Top 5 Views in Florence

April 4, 2012 by

Best Of Lists, Sightseeing, Suggested Itineraries, Travel Tips

Florence is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its bridges, palaces, and churches can all inspire the feeling of being inside a post card. Here are five places where you can find the typical, and not so typical post-card views when you visit this magnificent city in Italy.

1. Piazzale Michelangelo. The best known and most obvious place to get a wonderful panoramic view across Florence and to the hills beyond. The square was constructed in the mid 19th century in homage to Michelangelo with copies of his famous David and Medici Chapel sculptures. This is the sight you see on postcards of Florence, and it’s particularly popular at sunset. Head there by car of by climbing the stairs from Piazza Poggi, named after the square’s designer.

Learn more about the influence of Michelangelo in Florence.

From the roof of the Uffizi Gallery

From the roof of the Uffizi Gallery

2. Uffizi rooftop. Not a huge view but I love it because it gets you so close to the top of the Palazzo Vecchio and you can really see the painted crests and the brickwork of the tower. You also get a nice view of the red tiled rooftops – which I always love – and the Duomo and Il Campanile.

Giotto's Bell Tower, Il Campanile

Giotto's Bell Tower, Il Campanile


3. San Miniato al Monte. My favorite place to look across Florence. It’s less crowded than Piazzale Michelangelo and has a slightly more limited view but I love listening to the monks chant evensong, then to leave the church and overlook the small cemetery and across the treetops to Florence beyond. Walking back down the hill you can follow the path of the Stations of the Cross and in spring and summer find a wonderful rose garden and small Japanese garden at the base of the hill.

4. Il Campanile. If you have a head for heights, climb the 414 steps up to the top of Giotto’s belltower next to the Duomo. Here you have yet another different view of the city, as it spreads around you while you stand high up in the center of Florence.

5. Vasari Corridor. You have to take a guided tour to get this view and it’s not a huge panorama, but what I love about it is the sense of secretly peering down on the life of the city below. As the corridor makes its way from the Uffizi along the river, across the Arno at the Ponte Vecchio and then above the narrow streets south of the river before reaching the Pitti Palace, you have plenty of opportunities for different peeks through the small windows down the river, onto the bridge, into the streets – even into the church of Santa Felicita.

From the Vasari Corridor

From the Vasari Corridor

Learn more about the history of the Vasari Corridor.

These are just some of the many amazing views you can discover in Florence. If you have romance in mind, I suggest taking an evening to combine many of these locations into a lovely tour. Find a sample itinerary in this post about Valentine’s Day in Florence.

You may also be interested in the Top 5 Piazzas for Relaxing in Florence.

Philippa Burne

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