There are many ways to fall in love with Florence. One, of course, is to capture it in just one gaze from above, allowing yourself to be intoxicated by its admirable architecture developing harmoniously around the Arno, enveloped by the hills behind
A map of these venues follows
1. Piazzale Michelangelo
The most famous place to enjoy this view is Piazzale Michelangelo, an open space created at the end of the 19th century as part of the so-called “improvement”, the redevelopment of the left bank of the Arno that occurred while Florence was capital of Italy. It is an obligatory stopping place, perhaps when you are on your way to the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte.
2. Abbey of San Miniato al Monte
A medieval religious building that merits a visit in itself (read our article), but also for the views it offers of Florence. The most spectacular access is via the monumental steps.
3. Three stunning gardens by the Piazzale
Less universally known, but much loved by the Florentines, are the gardens placed in the same quadrant of the city, which offer a perspective similar to Piazzale Michelangelo, but which also possess the romantic setting of an ancient garden: that is the case of the Giardino dell’Iris, in Viale Michelangiolo, the Giardino delle Rose, going towards San Miniato, and, a little further on, also the Giardino Bardini.
3. GIARDINO BARDINI
10 € (the tickets give you the right to visit other cultural locations)
Via dei Bardi, 1r or from the highest point on Costa San Giorgio, 2
GPS: 45.43635, 12.33224
Find it on Google Maps
bus lines D or 23, stop ‘Ponte alle Grazie’
4. Boboli Gardens
On the opposite part of the river, on the other hand, are the immense Boboli Gardens, with their various levels, offering different panoramic points: one of the best loved is Prato dell’Uccellare.
5. Forte Belvedere
Besides being a relevant spot for architecture enthusiasts, as it used to be the unsurmountable fortress of the Medici family, the Forte is now a not-to-be-missed location for contemporary art lovers. There is also a place for aperitifs.
6. The bridges of Florence
Finally, don’t forget that one of the most charming places from which to view the city is the river itself: in this case it is not the aerial views that are exciting, but the breathtaking sights of the city, especially at sunset. But avoid Ponte Vecchio, where it is truly impossible to find a place in the front row, and focus on Ponte alla Carraia or Santa Trinita: outstanding.
7. Orti del Parnaso
A little outside the centre, but within reach if you have been prompted to visit that rather particular place that is the Stibbert Museum another charming park where you can admire Florence from high up.