The Santa Maria Novella station is the main railway station in Florence and is considered one of the most important works of Italian Rationalism. Rationalism was a modern style that had to reflect and carry out its function in a rational way. In 1932, the Municipality of Florence announced a competition for the construction of the railway station. Gruppo Toscano, formed by the architects Pier Niccolò Berardi, Nello Baroni, Italo Gamberini, Sarre Guarnieri, Leonardo Lusanna and Giovanni Michelucci, won the competition.
Despite being applauded by Mussolini, the project divided the world of Florentine culture, between dissatisfied conservatives and enthusiastic modernists. The public competition also included the exhibition of the projects in Palazzo Vecchio for citizens to see. The group won, out of over 100 competitors, and created a miraculous combination of formal beauty and rational functionality. The simplicity of the external materials and the richness of the internal materials, together with extreme attention to detail, make the Florence Railway Station a work that is still celebrated and studied today in national and international architectural culture, as a recognized masterpiece of Italian 20th century architectural heritage. Since 1935, the year of its inauguration, the station has been uniting the Florentine city and the peripheral populations arriving there. It is a place where modern frenzy live and pass through, with the church of Santa Maria Novella watching over it with benevolent faith for centuries.