Piazzale Michelangelo is the vantage point of the iconic Florence panorama showcasing the Duomo surrounded by a sea of red tiled rooftops.

The way to Piazzale Michelangelo offers several vantage points that are perfect for photos of Arno, the river that crosses Florence.

A 4-day Florence itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a sunset in Piazzale Michelangelo. If you can’t make it for the sunset, try, at least, to get up there in the afternoon, in order to take advantage of the golden hour.

florence panorama clouds

Here are some of my best tips to help you find Piazzale Michelangelo and enjoy it to the full.

How To Get to Piazzale Michelangelo from the Historic Center

Piazzale Michelangelo and the Historic Center of Florence are on different banks of Arno River.

If you want to take the bus, search for routes 12 or 13.

If you’d rather walk, keep reading, as I explain exactly how we’ve done it.

Cross Arno River

If you start from the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral or from anywhere near Piazza della Signoria, you need to cross the river either via Ponte Vecchio or Ponte alle Grazie.

My recommendation is to cross via Ponte alle Grazie.

This would enable you to take some cool photos of Ponte Vecchio. Also, you’ll get to enjoy a pleasant walk alongside the river bank.

florence duomo arno

Pass by Porta San Niccolo

After crossing the river, you’ll start climbing, as Piazzale Michelangelo sits on top of a hill.

There are roads that go there, though. Should you wish to avoid climbing, take a taxi or a Uber to Michelangelo Square directly from your hotel.

As you can see from my photo, the stairs aren’t steep.

florence stairway to Piazzale Michelangelo

The curvy road that follows is easy to climb by anyone without locomotion problems, as it isn’t too steep, either.

The water fountain in front of Porta San Niccolo makes a good vantage point for photos of Florence and of its fortifications.

florence san niccolo tower

San Niccolo Tower

florence florence san niccolo tower symmetrical stairs

Pass by Poggi’s Ramps (Sistema delle Rampe del Poggi)

Poggi’s ramps are the pathways that connect Florence’s center to Piazzale Michelangelo.

poggi's ramps violeta matei

florence pond yellow flowers

They are the creation of Giuseppe Poggi, the architect in charge with the urban development of Florence by year 1865.

Click here to see some historic photos of Poggi’s Ramps. The article is in Italian, but the images are worth taking a look at.

florence Poggi's Ramps Cave with water feature

Cave with water feature on Poggi’s Ramps System

Take Viale Giuseppe Poggi

Viale Giuseppe Poggi is the winding street that takes you right to Michelangelo Square.

You’ll have multiple opportunities to see the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, the tower of the cathedral, and the Great Synagogue of Florence with its green, tall roof.

Florence Great Synagogue

This is the Great Synagogue of Florence as seen from Piazzale Michelangelo

Things To See in Piazzale Michelangelo

There are few things to see in Piazzale Michelangelo. You can’t actually miss most of them, as they are obvious.

Michelangelo’s David Statue Replica

florence david statue in piazzale michelangelo

David’s bronze replica stands tall in the center of the square.

Although huge, the statue didn’t impress me as much as the original in Galleria dell’ Accademia.

There’s something magic about the light inside Accademia. Or maybe the smaller space makes the statue more impressive.

Belvedere Franco Zeffirelli

belvedere franco zeffirelli florence

This is the vantage point that allows you to take great shots of Florence.

It is also the busiest spot in Michelangelo Square.

florence crowds piazzale michelangelo

Walk away a few steps and you’ll surely find other spots that offer you excellent Florence panorama views.

Giardino delle Rose

florence giardino delle rose

To the left of Piazzale Michelangelo as you look towards Florence there’s the Rose Garden, a beautiful park where flowers and statues live together, where artists come to paint, and where tourists and locals alike come to relax and to admire the scenery.

The entrance to Giardino delle Rose is free.

Take advantage of it, as many other gardens in Florence are gated and require a paid ticket to visit.

Fontana Fiorita

piazzale michelangelo fountain fish

Fontana Fiorita is a small but cute water feature right on Piazzale Michelangelo.

Walk a little behind David and you’ll find the fountain.

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

This 11th-century church sits right on top of the hill, by the Porte Sante Cemetery.

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte has a beautiful facade, in the same style as the other Romanesque churches in Florence. It is free to visit.

Cimitero delle Porte Sante

If time allows, the Porte Sante Cemetery can be a nice place to visit, with its impressive tombs and funerary monuments.

Check out Tomba degli Amanti (lovers’ tomb) here.

If you only had one day to spend in Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo should be on your shortlist.

florence bridges

Florence’s Bridges

 

 

 

Violeta Matei