Starbucks and more stores open in the renovated Santa Maria Novella subway
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Starbucks and more stores open in the renovated Santa Maria Novella subway

Additions have been made to The Gallery-Florence Underground shopping center.

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Mon 02 Jan 2023 12:34 PM

New renovations have been added to the Santa Maria Novella train station as the section of the subway closest to the city centre has reopened with a modern look and shopping opportunities. Gone is the dated corridor, although the part nearest to the terminus remains old-style with its marble flooring. The Gallery-Florence Underground welcomes an additional eight new stores to the already bustling Florentine shopping destination with a seven million euro investment by the local AD CASA group.

The new Starbucks in the Santa Maria Novella train station subway. Ph. Marco Badiani

Among the new additions, perhaps one of the most exciting is a Starbucks coffee shop. The Seattle-born cappuccino and coworking destination has long been considered a controversial addition to any Italian neighborhood. With the country’s caffeinated history, it was unsure how an American coffee chain could stand the test of time next to beloved mom and pop shops. However, in the spirit of modernization, the bags of beans have landed and are now being brewed right here in the Tuscan capital.

Local dignitaries, including Tuscany regional president Eugenio Giani (second from left) and Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella (third from left), attend the ribbon opening ceremony of The Gallery-Florence Underground on December 22, 2022

If you’re married to your moka, have no fear, there are plenty of other shops to explore. Plan on poke for lunch with an I <3 Poke shop opening up just next to a Grom gelato store for dessert. When appetites are satisfied, fulfil your shopping needs with natural cosmetics from Bottega Verde and fun, affordable items from Chinese retailer MiniSo just across the modernized way.

Starbucks SMN train station
We try a shaken espresso at the new Starbucks in the Santa Maria Novella subway. Ph. Serena Isaac

Whether you bump into these new additions on your usual morning commute or carve out a moment in your day to stop by, The Gallery-Florence Underground is worth paying a visit (and maybe swapping out your morning espresso for a cold brew).

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