If you’re heading to Florence and are wondering about the best panoramic views in the city – this article is for you. We will not only tell you where they are, we will also show you how to visit them in a good sequential order, so you could save time, and experience this city from the best angles that it has to offer. So, let’s begin.
All of the sights are located in a walking distance, and depending on how much time you spend in each place – you should be able to cover them all in less than a day. Please note: there are several moderate difficulty hills on the way, so if you’re not feeling good about your physical shape, just hop in a taxi. The driving distance between each site shouldn’t be longer than 5-7 minutes.
Start = yellow; Finish = red.
1. Campanile di Giotto – Giotto’s Bell Tower
You will start your scenic journey in the heart of the city by going up to the gorgeous tower of Giotto. It is recommended to get here early in the morning to avoid huge waiting lines. Please note: you can also go up to the top of the Dome (pictured below), located right opposite the Tower, attached to the same Cathedral. You will have to go in through a separate entrance, but the ticket price covers both attractions. The Dome is actually a bit higher with 463 steps up and no elevators. The number of passes (included in the ticket price) to the Dome is limited and can be “sold out” by 11am.
- Entrance fee: 15 Euro
- Height: 414 steps (no elevators)
- Opening hours: 08:15 – 6:50pm. Closed on every Tuesday of a new month.
- For more info: https://www.museumflorence.com/monuments
2. Giardino di Boboli – The Boboli Gardens
Once you’re finished with the magnificent views from the Giotto’s Tower, you will be heading straight to one of the coolest bridges in the World – Ponte Vecchio. From Ponte Vecchio you will go up a small, short incline to the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace), which has the entrance to the gardens. You are also welcome to visit the palazzo, which is an interesting museum with several rich permanent and temporary collections. There are two different ticket options to the palazzo – depending on the collections that you would like to see.
The ticket booth is located on the right side of the main entrance.
- Entrance fee: 7 Euro
- Opening hours: 08:15-4:50pm November-February; 08:15-7:30pm June-August. Closed on the 1st and the last Monday of every month.
- For more info: https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-museums/pitti-palace.html
3. Forte di Belvedere – Belvedere Fort
Belvedere Fort is conveniently located on a 5-minute walk from the Boboli Gardens and offers spectacular views over Florence. You can access its free observation platform by hiking up the center of Boboli gardens (as pictured above) and then turning right. Once you find the trail continue walking straight along a tall wall and you will soon end up at the small metal gates, next to a security booth. Go out of the gates, turn right and climb up the stairs. A beautiful and scenic panorama is awaiting you.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening hours: 10:30-6pm
- For more info: http://museicivicifiorentini.comune.fi.it/en/fortebelvedere/
4. Piazzale Michelangelo – Michelangelo Square
To get to this next magnificent and famous destination might be quite a chore. If you’re not in a good physical shape, you might consider hiring a taxi, but if you are – then you can walk. To get to the Michelangelo square you will go down the same stairs, turn right and go around the Fort. Once you reach the main road, you will turn left and go down a steep hill, turning right on the first main perpendicular road. Then you will climb up another tough hill and once you reach the top you will be at the square.
Total walking time: between 20-40 minutes.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening hours: Open 24 hours, 365 days/a year.
5. Palazzo Vecchio – Vecchio Palace
You will complete your triangular tour of the best panoramic locations in Florence once you reach the tall tower of the Vecchio Palace, which like our first sight, is located in the heart of the city. To get here, you would take a trail down from the Michelangelo square which ends in the main road that will in turn lead you to the Ponte alle Grazie bridge. Cross the bridge, turn left and go straight until you reach the famous Uffizi Gallery, where you will turn right. You will spot the beautiful Vecchio Palace at the end of the block.
- Entrance fee: 10 Euro
- Opening hours: 9am-9pm April-September; 9-5pm (October-March). No admission 30 minutes before the closing time.
- For more info: http://www.uffizi.org/florence-museums/palazzo-vecchio/
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So, which one’s your favorite?