Florence is my second most favorite city after Venice – and I was so happy to return there this spring! Its rich history and lavish architecture definitely deserve a blog post: it’s closely linked to Medici family, Alighieri, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Donatello, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei and so many more. However, first of all, I would like to share with you the best observation points from where you can admire the splendor of this city.
Of course, I could’ve begun with the view from Santa Maria del Fiore itself – but honestly, it’s almost a crime to partly neglect the Duomo itself because, quite logically, it looks at its best from the outside. Sooo…
1 Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo with the bronze David, dating back to the middle of the 19th century, is one of the most obvious locations. The panorama includes all the main landmarks, from the Medici Chapel and Ponte Vecchio to Duomo, Palazzo del Bargello, and Basilica di Santa Croce.
It’s always open but usually gets very crowded. Besides that, it’s the least central location compared to others in my list.
2 Giardino Bardini
I must sincerely admit that I went to Guardino and Villa Bardini to shoot wisteria – although it looked very promising, it wasn’t in the full bloom yet. But the views were really amazing!
Giardino Bardini is less popular as it has just recently opened.
3 View over Florence in Art restaurant
I would say that View on Art restaurant located on the 6th floor of a budget hotel near Piazza la Repubblica offers my favorite panorama of Florence – just look at these shots! Ever the views from restrooms are impressive 🙂
But at the same time, the service wasn’t really on par with the view (I’ve been there twice with the same result) – so head there for the views, not food. Reservations can also be made but as we’ve been told they don’t guarantee you a table on the terrace, only a table inside because as it feels the rule of the first come first served it stronger.
4 Caffetteria delle Oblate
Biblioteca delle Oblate (oblate means “a person who is specifically dedicated to God”) is a public library right in the heart of Florence. Its name comes from the Convent of the Oblate that used to occupy this location – and the structure of the building didn’t change much since the 14th century.
Just enter the building, head to the second floor and enjoy the view – from the cafe or terrace! Besides that, you can also attend cultural events held in there if you’re interested.
5 La Rinascente Rooftop
Head to the top of La Rinascente Florence Shopping centre to dine with a view!
It’s located right on the Piazza la Repubblica so it offers some rare views on this square as well – not to mention a marvelous panorama of the Duomo.
6 Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio, a former town hall and Medici residence, is one of the main Florence attractions for many reasons. The historical importance of this place during the whole city history is hard to estimate, and it is expressed in the amazing Salone dei Cinquecento, multiple rooms with frescoes, statues, carved ceilings, and other impressive decorations.
But apart from containing numerous masterpieces, it offers marvelous views over the city – which is not surprising at all considering its role as the main government building for centuries.
7 Uffizi Gallery
Obviously, you won’t stay in line and run through Uffizi Gallery just to access its terrace – but do make sure you won’t miss it during your visit to this marvelous museum! Stay alert for window views as well – they are really impressive.
8 Giardino di Boboli
Last, but not least is another garden – Giardino di Boboli. Tourists are usually more acquainted with it compared to Giardino Bardini because it forms part of the famous Palazzo Pitti, the main residence of the Medici family and home to the Palatine Gallery.
You can access the Villa and Giardino Bardini through it as well.
Hope you enjoyed today’s blog!