This station is one of the oldest in Firenze, designed by Enrico Presenti
It is not the oldest since, althought for a few months, the Maria Antonia was opened to regular service some months before, but is the only one in its original conditions.
It had been build for the first tuscan line, the Livorno-Pisa-Firenze whose first section had been opened in 1844.
Since the line was called Leopolda (from the then current granduke) the station got the same name.
In 1870 all passenger services from this Station were moved to the more central Maria Antonia station, in origin built for the Firenze-Pistoia-Lucca-Pisa Line opened in 1848 and so remained at Porta al Prato only freight services.
Eventually in this site was built the car maintenance shop, the most important in Italy for passenger cars, that have to be moved in 1999 to Osmannoro. The new line to Osmannoro is under costruction now.
In 1871 was held in the then as soon abandoned main building the national exposition, and after a century that hall have been reutilized for temporary show. Now the old building is to be used for the Fashion Museum of Firenze, with dresses from the 19th century to now.
On 15/12/1998 will also be opened there the museum of small railway objects.
The picture above is neither true neither a montage. It has been taken
trought one of the glass dorrs at the entrance to show the interior and
the arches on the entrance. In origin there was no doors so the steam locomotive
of the train in arrival could stay out of the shed. On the bottom of the
hall there was other arches, now closed since there are now the shops.
In the picture is behind a column but in this hall have been left a turnatable used from the shops until a few years ago to remeber the previous activity in this building.