned by blind arches separated by pilasters of green and white marble stripes.
The charming square in front of the church is said to have been used by Cosimo I for the yearly chariot race, a custom which was carried out from 1563 through to the 19th century and its two marble obelisks resting on bronze tortoises saidd to have marked the start and finish of the race.
We soon realised it would be quite difficult to walk about as we had envisaged with the amount of weight we were carrying, particularly because the heat was extreme by then and we were already perspiring.
(To be continued)