Cheap hotels in Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Across the street from the train station, the area around Piazza Santa Maria Novella is perhaps the most varied neighborhood in the city. The dingier urban streets leading to the station get a lot of traffic (both automobile and human) while the other side of the grassy Piazza is formed by narrow, serpentine little streets, characterful buildings and top-notch shopping. The piazza itself is crowded with picnicking tourists and pick pockets preying on them.
The 'hood is bordered by the river, the train station and the shopping street Via Tornabuoni. As such, this area suffers a bit of an identity crisis. One thing is for sure: once you're here, you're no more than ten-minutes away from anything else.