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.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Florence, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Piazzale Michelangelo on Map

Sight Name: Piazzale Michelangelo
Sight Location: Florence, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walking Tour  

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 Walking Tour

Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo quarter is located in the very heart of the Florence Historic Center. This area is deservedly considered the religious and the civic centre of the town. Most of the historic sites Florence is famous for are to be found here. Take this self-guided walk to explore all the masterpieces of the Duomo quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Historic Centre Nightlife

Historic Centre Nightlife

Well known for its beautiful historic architecture and for its huge contribution to the Renaissance movement in Italy, Florence remains a vibrant, thriving center of activity that hosts not only a large tourism trade, but also attracts a lot of international students studying abroad. As such, Florence possesses a hot nightlife scene where guests from around the world can hear some amazing music...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 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. This self guided walk takes you to these and other wonderful places, along the way passing by charming...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Florence Palaces Walk

Florence Palaces Walk

Towards 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
Medici Landmarks

Medici Landmarks

The Medici family helped to establish Florence as the single most important art capital of Renaissance Europe. In order to prove wealth and power, they built numerous palaces, libraries, churches, chapels and personal residences. The Medicis were big lovers of art and they acquired huge, expensive collections, as well as supporting many sculptors and painters of the time. This self-guided tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 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 virtual wanderer, seeking protection for his family in one town...  view more

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

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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