Piazzale Michelangelo is known as the Balcony of Florence because it offers a breathtaking view of the city that you’ll never forget. It’s a large square, the ideal end of a bus tour, but it also offers the possibility to park you car, if you have one.
There are also public buses available to get you downtown, but who want to walk can reach the heart of the Medicean city in only 20 minutes: a great idea to know the city at its best and breathe the authentic Tuscan atmosphere. This will allow you to stop and take your own time admiring Florence.
Piazzale Michelangelo also has many take away food stalls: the ideal place where to eat a tipical “panino col lampredotto“, or maybe just an ice cream.
Piazzale Michelangelo, which is named after the famous Italian artist, is one of the best and most famous spots for an exciting view of the city, at day or at night, and of course it’s free!
You can not visit Florence without a taking a picture here. The view from this square allows you to see several beautiful places of the Tuscan city: you could start with a lovely walk along the southern side of the Arno River upstream to the St. Nicholas tower, an old tower from the medieval walls of the city now destroyed.
It can be seen it from afar, protruding on the roofs of Florence. Here, you are directly under the square, and you can just follow the ramp up to the top of the hill.
Another nice walk in the area is the one to San Miniato, reachable directly from Via San Niccolo. There is also a “shortcut” from the picturesque stone steps leading directly down to the square in a few minutes.
From here, it passes in front of the entrance of a lovely rose garden, but note that is open only in May and June.
From Piazzale Michelangelo, then, in just five minutes walk you will get to the church of San Salvatore leading to the monastery of San Miniato. This place offers the best views of the city, and it’s a wonderful example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture dating back to 1013.
The monks who live here produce honey, herbal teas and liqueurs that can be purchased. You can also visit the church, but you should know that the monks sing Gregorian chant at 5.30 pm.
Behind the beautiful gardens surrounding the church there is an interesting monumental cemetery built in the mid 1800’s and protected by the ancient defensive walls of the church designed by Michelangelo during the siege of Florence in 1529-1530.
If you want to discover Piazzale Michelangelo as well as the other wonders of Florence in a small group tour, please click here