Where to get the best panoramic views in Florence

Best panoramic views in Florence
Photo: Brando (CC BY 2.0) - https://www.flickr.com/photos/bpprice/

7 spots to get the best views of Firenze

From giant domes to beautiful cathedrals, from lush gardens to stylish palazzos, from bridges to monuments, it’s no doubt the city of Florence has a lot of magnificent things to admire. And what better place to marvel at the artistic and architectural treasures of the Tuscan capital than by viewing them from atop? Exactly. Here’s our selection of 7 of the most beautiful panoramic views of Florence

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Brunelleschi’s dome


If you want to get a bird’s eye view of the city of Florence, then Brunelleschi’s giant dome atop the Duomo di Firenze is not to miss. Dominating the Tuscan capital, the dome has a diameter of 45.5 meter. To get a glimpse of one of the most stunning 360-degree views of Florence, just climb those 463 steps (you will be distracted by Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes so don’t you worry about feeling fatigued) and when you’ll arrive at the top, it will have been absolutely worth it. 

Giotto’s bell tower

Photo: Nuno Cardoso (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/nunocardoso/

Piazza del Duomo is also home to the famous bell tower by Giotto, adjacent to the Cathedral, and built from 1334 till 1359. This 84.7-meter-high bell tower is one of the most significant testimonies of Florentine Gothic architecture of the 14th century. Covered in white, red and green marble, like the one that adorns the Cathedral, this landmark has a rectangular base and is considered the most beautiful in Italy. If you’re up for going up the 414 steps, we can assure you that the outstanding view of Florence is worth the climb.  

The Bardini Gardens

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While not as popular as the Boboli Gardens, trust us when we say the Bardini Gardens are a must-visit. Not only are they less crowded than the Boboli Gardens, they have a splendid panoramic view of Florence, so much so that Villa Bardini (where the gardens are located) was nicknamed Villa Belvedere. If you find yourself in Firenze walking along the Arno, don’t miss out on one of the best views of Florence. Plus, the Bardini Garden also has a marvellous Wisteria tunnel, it makes the view that much cooler! 

Piazzale Michelangelo

best panoramic view in florence:piazzale michelangelo florence view

If you want to get one of the best views of Florence, there’s no doubt you need to head to Piazzale Michelangelo, situated on the Oltrarno. This piazzale offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Florence and the Arno river. While it isn’t as posh as the name would have you believe, it’s one of the most popular viewing spots in Firenze, designed in 1869 by the Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi as a major renovation of the city walls. The piazzale was built in honor of Michelangelo and his works, which were supposed to be displayed here, both the David and the sculptures found in the Basilica di San Lorenzo. Best time of the day to stop by? Sunset, of course. However, if you’re not a big fan of crowds, maybe you should climb a bit more up and head to San Miniato al Monte – the views aren’t as terrific, but good enough and especially without any crowds. 

Palazzo Vecchio – Arnolfo Tower

torre arnolfo palazzo vecchio

When thinking about where to get the best views of Florence it’s only natural to ask ourselves which are the tallest buildings in the Tuscan capital, correct? And after Brunelleschi’s Dome, the tallest building towering over the Florentine skyline is the 95-meter Arnolfo Tower of Palazzo Vecchio. The Medieval palazzo and former residence of the Medici family isn’t just known for its copy of Michelangelo’s David and Sala del Cinquecento – its bell tower, dedicated to the famous architect Arnolfo di Cambio, also offers one of the most striking views of Florence. All it takes is climbing up 233 steps! The entrance to the tower is through the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio (there’s a special ticket dedicated to visiting just the Arnolfo Tower).

The Rose Garden

best panoramic view in florence: rose garden florence

There are many beautiful gardens in Florence – in addition to admiring their flowers and plants, some of them also offer stunning views. One of these is the Rose Garden, just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Ponte Vecchio, on the other side of the Arno. Entrance is free of charge and the garden is open year-round. Obviously, the best time to visit is May and June, but the view of Florence is always the same, no matter the season. A great spot for couples!

Forte Belvedere

 Via di S. Leonardo, 1

forte belvedere firenze

The Fortress of Santa Maria in San Giorgio del Belvedere, more commonly called Forte Belvedere, is located on the highest point of the Boboli hill. Designed by Bernardo Buontalenti for the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici, the function of the fortress was to defend the city from invasions and rebellions. Not only is Forte Belvedere one of the two fortresses of Florence, it’s also a famed panoramic viewpoint. Just a head up, it’s only open in summertime and to reach it you’ll have to walk a while!

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