Is it possible to walk while overlooking a city? Discover the best viewpoints of Florence to enjoy the city from above, for a breathtaking experience!

Seeing the Tuscan capital is undoubtedly one of the most coveted travel experiences, both by Italians and foreigners. That’s why we previously suggested an itinerary for you to visit Florence in three days, from the Uffizi Museum to strolls along the Lungarno, immersing yourself in its unique atmosphere.

This time, however, we want to propose something different from the great classics, or rather: an itinerary to experience them on a different level. We want to show you the best five vantage points from which to discover Florence from above, walking “above the city”, away from the crowds that sometimes surround museums and monuments. From the well-known breathtaking views to the detail of historically interesting places best suited to enjoy them.


See Florence from the Cupola

Florence’s Duomo, the cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore, is the third largest church in the world– only the cathedrals of St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London surpass it in size, but they were built after Florence’s Duomo.

firenze dall'alto panorama dalla cupola di santa maria del fiore

In addition to being an architectural masterpiece, and a place to admire some splendid frescoes by great painters, Santa Maria del Fiore offers one of Florence’s most evocative vantage points. The dome of the Duomo, Brunelleschi’s absolute masterpiece, reveals two spectacular sights: its interior, accessible by stairs hewn from its structure, and a dramatic sweeping view of the entire city, which it dominates from above.

The highest museum in Florence

firenze dall'alto panorama da piazzale michelangelo

Nestled in the greenery of the Boboli Gardens, a model for the gardens of many European courts and a true open-air museum, is another of the most popular places to see Florence from above. It is Piazzale Michelangelo, from which you can admire the panorama of downtown Florence and beyond: if the weather is clement and the air clear, you can follow the course of the Arno until you see it disappear over the Apennine reliefs on the horizon.

The view from a height of 100 meters

By climbing the Arnolfo Tower, the highest point of the Palazzo Vecchio (or Palazzo della Signoria), you can enjoy a different view of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, majestic also when seen from a distant height, and you can also walk through the Camminamenti di Ronda – the inner city patrol walkways. Hidden behind the palace battlements, the walkways were necessary for the palace guards to keep watch over Florence, and they still preserve the trapdoors from which, if under attack, soldiers would pour boiling oil on the attackers.

Embracing the Duomo

Last but not least, halfway between Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, not far from the riverfront and Florence’s finest craft stores where leather, gold, and silver are crafted, you can find the fifth of the scenic spots we have chosen for you.

firenze dall'alto panorama dalla biblioteca delle oblate

© Wikimedia Commons – ph. Giaccai

This is the terrace of the Oblate Library, which gives a different and more intimate perspective of Brunelleschi’s dome: you’ll almost feel like you can touch it, seeing it peeping out behind the library roof.

To Florence with Italo

Reaching the cradle of the Renaissance with Italo is easy: more than 50 trains to Florence a day connect the city with many of Italy’s most important capitals such as Rome and Milan, Naples, Bologna and Venice. And remember: going far and wide around the city makes you hungry, better to prepare yourself with the list of the best places to eat Bistecca Fiorentina – the city’s famous massive poterhouse steak!