Florence is an incredible city with world-class art, unique and delicious food, extraordinary architecture and, of course, the views! No visit to Florence is complete without getting up high and taking in the stunning setting. Here are five of the best viewpoints in Florence.
Head to these five places to take in the views of fabulous Florence.
Conduct a web search, and Piazzale Michelangelo always comes up as “the place” for incredible sunset views of Florence. And it’s true! The view from the top of the hill overlooking the city is spectacular. And bonus, you’ll see the stunning bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David.
The downside? Some might find the hike up strenuous, but given the hundreds, possibly thousands of people who make the climb every evening, it’s totally doable. From Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), it’s a 2km or 30-minute plus walk. At least half of it is going uphill. The actual downside is all the people!
Half an hour before sunset, the Piazzale is jam-packed, and hundreds more are still making the climb. It’s difficult to squeeze in and snag a spot, let alone enjoy the view.
But the view from this hill is terrific any time of day, so head up there after breakfast for a less crowded experience.
The Uffizi is known for its awe-inspiring art. Inside, you’ll find works by Botticelli, Michelangelo and many other masters. But did you know that the Uffizi has a cafeteria with a terrace?
After you’ve had your fill of Renaissance masterpieces, before leaving, head over to Caffeteria Galleria degli Uffizi. It hovers above Piazza della Signoria, and on hot days, you’re protected from the sun by huge white umbrellas.
Enjoy a gelato, pastry or even a glass of wine while taking in Florence. The Palazzo Vecchio looms nearby, and many other landmarks, like the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, are visible.
Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo’s Tower
Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo’s Tower is my favourite spot in all of Florence to take in the view.
Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s town hall. To climb its tower, you need to buy a ticket with a time slot. Head to the box office to secure your spot. You can also get a combo ticket to tour the museum where the Medici Dukes once lived. But it’s the views from the tower that are the real superstar!
Of course, you have to climb the 233 steps to reach the top, but it’s not as challenging as the climb up the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore. And because entrance tickets are limited, you don’t have the crowds that are guaranteed at Piazzale Michelangelo. But the 360-degree views of Florence are jaw-dropping, and there are many opportunities to get unique shots on the way up. And if you are afraid of heights, this climb and viewpoint is definitely the least scary of all the popular dome and tower climbs in Florence.
Duomo of Santa Maria Del Fiore
The Duomo, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, is an iconic symbol of Florence and a genius work of art and engineering. Climb between Santa Maria del Fiore’s domes. Yes! There are two, an interior dome and the visible exterior dome, to get to the view of the city and surrounding hills.
No one quite knows how Brunelleschi accomplished this remarkable construction, including all the building equipment and machinery.
The downside is that while you get a 360-degree view of Florence, your pictures don’t include the famous Duomo!
Buy the Brunelleschi Pass for access to the Dome climb, the Church, the Baptistery, the Campanile and the Opera del Duomo Museum for 3 days.
Climbing the Campanile, also known as Giotto’s Bell Tower, not only gives you views of Florence but also unique views of the Duomo.
One of the least visited but amazingly close-up views of the Duomo is from the Terrazza Brunelleschina. Head to the top floor of the incredibly interesting (where all of the originals from Santa Maria del Fiore are showcased) Opera del Duomo Museum. I had the entire terrace to myself and could, at my leisure, appreciate Brunelleschi’s dome.
Caffè Del Verone
If you enjoy a cocktail at sunset, head to the cafe at the Museo degli Innocenti. You can enter through the door next to the museum just off Piazza della SS. Annuziata.
The terrace is set in a 15th-century loggia that offers gorgeous views of Florence’s Great Synoguoge and, of course, the Duomo.
You don’t need a ticket to get in, although the museum showcasing the center where Florenentine children without families were raised is very interesting.
One of the best parts of visiting Florence is taking in the view, and these five places are real gems for photographers or anyone who simply wants to savour this beautiful city. If you need help getting to Florence, check out this post, Taking the Train in Italy by a Girl with a Big Suitcase.