Walking through the streets of Florence is like visiting an open-air museum. But wouldn't it be nice to be able to observe the city from a different perspective?
The answer is yes! In this article we recommend where you can admire the best viewpoints over the Tuscan capital.
Let's start with the area called Oltrarno.
Many of you will know or have heard of Piazzale Michelangelo, a terrace from which you can observe all the best-known monuments in detail and in the background the Florentine hills, and especially on the right you can see the city of Fiesole, of Etruscan origin. It is a square known to most people visiting Florence. Did you know that there is also a life-size bronze replica of Michelangelo's David admiring the city?
For the romantics, I recommend going there when the sun goes down. It will leave you breathless. There are no words to describe the color of the sky and the sun behind the Ponte Vecchio.
Continuing on foot past Piazzale Michelangelo you will notice a Basilica made of white Carrara marble. The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, is another scenic spot over Florence. It is a Florentine Romanesque-style abbey named after the first martyr of Florence. The reason to go there is not only the view (one of the highest points from which to view the city), you can see a beautiful mosaic on its facade and the "Porte Sante" Monumental Cemetery in which there are the graves of famous and historical figures of Italian history such as Carlo Collodi (writer), Franco Zeffirelli (director) and Enrico Coveri (fashion designer).
If you are a nature lover, you should know that also in this area of the city, just below Piazzale Michelangelo, you can make a stop at the Rose Garden, decorated with sculptures by artist Jean-Michel Folon that together with more than 350 species of roses adorn and color the park. The best time to admire the bloom is between May and June.
Another striking place is the Garden of Villa Bardini, also known as "Villa Belvedere". The villa's park is a fusion of an Italian garden, English woodland and agricultural park. One of the most beloved spots in Villa Bardini is the long pergola covered with wisteria plants, which in the months between April and May leads visitors to fall in love with the color purple/lilac.
It is important to mention the Boboli Garden and Forte Belvedere.
Going to Di Qua D'Arno we are into the heart of the historic center and without a doubt, Brunelleschi's Dome with its 360° view of Florence's rooftops and monuments is the best place to have Florence under your feet. Keep in mind that there are no elevators but one must walk 463 steps.
Somewhat less long is the staircase to Giotto's Campanile, which has 414. As you ascend, you can catch glimpses of Florence thanks to the small windows along the sides of the bell tower.
It is also possible to sit and have a coffee on some terraces, and we must mention the Terrace of the Oblate Library where it looks as if Brunelleschi's Dome is going inside. Another terrace is the one of the Rinascente, in Piazza della Repubblica. Of course, you have to go up to the top floor to enjoy this breathtaking view.
If we want to get out of the historic center, it is a must to make a stop at the Orti del Parnaso, a public park that is located on Trento Street and gives an alternative view of the city, more distant and less known. The Orti del Parnaso is also known as the Garden of the Dragon because of the presence of a huge snake winding along the steps. It is said that Apollo defeated Mount Parnassus itself a large snake that sowed death and terror among the people.
Earlier we talked about Fiesole, a town rich in history about 6 km from the Tuscan capital. We recommend going to the panoramic terrace and beyond the Belvedere of the Convent of St. Francis. It is farther and higher than all the other panoramic places mentioned above. If you do not have a car you can also reach this town Fiesole by bus No. 7.
We hope you can find your favorite place to observe Florence from a different perspective. Every corner is magical - what is yours?
Check out other things to do in Florence:
- Florence more and more suitable for cycling
- Florence: The place where you eat best in the world (according to tourists)
- Spring in Italy: flowers, sun and good food
- What's better than the Italian "Dolce Vita"?
- What about an Italian language vacation?
- La via Romea del Chianti
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