An obligatory destination for tourists visiting the city, but also much loved by Florentines, Piazzale Michelangelo is the most famous place to observe the city’s panorama. For a guaranteed spectacular effect, or if you are feeling in a romantic mood, go there at sunset.
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most charming belvederes in Florence, an unmissable terrace on the city; unmissable for visitors, but also very popular among Florentines. From there your gaze can take in Santa Croce, the Lungarnos, Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo with its dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and, beyond, the hills surrounding Florence.
The construction of the square dates back to 1869, as part of the urban planning renewal on the occasion of the election of Florence as the capital of Italy. In the design by architect Giuseppe Poggi it was to become a monument to Michelangelo (see photo) and the loggia in Neoclassical style was to act as a museum to gather together all the works by the great artist. In reality, this idea was very soon rejected and in 1876 the loggia was turned into a restaurant and a panoramic coffee bar, which are still in operation.
Standing out in the piazza, dedicated to Michelangelo, are bronze reproductions of his famous works: the David and the four allegories from the Medici Chapels of San Lorenzo, the originals of which are conserved in the city. You can reach it by bus or on foot, walking along the Lungarno, or from Piazza Poggi, in the district of San Niccolò, climbing up the charming Rampe del Poggi, a series of flights of steps, grottos and fountains.