The Piazzale Michelangelo is a popular square in Florence that offers breathtaking, panoramic views of the city. It was created as a part of a collective restructuring and urban renovation plan in the 1860s, and was designed by the architect Giuseppe Poggi. Although the views from Piazzale Michelangelo are the primary motivators for people visiting this particular square in Florence, there are a number of other things to see. These include several replicas of Michelangelo’s works, including David and the loggia on the hillside that overlooks the city.
There are a number of restaurants near Piazzale Michelangelo and one even resides in the square where the architect had intended a museum of Michelangelo’s works to be. If you are considering having dinner at one of the restaurants near Piazzale Michelangelo, you should go ahead and make advance reservations at the one located in the square. Although it may have been nice for there to be a museum dedicated to the artist here, you will not argue with the restaurant’s location as you enjoy the stunning panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo of Florence over dinner and a glass of local Chianti.
There are several choice locations to take in panoramic views of Florence, not the least of which is Giotto's Campanile located in the Piazza della Signoria. But the views from Piazzale Michelangelo are arguably the best to be found anywhere. If the number of postcards that depict the views from the observation deck are any measure of where you will find the best vistas of the city, the Piazzale Michelangelo absolutely wins out. It is also a fantastic place to get away from the masses of tourists on a particularly busy day. This is not to say that the observation deck will not be filled with people or that there are not plenty of vendors selling their wares, but as compared to the often times cramped quarters of the historic center, this piazzale in the Oltarno District is not nearly as busy.
There are a couple of options when it comes to getting to the Piazzale Michelangelo from the center of Florence. By foot, you can approach the Piazzale Michelangelo by climbing the Piazza Poggi, situated at the base of the hill that leads to the observation deck. It is not nearly as arduous a climb as the 441 steps necessary to enjoy the views from the top of Giotto’s Campanile. You also have the option of taking either the number 12 or number 13 buses from the city center. Keep in mind that much of the Piazzale Michelangelo is reserved for parking, and although there are several attractions including the loggia, most people make the trek to see the view. Bring your camera along, as this is the ideal location to snap shots of the city from a distance. The views from Piazzale Michelangelo are particularly stunning at night.
After you’ve taken your fill of photographs you can head back into the city or enjoy a nice meal and a drink at one of the restaurants near Piazzale Michelangelo. There are also a nice selection of cafes, bars, and shops within easy walking distance.