Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence (must see)

Florence is a very beautiful city and Piazzale Michelangelo does prove it in all certainty. Designed by Giuseppe Poggi, this large square – filled with souvenir stalls – provides a magnificent panorama over the rooftops of Florence, with the most recognizable and photographed view being that of the Duomo Cathedral and its cupola, along with the Giotto Bell Tower and Palazzo Vecchio. Over the years, this famous view has been reproduced on countless postcards, although there are other landmarks in the vicinity too, such as Fort Belvedere, Santa Croce, and Ponte Vecchio.

The square itself was laid out in 1869, at a time when Florence was the capital of Italy and the whole city was involved in an urban renewal program, the so-called "Risanamento" ("Rebirth") of the city's middle class.

Dedicated to the great Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo, the square houses copies of some of his works found elsewhere in Florence, such as “David” and the four allegories of the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. While the originals are all in white marble, the copies here on display are made of bronze and were brought up the hill by nine pairs of oxen, all of them likely in a very sweaty state, to fulfill Giuseppe Poggi's original dream.

Thousands of people want to be here at sunset, which admittedly is beautiful, and if you are in the right spot, you can enjoy the sun reflecting off the Arno river with a glass of wine in hand. Bringing your own drink is a good option, unless you want to take advantage of the restaurants and bars located all around, the most famous of which features a Neoclassical design. Taking into account the precious location, prices here are actually quite reasonable.

About halfway up the main stairway is a city rose garden, where you can spend a quiet half-hour wandering and relaxing, with views of the Duomo and city framed by trees and roses.

After sunset, you can walk down, which is much easier and you can enjoy more of the dusk on the way.

Tip:
The square on a sunny day will torture you with heat – bring your hat at the least.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Florence. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Piazzale Michelangelo on Map

Sight Name: Piazzale Michelangelo
Sight Location: Florence, Italy (See walking tours in Florence)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Florence, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Creating your own self-guided walk in Florence is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Duomo Souvenir Shopping

Duomo Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Florence without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. On this self-guided tour, we've compiled a list of shops and markets where you can find something unique to remember your Florentine visit.

Start at Central Market, which is not only a fun and colorful place to visit, but also the best place to stop for a meal....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo Walking Tour

Located in the very heart of Florence’s Historic Center, the Duomo area is deservedly considered the city’s religious and civic center, with many famous landmarks to be found. The most prominent of these is the breathtaking sight that is the Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, built on the site of a 7th-century church. Its magnificent Renaissance dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Florence Palaces Walking Tour

Florence Palaces Walking Tour

Toward the end of the 13th century, Florentine families who had acquired power – both financial, through banking and trade, and political – began to build sizeable new palaces for themselves. The construction of the Palazzo del Popolo (now housing the Bargello Museum) acted as an important catalyst in this process, having opened the translation into the private sphere.

Early 14th century...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Florence Introduction Walking Tour

Florence Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Florence was founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for veteran soldiers and, as such, was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. The original name Fluentia was due to the fact that it was built between two rivers; later, however, this was changed to Florentia which means “flowering” or...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Arno South Bank Walking Tour

Arno South Bank Walking Tour

The area south of Arno river, also called Oltrarno ("Beyond the Arno"), is a quieter place but not less interesting. Here you can find the Pitti Palace whose collection of paintings is second only to the Uffizi, and the vast Boboli Gardens once enjoyed by the Medici and the royal family. One of the first and most important examples of "Italian Gardens", they later served as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante Alighieri was arguably the greatest – albeit also most controversial – of Italy's poets. After having served as one of the six priors governing Florence, his political activities – including the banishing of several rivals – led to his own banishment, upon which he wrote his masterpiece, “The Divine Comedy”, as a wanderer, seeking protection for his family in one town after...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Unique Products to Buy in Florence

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Unique Products to Buy in Florence

Compared to other Italian "grands" like Rome, Venice, or Milan, Florence is relatively less-known to an outsider for any local products, save, perhaps, Florentine mosaics and Fiorentina FC. Fortunately, there are tonnes of locally-originated things that this Italian city is rightfully...
Top 14 Pubs in Florence

Top 14 Pubs in Florence

Florence, the city of art and beauty has no problem in mastering the art of the nightlife as well. Local pubs are very popular and appreciated among the Florentines and the tourists. Locals and native English speakers that study or live in the city cannot wait to welcome tourists in their cozy...
Florence's Tasty Coffee Shop Guide

Florence's Tasty Coffee Shop Guide

The caffe scene throughout Italy is an important factor of everyday life. People will pop in to their favorite bar on their way to work for a quick espresso breakfast with a pastry, they’ll grab a slice of pizza for lunch or drop by for an aperitivo before dining out and take a peaceful digestivo...