The most famous scenic overlook in Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo is beloved for its breathtaking views over the city’s rooftops. From this 19th-century square set on a hillside in the Oltrarno neighborhood, panoramic views stretch over the Rose Garden, Ponte Vecchio spanning the river Arno, the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's iconic Duomo and bell tower, and the Tuscan hills beyond.
A stop to take in the stunning view from Piazzale Michelangelo is a must during any sightseeing tour, shore excursion, or day trip in Florence and can be paired with a private tour of the nearby church of San Miniato al Monte. Though the overlook can be reached on foot during a walking tour, its location along a panoramic road winding up the Florentine hills also makes it a popular destination for tours of the city by car or Vespa scooter.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The square, dedicated to Michelangelo, is dotted with bronze casts of his sculptures. The most famous is David, the original of which is on display in the Accademia Gallery.
- For a romantic evening, watch the sun set over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, or end your day by taking in the beautiful view of the twinkling lights of the city at night.
- There is no shade on the square, so bring a hat and sunscreen if visiting during the day.
- During summer, a number of nearby cafes and nightclubs with outdoor seating and music offer a taste of Florence's vibrant nightlife.
How to Get to Piazzale Michelangelo
By foot, cross the Ponte alle Grazie bridge near the Santa Croce basilica and make your way to Piazza Poggi. From there, climb the steps and pathways leading uphill from the river to the square. The walk is pleasant but steep, so allow at least 45 minutes. Otherwise, bus lines 12 and 13 both stop near the overlook.
When to Get There
Since the square is most crowded during the middle of the day, a sunrise or sunset visit means that you can enjoy the best view of Florence in relative peace.
San Miniato al Monte
Further up the hill, San Miniato al Monte is considered Tuscany's finest Romanesque church and one of the most scenic in Italy. The church dates back to 1013 and is adjoined to an Olivetan monastery where monks produce liqueurs, honey and herbal teas, sold in the monastery's shop.