Piazzale Michelangelo is the most panoramic and breathtaking place to visit in Florence. It overlooks the Arno River, the city and the rolling hills.
This amazing terrace is a popular site with locals and tourists. It was created as part of major restructuring of the city walls. In 1869 Giuseppe Poggi designed a monument base devoted to Florence's favorite son, Michelangelo. The monument itself was to be composed of replicas of Michelangelo's works. A large bronze copy of his sculpture of David stands majestically in the center facing the city. It also includes the Medici chapel sculptures from San Lorenzo. When the terrace was completed Poggi designed the hillside the museum (now a restaurant) for Michelangelo's works.
There are two levels to Piazzale Michelangelo where you can take in excellent views of the city. The higher level has some coin-operated binoculars so you can get a closer view of the sites. There are plenty of street musicians, souvenir and food vendors that can be found here.
Also the famous church of San Miniato is just above Piazzale Michelangelo and is well worth a visit. If you happen to be there on a Sunday night, walk up the extra level to see the basilica because there may be monks chanting.
I walked from the Ponte Vecchio (bridge) up to Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s a little bit of a walk, but it is truly an experience. I was there just before sunset and was able enjoy the transition from day to night overlooking the city of Florence. I bought some gelato and spent a delightful evening sitting on the steps viewing the little red rooftops the Uffizi tower and the top of the Duomo.
It's perfect any time of the day really. However I think to really appreciate the view I recommend coming here and watching the sunset or maybe come and watch the sunrise. The scenery is like no other. You won't want to leave. Best of all, there are no tickets to buy or long lines to wait in because it’s free. So bring your camera and snap away.
If you don’t to walk up to see Piazzale Michelangelo you can drive there and park for free. You can take a bus from the city or take a taxi. From the Ponte Vecchio it is about a twenty minute walk to the top.