4 spots to get sky high views over the city of Florence, Italy

Views over the city of Florence

Overlooking the city of Florence is quite spectacular, especially on a sunny day or clear night. If you’re looking for a few good spots where you can gaze over the sea of terracotta rooftops and the buildings making up its skyline, here are 4 spots to get sky high views over the city of Florence.

1. Giotto’s Bell Tower

Not only is seeing the amazing Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) a must when in Florence, so to is going inside it’s vast and beautiful structure! It’s one of the reasons why I returned to the city. I didn’t get a chance the first time. Take some time to go inside the cathedral starting with Giotto’s Bell Tower.

Outside the Duomo Florence Dec 2018
Outside the Duomo - Florence, Italy

Climbing the 414 steps to the top of the bell tower is not as easy as it may look.  The stairwell is narrow and the steps very steep, so it’s not for claustrophobes or those who have difficulties walking! The view once you get to the top is fantastic. It’s slightly obscured by the wire mesh circling its top, but you still get a great view of the city and Brunelleschi’s Dome opposite.

Duomo - from Giotto's Bell Tower - Florence
Duomo - from Giotto's Bell Tower - Florence

The cathedral was competed in the 14th Century and towers above Piazzale del Duomo where it’s located. While walking around the city, you’ll see the tower and dome peaking above the rooftops.

Fun fact
Did you know it’s the third largest church in the world after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St Paul’s in London?

2. The tower of Palazzo Vecchio

For me the tower of Palazzo Vecchio was one of my favourite spots for a view over the city. You can get a beautiful shot of Duomo.  It was absolutely fantastic!

Tower Vecchio Florence Italy
Tower Vecchio Florence
Steps up Tower of Palazzo Vecchio
Steps up Tower of Palazzo Vecchio

There’s a limited amount of space in the tower so they let people go up as others come down –so two come down, two go up. It’s because of this you’ll most likely find a queue unless you go first thing in the morning. Even then it can be very slow and a wait. Despite the fact I got there just before it opened on a Sunday (it was just before 10am), there was already a queue.

There 249 steps from the ticket handover point but over 400 in total. The queuing actually makes it feel a lot less which is good. I ended up waiting 45 minutes before I was able to go up. But it was definitely worth the wait. It was the shot I’d wanted to get on my visit and it didn’t disappoint!

Duomo Florence Italy, Dec 2018
Duomo Florence - Italy

You can get up to the tower on its own or purchase a combined ticket to visit the museum at the same time.  

3. Uffizi Gallery terrace

Regardless of whether you enjoy art or not, you’re sure to love something about the Uffizi Gallery. As you walk around most of the building with its amazing works of art including paintings and sculptures, you will find one or two places in the corridors where you can see the Ponte Bridge and Arno River.

From inside Uffizi Gallery_Florence
From inside Uffizi Gallery_Florence

Once you’ve found the end, you can relax on its terrace for a few minutes and get a peaking view over the city. You can’t always see a huge amount but it’s definitely worth stopping by the terrace once you’re done with the gallery.  

4. Piazzale Michelangelo

Located on a hill, Piazzle Michelangelo is a square with a fantastic panoramic view over the city. On the other side of the Arno River it’s in the Oltrarno district of the city. Once you’ve walked up the stairs or made your way up the ramps from the Piazza Giuseppe Pogg – both likely to have you a little breathless – you’ll see the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Tower Vecchio and Florence’s Ponte Vecchio bridge in the distance. I went up at night and Duomo and the tower flowed in the darkness.

From inside Uffizi Gallery_Florence
From inside Uffizi Gallery_Florence

Going to Palazzo Michelangelo very early in the morning, during the day or into the night will offer a great views.

Read my post on 8 things to do in Florence if you’re looking for inspiration on what else to do while in the city.

    I’d love to hear where you’ve been that will also make a good spot for seeing the city. I can make sure I stop there on my next trip!  Let me know in the comments section below.
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2 thoughts on “4 spots to get sky high views over the city of Florence, Italy”

    1. Enzo, thanks for your comment. Duomo in Florence is one of my favourite buildings! One of the reasons I went back was because I wanted to see it more close up. Italy is just beautiful!

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