A visit to Michelangelo square (better known in Italian as Piazzale Michelangelo) while in Florence is a must if you're looking for the best view of Florence and Tuscany beyond!
Not only that, it's a great way to get a small break from the crowds in the city center below.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this beautiful terrace in Florence Italy!
So what is Piazzale Michelangelo and why should you see it when you visit Florence?
Why is this whole terrace named for one of Italy's most famous artists?
And what is there to see and do up there?
On this page, you'll find:
Built in 1869 at a time when Florence was the capital of Italy, the square offers unrivalled views of the whole city from its location in the Oltrarno district.
Designed by renowned architect Giuseppe Poggi, the piazza was part of a major renovation of Florence, including adding riverside walkways along the Arno River.
The square forms a panoramic terrace, with its most prominent feature being a replica of the statue of David by the legendary artist to whom the piazza is dedicated.
The neo-classical loggia was originally designed as a museum of works by Michelangelo, but the museum never happened.
The answer is yes!
To walk from the historic center of Florence takes 20-30 minutes, depending on where you leave from, and of course, depending on your walking pace.
Either way, your goal is to get to the other side of the River Arno, to the neighborhood called Oltrarno (bonus if you are starting from there!)
Because there is more than one route to the top, it can be nice to walk one of them on the way there, and the other on the way back down.
The number of steps you'll need to take will also depend on your pace and if you're by yourself or part of a group.
Part of the climb includes short staircases but in many places, you'll stroll by the side of the road, up a direct path, and then up another staircase again.
I would say the walk is not that difficult, especially if you pace yourself and take it slowly.
It might seem far, but from the bottom of the hill to the top takes around 10-15 minutes on foot.
There are lots of buses which go up and down the hill so it's easy to jump on one of them and avoid the steep climb.
The best way to find the route you want to take from where you are is to use either Google Maps or the Moovit app.
Enter Piazza Michelangelo as your destination, choose the public transportation icon, and you'll see your options from where you stand.
Most bus options will take around 30 minutes from various points in central Florence.
Don't forget to buy your bus tickets in advance so you have some ready to go when you need them.
Taking a taxi is an easy and quick way to get to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Depending on where you are starting from, the trip should take about 10-15 minutes and costs about 10 euros from the historic center.
One option is to take a taxi there and then walk back down to enjoy the view of Arno river, Ponte Vecchio and the rest of the city.
This innovative way to get to Piazzale Michelangelo offers an easy, safe, quick and affordable option, and has a low impact on the environment.
This is the main reason people love to visit this terrace, it offers one of the best panoramic views of Florence anywhere.
Florentines and tourists alike love to come up here to enjoy the sunset so you will not find it uncrowded at that hour!
Michelangelo's David is without a doubt one of the most famous sculptures in the world, and a bronze cast stands in the center of the terrace.
The David statue was unveiled in 1504, and he stood initially in Piazza della Signoria.
Today the original is inside the Accademia Gallery.
This version of Michaelangelo's David looks out over a fabulous view of Florence.
Designed by Giuseppe Poggi, the architect responsible for the Piazzale Michelangelo design, the Fountain with Flowers is a beautiful fountain set within the Rampe del Poggi, the set of steps leading up to the terrace.
The Poggi Ramps have recently undergone extensive restoration after being largely untouched for many decades.
They are now a delightful way of reaching the terrace.
This fine example of Romanesque architecture, considered one of the best of all, sits on the highest point of the hill with a stunning view of the city and Tuscany beyond.
The church's construction began in 1013, and by 1373 it was run by the Olivetans, whose monastery adjoins the church.
They still run it to this day.
Keep heading up from the main part of the Michelangelo piazzale and you can't miss the entrance to the church.
The church is open Sundays 8:15am-1:00pm and then again from 3pm-7pm, and on weekdays from 9:30am-1:00pm and then 3pm-7pm.
The Cimitero delle Porte Sante is a fascinating monumental cemetery within the fortifications of the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte.
Featuring several interesting neo-Gothic architectural features, the cemetery is the resting place of many notable figures.
This includes the Italian artist Pietro Annigoni, best known for his classic portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
The cemetery is open for visitors at the same time as the basilica and makes for an interesting free detour.
Located just below the Piazzale Michelangelo Florence is the beautiful Giardino delle Rose, the Rose Garden.
It is a wonderful place to visit and offers stunning city views.
The terraced rose garden is the work of Giuseppe Poggi and was developed as part of the renovation of Florence in the 1860's.
The Rose Garden is open on weekdays and Saturday 9am-8pm and from 10am-8pm on Sundays, and is completely free to enter!
The Iris is the symbol of Florence and has been for many centuries, and few places in the world cultivates as many different examples as Florence's delightful Iris Garden.
Be aware that the garden is only open to visitors for a few weeks in May each year when the irises are blooming.
The Iris Garden features at least 1500 varieties of these spectacular flowers.
The Tower of San Niccolo is a famous Florentine landmark that was once part of the defensive walls that protected the city center.
During the city's renovation in the 1860's, most of the defensive walls were destroyed, as architect Giuseppe Poggi instructed.
This Tower was left in place, and today visitors can climb the 160 steps to the top to take in quite amazing views of the entire city of Florence.
The tower stands alone in Piazza Giuseppe Poggi, a square dedicated to the famous Florentine architect.
It's open during the summer months for guided tours only.
Piazza Michelangelo is a wonderful place to visit, if only for the views.
This is an ideal spot for:
It is completely free to visit Piazzale Michelangelo, no tickets are needed and it is open 24 hours a day.
You therefore have no excuse not to come here at some point during your trip and soak up the atmosphere!