The Piazzale Michelangelo is where you go to get that fantastic view of the city of Florence with views of the Cathedral. It is near the top of the hill on the other side of the Arno River. You can get there by public transportation – look for the #12 or #13 bus which can be picked up by the train station. You can also walk it if you are feeling fit and energetic!
The Piazzale has a large replica of Michelangelo’s David statue, food and souvenir vendors, and parking. As with most places crowded with tourists, beware of pickpockets who will try to take advantage while you are distracted by the view. I have read that this is not a safe place at night – I was actually there at night (but with a large group) and we didn’t have any problems. But it was still very crowded for a cold winter night so I imagine the summer and high tourist season can be worse.
If you have the time, I recommend you going here in the daylight and then at nighttime to see the city both ways. Each is equally beautiful. We actually toured San Minato al Monte, a church about five minutes away in the late afternoon so we were able to capture both views within several hours of each other.
Our first evening in Florence was over – we had learned so much just in those several hours; I was excited for what the remainder of the week had to offer. But for now, we had to get back to our hotel and get well rested for the next day. The ATAF buses provided a perfect way to get from one location to another within Florence.
The city of Florence is very romantic itself, but to get the extra spicy thing it's a must to climb up to the Piazzelle Michelangelo. High up above the city, with an amazing view of it, you'll have a whole piazza just for yourself...
... eh... but you might have to share it with thousands of other people, searching for the same thing...
A good advice is to go there in low season (late autumn for example) when neither the city of the piazzelle itself is so crowded with tourists from all over the world.
And, go there in the afternoon, to get the fantastic sunset in front of your eyes. But get there quite early, as it both takes quite some time to get there from downtown, but also because the changings of colour over the city when city sun is going down lower and lower is simply amazing.
There are some souvenir shops here, and during high season a lot of vendors selling about everything, and never seems to give up either. So be prepared for this.
Or buy a bottle of cold Birra Moretti and just shut out everything else except for the beer and the fantastic view. :)
On the piazzelle there is also a copied statue of David.
But have a look at the view instead. Look out for the Ponte Vecchio, il Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and all the other famous sights. Including the football stadium of course. :)
You get the best views of Florence at the Piazzale Michelangelo. If you can take the long uphill walk, you should go on foot because the walk along the riverbank is very nice. But you can also catch a bus. try and go at the sunset, it's a plus.
You can take the bus, or you can walk, but however you get there, don't miss the views from the Piazzale Michaelangelo. From here you can see the City of Florence spread at your feet. The river Arno winds it's way along and Ponte Vecchio is glorious in its antiquated and golden splendor.
The square is filled with vendors of every assortment of tourist specials. Painters are there, creating and selling their watercolor representations of the view.
In the center of the square is a replica of The David as well as other of Michaelangelo's sculptures.
This is the place to get that killer shot of Florence. Sure, everybody else probably has the same snap but who cares? The piazzale's terrace (which is really a very large parking lot) was designed by Giuseppe Poggi in1869 for displaying copies of Michelangelo’s sculptures, and was to include a museum for others of his creations as well; thus the name. A very large, bronze "David" glowers over the city from a central pedestal surrounded by more bronze replicas of the four allegories, the originals of which are in the Medici Chapel.
But that’s not why you come here. The panorama across the Arno - dome and belltower of the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio’s clock tower and various church steeples rising above the rooftops - is breathtaking, especially at sunset. Trek up here on foot (or take the bus #12 or #13) and reward yourself at one of the cafes with an adult beverage and/or a snack before making your way back down the hill. If not completely tuckered, take the stairs up to San Miniato al Monte and Cimitero della Porte Sante where the views are even loftier.
Our route: Ponte Alla Grazie across the Arno to Via San Nicolo, to Via dell Monte alle Croci. Follow it through Porta San Miniato in the city walls, continue up the street, and take the steps that will split off just to the left. (Viale Galileo). You’ll come out at the top near a small cafe (we had a couple of brews there); the piazzale will be to your left.
I like to think of the Piazzale Michaelangelo as having one of the best views of Florence in Florence. It is also home to what I call the "Green David" because this particular David is covered by a greenish oxidization that is characteristic of the bronze metal replica.
The terrace offers spectacular views of Florence and the Arno River. It is particularly breathtaking and romantic at night. I recommend you come during the day and then also during the evening. It is not a far walk from most points in Florence, but far enough that you might want to take a bus there if you are too tired to walk.
Another replica of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ stands here. But you won’t come here to see the replica. You will come here for the fantastic views of Firenze that are on offer and you will definitely not be the only tourist up here. But don’t worry, Piazzale Michelangelo covers a large area, you will be able to find a spot of your own.
I came up here twice, once there was a storm (and my friends I took cover underneath a street food vendor, enjoying hot dogs and pizza until the storm passed). I then came up here again the next day and as you will see from my travelogue on Piazzale Michelangelo, there were excellent views. Apart from tourists you will also find people selling their artwork, laid out for you to see along the footpaths.
My advice though – if you want to beat the crowds get there early in the morning.
...overlooks one of the most famous and magnificent city views in the world: from here you can see the whole Florence.
We went there by car and the roads were beautiful, with many imposing Villas to dream of...
Hike or take a city bus across the Arno and up the hill. You'll find the Piazza de Michaelangelo and the most fantastic views of Florence and the surrounding countryside. From the Piazza, you can see all the major attractions of the city. Look to your right or left and you can also see the remnants of the medieval walls which once surrounded the city.
To hike to the Piazza, cross the Ponte Vecchio and turn right. Walk a few blocks until you come to the Piazza Poggi. From there you can follow the stairs up the hill to the Piazza. It's not a long walk and since there are less tourists on that side of the river, you can enjoy a more leisurely pace.
When we first arrived in Florence we were taken, on our bus, up to the Piazza Michelangelo.
The views from the top of the hill will take your breath away.
Designed in 1869 by Poggi, it offers a great view of the city, and is a very popular tourist destination.
While here you can take wonderful pictures, see the statue of David (a smaller version), buy souvenirs from vendors (or dodge the vendors like me), and just walk around. It is a very touristy place-in case you don't like those things.
The piazza also offers walking paths, a skate park, soccer courts, and even a small cafe off of the main road.
Many people decide to walk up this steep hill, but there are many other options including taking a public bus.
Piazzale Michelangelo is up on a hill on the other side of the Arno. It's a nice walk up there, not too steep, but high enough so that can enjoy the wonderful view on Florence. There are some restaurants and some artists, trying to sell their paintings. But no painting could measure up to the wonderful view you have from there.
Only from up there can you realize how massive and how huge the Duomo is and how it dominates the "skyline" of Florence.
Looking towards the other side of the piazza, you can see what's left of the old city wall of Florence.
Though I don't recommend walking up the hill to Piazzale Michelangelo to all, everyone who comes to Florence should be taken to this beautiful park above the city. With breathtaking views of the buildings of the city, Duomo, Campanile and Arno, there is no better place to enjoy a picnic or quietly sit and absorb Florence's splendor. If you happen to miss Michelangelo's David in the Academia, there is a reproduction atop this hill. Though it can get somewhat crowded and tourist-laden, this piazza is worth the effort getting here; whether by foot or other means.
Piazzale Michelangelo is located on top of the hill on the opposite side of the river to the centre of Florence.
From here you get magnificent views across this beautiful city.
You can catch the bus here, or do what we did and walk up the steep winding road that leads you up to the top of the hill.... it is a great way to burn off some of the previous days pizza (or a good excuse for that gelato later!!).
There are a couple of places to sit and have a drink or snack, and the usual tourist souvenirs.
Yes, the tourists all stop here but it is a great overall view of the city. You can see all of the large architectural monuments of Florence towering over the rooftops: the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce, etc. And San Miniato is just up the street from here. Check out the scaled down version of David that is a fountain next to the parking lot.
The night before my friend left Florence for home, we stayed up to see the sunrise from the Piazzale. There was only one other person there and we were able to watch the sun come up over the hills toward Fiesole. Just as it emerged, the bells of the church behind us tolled 6.
The is one of the most beautiful places in Florence and makes the city appear distant and quiet. But, it's always crowded. Being there so early mad the view our own for a while.