Piazzale Michelangelo: the view of Florence par excellence
Piazzale Michelangelo is the unmissable place to have the best view of Florence as a whole. The city will be in front of you from a unique perspective, giving you the chance of understanding how much the Renaissance heritage of the city is still vivid and – quite literally – visible.
Piazzale Michelangelo: a XIX Century homage to a XVI Century Genius
The Piazzale Michelangelo – Michelangelo’s Plaza – design dates to 1869. Florence has been the capital city of Italy from 1865 for almost six years. The acquisition of the status of Capital triggered for Florence the “Risanamento di Firenze”, a massive urban redevelopment.
The architect and engineer Giuseppe Poggi (1811 – 1901) was in charge of the Risanamento and the design of Piazzale Michelangelo was part of it.
The piazzale was the summit, literally and not, of the Viale dei Colli – Hills Avenue – an 8 kilometers walkway from Porta Romana – Rome Gates – to Ponte San Niccolò – San Niccolò’s bridge.
The Florentines with their usual grumpy mood, were not happy of the project, as they labelled it as very expensive. Nevertheless, very soon the Piazzale conquered the heart of even the grumpiest Florentine.
Piazzale Michelangelo features the copies of some of Michelangelo’s masterpieces: the celebrated marble David (the original one is treasured by the Galleria dell’Accademia) and the four Allegories (the original are in the Cappelle Medicee complex).
But the real main character here is the view.
Piazzale Michelangelo: the perfect Florence view
Again: you can’t get a better one. Actually you can get one that is – almost – as good as the Piazzale Michelangelo one: it is from Fiesole and, being Fiesole a hill on the opposite bank of the Arno river, it is a view exactly specular to the one from the Piazzale.
Nevertheless, the view of Florence from the Piazzale – a skyline including the Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio, the Santa Croce church and the vestiges of the medieval city wall – is absolutely breathtaking. Be there at dusk and you will immediately fall in love with Florence!!!