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Are you looking for the best views of Florence Italy? You’re in the right place!
Welcome to the enchanting city of Florence, Italy, where history and beauty blend seamlessly to create a captivating experience for every traveler. Nestled in the heart of Tuscany, this Renaissance gem is renowned for its exquisite architecture, renowned artwork, and, of course, its breathtaking views.
One of the most enjoyable things to do in a city as effortlessly beautiful as Florence is to find the best viewpoints. This can be a challenging feat if you’ve never visited the city before! Luckily, we’re here to help with this roundup of the 12 best views of Florence.
From stunning panoramas of the city’s iconic landmarks to serene vistas of rolling hills and the Arno River, Florence’s scenic splendor will leave you in awe.
Best Views of Florence
From the Duomo
One of Florence’s most iconic landmarks is the Duomo, which stands majestically in the heart of the city. Visitors can book tickets to climb the iconic Brunelleschi’s Dome, and a trip to the top provides one of the best views of Florence you can find.
As you ascend the steps and reach the top, a panoramic view awaits, offering a breathtaking sight that stretches across the whole city. Gazing out from the Duomo’s vantage point, your eyes are treated to a mesmerizing maze of rooftops, ornate palaces, and winding cobblestone streets.
You’ll see the River Arno winding through the city, and when seeing it from above, you can appreciate what a bustling hub of activity it is, with boats traveling up and down constantly.
From the high elevation of The Duomo, the rolling hills of Tuscany are visible in the distance, and they create the most scenic of backdrops. It’s one of the best views of Florence to admire at sunset – as the sun casts its golden hues over the city, the landscape transforms, offering a different perspective with every passing hour.
Tickets inside the dome cost €30, and pre-booking is recommended.
Ponte Vecchio is one of the best viewpoints in Florence and is an absolute must-visit. It’s a popular tourist spot for many reasons, mainly its status as the oldest bridge in the city – it dates all the way back to 1345 and is the only bridge in Florence that survived WW2.
This isn’t the only reason to visit, though – it provides a unique view of the city and the tranquil Arno River and makes a fantastic picture spot.
As you stand atop the bridge, you’ll have a remarkable view of Florence’s architectural marvels. Looking upstream, you’ll spot the medieval towers that punctuate the city’s skyline, displaying their intricate designs. Casting your gaze downstream, you’ll catch sight of the Oltrarno district and its charming restaurants and boutiques.
It’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll as well as admiring the view, as the bridge is lined with quaint shops. You’ll find everything from antique gold to souvenir fridge magnets in these shops, and it’s a charming place to browse.
The view from Ponte Vecchio is particularly captivating at sunset when the warm, golden rays of sunlight reflect along the river. Sunrise is also an incredible time to admire this beautiful view and offers the added benefit of avoiding the crowds the bridge can amass.
Ponte Vecchio is one of the city’s few free sites to visit. It can get busy during the busy summer season, so visit at sunrise if you want to avoid large crowds.
The enchanting Boboli Gardens is a verdant oasis nestled in the heart of the city. It was designed as a garden for the Medici family, so it is situated behind their ‘palace’ – Pitti Palazzo.
It’s one of the most beautiful places in Florence, and a visit offers a tranquil escape from the bustle of the city. The 75 gardens boast not just plants and grass but fountains, statues, and even an amphitheater!
A wander through the gardens’ windy pathways admiring exploring the beautiful plants and stunning architecture is a great way to spend an afternoon, but this isn’t the only reason to visit – Boboli Gardens also offers a unique view over Florence and one that provides an entirely different perspective on the city.
Perched at a much higher vantage point than most of the city, the Boboli Gardens offer splendid views over the entirety of Florence. You’ll see the signature burnt orange rooftops sprawl out in front of your eyes, and the iconic domed roof of the Duomo takes center stage in the middle of the landscape, standing tall and majestic.
Standard tickets cost €10 during the peak season, but they also offer free entry days, so it’s worth checking dates online. You’re allowed to bring food into the gardens, so it makes a beautiful Florence picnic spot.
The Cafe Terrace at the Uffizi Gallery
Perhaps one of the best views over Florence is when sipping a steaming cup of espresso while perched on the terrace at the Uffizi Gallery. After spending some time exploring the gallery (which is described as the best museum in the world to see Renaissance paintings), head up to the Cafe Terrace – you won’t regret it.
The terrace is surrounded by intricately detailed stone walls, and the Duomo’s dome can be seen peeking over the top. Flanked by the orange roof tiles of the city and various ornate church spires, this little snapshot of Florence’s skyline can be admired perfectly from the terrace.
The atmosphere at the cafe is perfect all day long, and the many umbrellas make it the perfect place to escape from the summer heat. It’s a must-visit!
Regular tickets to the Uffizi Gallery cost €25 euro and include entrance to the cafe. It’s open Tuesday-Sunday each week.
Giotto’s Bell Tower
When it comes to the best views of Florence, Gioto’s Bell Tower deserves a pretty prominent spot on the list. After a long ascent up the narrow spiral staircase, you take a step out onto the open-air terrace and are rewarded with a breathtaking panorama over the city.
From this elevated perch, the iconic orange rooftops of Florence stretch as far as the eye can see, and the view is simply mesmerizing.
You’ll most likely recognize the view from Giotto’s Bell Tower, as this is the place that offers the best view of The Duomo in Florence. Its magnificent dome stands proudly at the center, and the unobstructed view you get here makes it the perfect spot to snap a picture.
While The Duomo is a real highlight of the view, there’s a lot else to admire – you can see the Arno River winding its way through the city, and beyond the sprawling tiled rooftops and church spires, you can see the rolling hills of Tuscany in the distance. It’s easily one of the best views of Florence, and you don’t want to miss it.
Tickets to visit the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower are included within three of the different multi-attraction passes offered in Florence – the Brunelleschi Pass, the Giotto Pass, and the Ghiberti Pass.
The Rose Garden
Located on the southern side of Piazzale Michelangelo, The Rose Garden offers a serene escape from the bustling city of Florence. The beautifully manicured garden is made up of rows upon rows of meticulously tended rose bushes, showcasing a dazzling array of colors and varieties.
The exquisite garden boasts over 1,000 different species of roses, and the scent is every bit as wonderful as you might imagine.
As well as all the roses, the garden offers visitors something else – a spectacular view of Florence. Situated on a hillside, The Rose Garden offers a panoramic vista that encompasses the city’s most iconic landmarks.
From this elevated vantage point, you can witness the sprawling beauty of Florence stretching out before you. The grand dome of the Duomo is visible in the distance, as is the quintessentially-Firenze view of burnt orange rooftops.
With the backdrop of the Tuscan hills and the foreground made up of hundreds of rose bushes – this might be one of the prettiest views in the whole city.
Entrance to The Rose Garden is free, so it’s great for budget travelers searching for the best view over Florence.
From the town of Fiesole
Located just a 20-minute bus ride away, the hill town of Fiesole makes for a charming day trip and also offers one of the best views over Florence. Make your way up the pathway to the belvedere at the Convent of San Francisco – it’s a steep climb, but your efforts are well rewarded by the view.
As you stand at the top of the hill, the view you will see is like something from a postcard – it’s hard to believe it’s real. The whole of Florence spreads out in the distance, with the Duomo’s dome as a centerpoint. The city is circled by cypress trees and rolling hills, and it’s a perfect mixture of buildings intertwined with nature.
Fiesole is a great town to explore over an afternoon, with some beautiful churches and delightful restaurants. The viewpoint mentioned above isn’t the only place you’ll see this spectacular view – it’ll peek out from behind buildings at different points during your time in the town, and it’s just as amazing each time you see it.
You can travel to Fiesole from Florence by train or bus. Both run regularly throughout the day, and tickets cost less than €3 each way.
San Miniato Church
A few minutes walk from the Piazzale Michelangelo; you’ll find Miniato Al Monte Basilica, a striking church nestled within the green hills of Florence. The architecture and artwork inside this hilltop church are a truly awe-inspiring sight, with virtually every surface inside covered in a mosaic or illustration.
Standing outside the magnificent church, there is more beauty to be found – this spot is home to one of the best views over Florence. The church’s hilltop location means that Florences stretches out from your feet, as far as the eye can see.
It’s breathtaking; each one of Florence’s architectural wonders is visible, surrounded by the city’s iconic terracotta-colored buildings. The view is completely unobstructed, and the peaceful and pensive atmosphere at San Miniato makes it the perfect place to soak it up in all its glory.
San Miniato is located about a 25-minute walk from the center of Florence, and it’s free to enter.
The historic Bardini Garden is one of Florence’s most beautiful locations – and it also offers a spectacular view. Stepping into the Bardini Garden is like stepping into a dream. The air is filled with the fragrant scent of blooming flowers, and the gentle sound of trickling water adds a soothing ambiance to the surroundings.
As you explore the garden’s pathways, you’ll be captivated by its meticulously manicured landscapes and harmonious design.
One of the highlights of visiting Bardini Garden is the breathtaking panoramic view it provides. From its elevated position on the hillside, you’ll be treated to a sweeping vista over Florence.
The majestic dome of the Duomo, the stately Palazzo Vecchio, and the world-renowned rooftops of the city create a picture-perfect scene framed by hanging vines and greenery. If you visit at the end of April, you’ll be able to see the blooming wisteria framing the captivating view, and it’s one of the most insta-worthy pictures you’ll find in the whole city.
Entrance to Bardini Garden costs €10 and includes admission to the villa and any current exhibitions as well.
Terrazza Brunelleschi at the Grand Hotel Baglioni
Perched atop the elegant Hotel Baglioni Relais Santa Croce, the Terrazza Brunelleschi presents an unrivaled viewpoint of Florence.
The restaurant at the terrace has a delicious menu and also serves a range of beautiful Italian wines, so visitors can enjoy a delightful meal while admiring a backdrop that seems like something straight out of a Renaissance masterpiece.
Terrazza Brunelleschi is particularly enjoyable at sunset when the amber hues of the fading sun cast a soft glow over Florence’s magnificent skyline. Whichever time of day you visit, Terrazza Brunelleschi guarantees a delightful ambiance, tasty food, and one of the best views of Florence.
View on Art Rooftop Cocktail Bar
This is the rooftop bar to head to if you’re searching for the best view of the Duomo in Florence. Located atop the unassuming Hotel Medici, View on Art Rooftop Cocktail Bar offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere paired with an incredible view of Florence.
Situated on the 6th floor, this charming rooftop venue features both indoor and outdoor spaces. It’s the outdoor terrace that steals the show, providing an up-close and stunning vantage point of Brunelleschi’s dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower, with panoramic vistas of Florence’s rooftops stretching beyond.
The menu at View on Art boasts an extensive selection of wines, refreshing cocktails, and a range of Italian and international culinary delights, including charcuterie boards and burgers. Whether you visit during the day or at night, this rooftop bar is the ideal spot to unwind and enjoy a drink while taking in the best views of the Duomo.
One of the most well-known spots in the city with an incredible view of Florence is the Piazzale Michelangelo, a charming square exhibiting the works of the renowned artist whom it is named after.
It may be a classic tourist stop, but it is one site that should not be missed. From its hilltop location on the south bank of the Arno River, visitors are treated to sweeping panoramic views of the city.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the square, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a meal and a drink while soaking up the view – usually accompanied by the soundtrack of local performers.
The unbeatable view combined with the delightful atmosphere makes it hard to imagine anywhere better suited to the quintessential Florentine experience.
Final Thoughts: Best Views of Florence
Sitting at a viewpoint and admiring what you see is one of the best ways to appreciate Florence’s beauty fully.
Whether you choose to climb to the top of the Duomo or sit on a rooftop terrace with an ice-cold Aperol Spritz in hand – choosing one of these spots is a surefire way to make sure you don’t miss seeing the best view of Florence.
Check out our vlog from our time in Florence!
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