Florence is the capital of Tuscany, one of Italy’s most famous regions known for its beauty, history, stunning architecture, and amazing food. To be the capital of Tuscany, the city has to be something special and Florence doesn’t disappoint. It’s full of romance, amazing buildings, fantastic art, and, of course, some magical views.
If you’re planning a visit to this wonderful city and are looking for the best views in Florence, then you have come to the right place. We have lined up the creme de la creme of the views in Florence so you can experience the best of them while you’re there.
If you have ever played Assasins Creed or are vaguely in the know about Florence, you will know about the famous landmark the Duomo also know as Brunelleschi’s Dome. It’s a must-see for any visitor of Florence and an absolutely stunning building featuring the architecture of Filippo Brunelleschi.
Once you have marveled at the exterior and interior of the Duomo, it’s time to climb to the top to get one of the best and most iconic views in Florence.
Now, the Duomo is a busy place, and to get to the viewpoint you’re going to have to climb up 463 steps in a single file which will likely involve a bit of queuing. It is worth the wait and once you reach the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome you will be spoiled with an amazing view over the entire city of Florence and the hills surrounding it.
While the view of Florence from the Duomo is fantastic, you don’t really have the time to soak it in if you’re there during a busy time of day. You can’t help but feel rude if you spend too much time up there but luckily, you can get an exclusive view from the north terrace of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore if you don’t mind spending a bit.
The north terrace of the cathedral is locked away from the public unless you pay to join the Little Peek of Florence tour at the Duomo. This tour takes you around the Duomo to extra bits that aren’t accessible to the general public, one of which is the north terrace of the cathedral.
When on the terrace, you’ll have time to soak in the views of Florence’s skyline and without crowds either. You’ll be able to marvel at Brunelleschi’s Dome which is just across the way and see the entire city. It’s worth joining the tour just for the view.
Long days of walking around sightseeing, especially in Florence as there is so much to see, do require coffee, a light lunch, and can make one rather thirsty for some local beer and wine. What if you could have an amazing view of the city while taking a rest, sipping fine Tuscan wine away from the crowds? You’d say yes right?! Well, I have the spot for you!
If you head to Piazza Della Repubblica and go into the Rinascente store then take the lift to the top floor you’ll arrive at ToscaNino, a charming restaurant with a stunning terrace that overlooks the city. The terrace isn’t crowded and offers amazing views of Florence and you can even see the Duomo and Catherdral.
The best bit? You can order some delicious food, wine, beer, or coffee to go with your amazing view, put your feet up, and just enjoy Florence from afar without any tourists around you.
The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most famous buildings that adorn Florence’s skyline and it’s probably already on your list of places to visit already as it has a copy of the statue of David created by Michelangelo. What not many people who visit the museum know is that you can climb up to the top of the bell tower to see an amazing view of Florence.
One of the best things about the viewpoint from the Palazzo Vecchio is that it’s not that busy and it’s open until 9 pm between April and September. So, if you have ever wanted a view of Florence during sunset without the crowds the bell tower at the Palazzo Vecchio is the place to do it.
It costs around 10 euros to access the bell tower or it’s included with the 14 euro ticket needed to enter the museum. The views wrap around the entire city and, of course, feature both the cathedral and the Duomo.
Giotto’s Campanile is a bell tower with the Duomo complex and while it doesn’t quite have the same views of Florence as from the Duomo or the privacy of the view from the north terrace of the cathedral, it’s a much easier climb and you get a very close up view of the Duomo itself.
The view from the top is a stunning 360-degree look at Florence’s skyline but it is covered in netting to stop birds from roosting in the bell tower, so taking photos is more than a challenge. But, maybe this is a view of Florence to record in your mind and soul, leaving your camera in your pocket.
For a stunning panoramic view of Florence with the sun setting in the background, you should head on over to Piazzale Michelangelo. Now, Piazzale Michelangelo has nothing to do with Michelangelo, it’s actually just a car parking space that happens to have one of the best views in Florence.
The Piazzale Michelangelo has become a very popular place to see Florence draped in the colors of the sunset so do not be surprised to see huge crowds and have to hustle for a spot. Be sure to get there early and to make sure to hold your ground when latecomers arrive. It might sound a little stressful but the crowd is actually quite fun and it’s certainly worth it for the view.
If you’re looking for a less crowded spot with a similar view of Florence to that of the Piazzale Michelangelo you can head to San Miniato al Monte which is about a 5-minute walk from Piazzale Michelangelo.
The view isn’t quite as good but it’s still good if you know what I mean, it’s also a great option if you arrive at the Piazzale Michelangelo late and there is no space for you. You don’t just need to head there for the sunset views either, the view of Florence from the Church Of San Miniato al Monte is gorgeous at every time of day and encompasses the entire city plus the hills behind.
The Church Of San Miniato al Monte is a bit of a hidden gem that doesn’t get any crowds and it’s also a great place to see from both the inside and out. The church features architecture that goes back more than 800 years and some of the best things to see are the amazing mosaic in the center which was made in 1297 and the Chapel of the Crucifix which was designed in 1448 by Michelozzo.
The Giardino Delle Rose is a beautiful rose garden that is found just down from the Piazzale Michelangelo, and not far from the Ponte Vecchio. It was first created way back in 1865 and has stood proud and immaculately kept ever since.
The Giardino Delle Rose is not the biggest garden at 2 acres but it has an amazing view of Florence that encompasses rooftops, hills, and the sunset if you time it right. The Giardino Delle Rose is open all year from 9 am up until sunset, and if you’re looking to have a romantic picnic with your partner, laying down a blanket in the Rose Garden for sunset is a great idea.
It’s also worth looking at the amazing garden as well as the views. It’s full of color and features lemon trees, hundreds of different colors, and species of roses, and there is even a Japanese garden which was donated but Kyoto, Florence’s twin city.
As you can see, Florence is full of incredible views but they do tend to be quite busy places. Some of my favorite views of Florence are the simple ones such as just looking down the River Arno that splits the city into two or actually looking over Florence from the surrounding villages up high in the hills.
Also, the simplicity and typical Italian feeling of sitting in a Piazza eating some pasta or pizza, sipping an espresso is also a view that gets me deep. Whatever your favorite kind of views are, you’ll find them in Florence.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!