Piazzale Michelangelo – Michelangelo Square
One of the best panoramic points of Florence is Piazzale Michelangelo or Michelangelo Square emerged in the 1869s, due to the architect Giuseppe Poggi. The square, with a huge bronze copy of David by Michelangelo in the middle, attracts many tourists and presents the extraordinary beauty of Florence skyline. From here you can not only see Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and Basilica di Santa Croce, but also Ponte Vecchio, Forte Belvedere, the rose garden, the city wall, the hill covered with olive trees, Fiesole and surrounding hills. And in winter, when the weather is clear, you can even see white Alpi Apuan peaks in the distance.
Palazzo Vecchio – the Old Palace
Palazzo Vecchio in its forms reminds a well-defended fortress with high thick walls and small windows. And above the palace there is a tower with a shiny gold lion on the top, rising high to the sky. The museum, located in the palace, offers guided tours in the course of which you can go to a small room – a former prison, set up in a tower at a height of approximately 90 meters (panoramic points), and to admire the panorama of the city and its environs. In addition, the guide will tell you many interesting stories about the life of the city and the Medici family.
Cupola del Duomo – the Cathedral Dome
Right in the centre of Florence, in a huge square, divided into two parts (Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Giovanni) stands out a breathtaking cathedral, spruced up with the dome that is hard to take in at a glance. Santa Maria del Fiore is the fourth-largest Catholic Church in the world. One side of the church has a small entrance that leads to the dome. After buying a ticket right here on the spot, you can not only see, how the famous Brunelleschi’s dome is constructed, but also to get a very close look at the frescoes adorning it. Finally, the court, situated at a height of about 100 meters, overlooks the splendid city and its surrounding hills and it’s one of the best panoramic points of Florence.
Campanile di Giotto – Giotto’s Bell Tower
Giotto’s campanile is another great place to enjoy a panoramic view of the cradle of the Renaissance. The campanile stands next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture. A tower, rising to a height of more than 80 meters, is waiting for tourists who want to overlook Florence and to take a close look at the graceful cathedral.
Torre San Niccolò – the Tower of St. Nicholas
If you are looking for a different panoramic points of Florence, the Tower of San Niccolò is perfect for you. It dates back to the times when, in the 13th and 14th centuries, the city was surrounded by a new defensive wall. A tower-gate was also built at the same time. In the middle of the 19th century, the city wall was completely demolished, but the tower remained intact. A variety of excursions take place here in summer afternoons, during which the guides tell the history of medieval Florence and conduct tourists to the top of the old tower, which offers a great view of areas surrounding the city and the Arno River. In summer time, there is an itallian aperitivo bar opened nearby and various manifestations of artists (during the last of them, the tower was converted into a huge head with ears, eyes and nose).
Villa di Bellosguardo – Villa Belosguardo
Bellosguardo or ‘the beautiful view’ is an area in Florence, hiding itself in low hills, seamed with small mounds, blanketed in green centennial olive trees and quietly resting luxurious villas. Here you can look at Florence from another angle – you can see the cathedral not from the side, but from the front. It’s one of the hidden panoramic points of Florence. Reaching Bellosguardo is more difficult than the other areas of Florence – you have to look for Villa Bellosguardo, which accommodated a good number of famous people in the 19th century (Giuseppe Garibaldi, Henry James, Charles Eliot Norton, and much earlier – Galileo Galilei). Unfortunately, it is impossible to get inside the villa at the moment, unless you are staying there as its hotel guest, but the court next to the gates opens the skyline of completely different Florence.