Piazza Santa Maria Novella boasts patches of grass and a central fountain. The two squat obelisks, resting on the backs of Giambologna tortoises, once served as the turning posts for the "chariot" races held here from the 16th to the mid-19th century. Once a depressed and down-at-heel part of the center, the area is now on the up, but the night can still lean toward the seedy. The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is a sight on its own.

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