San Niccolò

San Niccolò boasts spectacular gardens, flower-topped hills, panoramic views and sunsets on the Arno. The Lungarni area is somewhere you can escape from the stresses of daily life and enjoy the beauty of Florence from a unique perspective. Also, if you are in the mood for an aperitif, or looking for an evening spent between typical vintners and summer bars, you are in the perfect area. Here, you will find glimpses of a Florence striking a balance between romanticism and slow-paced tourism: for example, Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato al Monte. Without forgetting the lively pubs of Piazza Poggi and Via San Niccolò.

Well, a view like this is worth more than a thousand words. Piazzale Michelangelo, which is just above the quarter of San Niccolò, offers a wonderful terrace overlooking the city, ideal for souvenir photos or simply to gaze over all of Florence. Looking for the best opportunities to bring unforgettable pictures home? Come at dawn (with the sun behind you and few people around) or at dusk, when the sun bestows a red hue on the Ponte Vecchio, the Palazzo della Signoria and the dome of the cathedral.

Leave the views of Florence behind you and go off in search of another masterpiece. Just around the corner from the Piazzale Michelangelo, you will find the San Miniato al Monte basilica. There are a few steps to climb, but this Roman church is really worth the effort. And, as you can imagine, if you go all the way up, you will find unbeatable views of the city. It’s no coincidence that legend has it that San Miniato, one of the city’s first Christian martyrs, flew up there.

And if you feel like having a rest, there are always the steps of the Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the city’s most romantic locations – but watch out, as the place is literally swarming with tourists at peak time. You may have a hard time finding a space!

There are a number of ways of getting to the Piazzale Michelangelo: by bus, by taxi (along the striking Viale dei Colli) or simply on foot along the so-called steps of San Niccolò, which begin at the tower of the same name and offer a host of surprises along the way, such as gardens and other little gems. The route was designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi, when Florence was the capital of Italy.

There was a time when the San Niccolò tower was used to defend this district from that of Arno. Today, it offers an incredible view of Florence. All you have to do is book to climb the 160 steps and get to the top. If you don’t feel quite up to it, you can rest at ground level: all around, there are shops, pubs and, in summer, all manner of open spaces dedicated to vibrant Florentine life.

Follow your aperitif with a pleasant walk along the steps of San Niccolò, all the way up to the San Miniato al Monte basilica, or simply enjoy the view from the best balcony in the city. Tired? Catch your breath as you gaze over unique scenery.

From up here, you can see it all. The rooftops of Florence, the monuments and the belltowers: you can enjoy it all in a single glance. Sunset is the most romantic moment of all, wherever you are in the world. But seen from here, the setting of the sun is truly stunning.

The world’s most beautiful man, too, stands at the top of the city. Or, more precisely, the third twin of the world’s most beautiful man. Piazzale Michelangelo is home to one of the two copies of Michelangelo’s David in Florence. The other is found in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The original is protected within the Galleria dell’Accademia.

One last question. How many bridges are there in Florence? If you don’t know the answer, count them yourself, one by one. From the Piazzale Michelangelo, of course!