There are hundreds of ways to see a city: out the window of a car, whizzing by on a moped, cycling through the alleys or even clipping along in a horse and carriage. But my favorite view of the city isn’t the side streets, the monuments, or the shops and restaurants; these are just snippets of the city. I prefer to see the city as a whole and the best way to do that is from high above. So here are the five best places to see Florence in all its glory.
- Piazza Michelangelo
Here is the most famous place in Florence to watch the sunset. Piazza Michelangelo offers a breathtaking view of the city. Sit on the stairs with a bottle of wine and watch the sunset reflect off the Arno River. It is quite a hike to the top so wear comfortable shoes. Also, it is really popular for tourists and locals so plan to get there early to grab a good spot.
At the end of the Bus #7 route this small town offers a view of the city and surrounding countryside. During the whole ride up glimpses of the city can be spotted. Hike around town and enjoy Florence from various unique angles.
- Duomo dome (or bell tower)
The Duomo sits in the center of the city and if you are fit and able to climb the 400 plus stairs of either the Duomo dome or the bell tower you will be rewarded with a 360 view of the city from the heart of it. Just remember, if you want pictures of the city with the main monument, the Duomo, in it you won’t get it from the dome.
- The tower of Palazzo Vecchio
Not far from the Duomo is Palazzo Vecchio. This museum is fascinating but what is even more compelling is the sight awaiting you at the top of the tower-an unblocked view of the city including its biggest masterpiece-the Duomo. Go close to closing and you can enjoy watching the sunset over the city without all the tourist crowds.
- San Miniato al Monte
Uphill from Piazza Michelangelo is San Miniato al Monte. The view as seen from the front of the church is picture postcard perfect. The brown roofs, churches and piazzas that make up Florence are laid out before you outlined by the River and city walls. And if you look to your right you can even make out Piazza Michelangelo.