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Stazione Leopolda

Train Station, Exposition Site, Now an Exhibition Hall

Esposizione Nazionale 1861

Between the city centre and the Parco delle Cascine, Florence's first train station was built in grand neoclassical style in the 1840s on the city's edge by Grand Duke Leopoldo to link the city up with Tuscany's first railway, which ran from Pisa to Livorno.

Construction was slow, and before it was finished, the more central Stazione Santa Maria Novella was begun to link up with the Pistoia-Lucca line, and was inaugurated in 1848, a few months before the Stazione Leopolda. Twelve years later, as other regional and national lines converged on the more central station, it became clear that Florence had herself a rather large Neoclassical white elephant, and Stazione Leopolda saw its last train. That year, 1860, was also the year after Tuscany held its plebiscite in favour of union with Piedmont, and in March 1861, Vittorio Emanuele II was declared King of Italy (which included everything except Venice and Rome).

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Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by PD, Sailko, GNU Creative Commons License