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Florence’s Secret Viewpoints: Rooftop Terraces and Panoramic Spots

Florence’s Secret Viewpoints: Rooftop Terraces and Panoramic Spots

Florence is about as photogenic as cities come. Millions of travelers come here every year to experience the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and admire the historical, artistic, and architectural beauty of this important city. And there’s no better way to admire this Renaissance jewel than by getting a bird’s eye view of the historic center.

Florence is set among the rolling hills of Tuscany, so there are several places where you can get a good vantage point and admire the beauty of the city. Well-known places like Piazzale Michelangelo provide lovely views, especially at sunrise and sunset when the red roofs of Florence seem to glow in the Tuscan sunlight.

However, that famous viewpoint can get pretty crowded. Avoiding crowds isn’t easy in this popular city, but some of the more hidden rooftops and viewing spots in town let you drink in the serenity and see parts of Florence most people never get to.

Drop off your bags at a Florence baggage storage and check out some of these lesser-known scenic viewpoints. Not only will you get incredible views and photos, but you’ll also be able to say you’ve seen parts of this popular city most tourists don’t even know exist.

Cimitero Delle Porte Sante

A cemetery isn’t everybody’s idea of a good time. However, this remembrance garden is undeniably beautiful, with its magnificent tombs commemorating the dead of Florence, both famous and unknown. And one of the main reasons to come here is to admire the view. 

Cimitero delle Porte Sante is located on one of the highest hills surrounding the city, and so the view it offers is unsurpassed. Plus, the fact it’s a cemetery means very few tourists come here, so you may have the incredible view all to yourself. It’s especially beautiful at sunset, but nightfall in the cemetery can be an unnerving experience. Still, no matter when you visit, you’ll enjoy this view without the crowds you’ll find in most other places in Florence.

Arnolfo Tower

Medieval Florence was a city of towers, with rival families competing to build the most majestic skyscraper they could to demonstrate their status. In 1251 a city law demanded that the towers be reduced in height to no more than 29 meters, but Florence still has plenty of historic towers that you can climb and get a great view of the city. And because there are a few different options to choose from, no one tower gets all that flooded by tourists.

The Arnolfo Tower was built in 1310 and so it was able to avoid the height limits and rise to a height of 95 meters, making it one of the grandest in the city. Part of the Palazzo Vecchio, this tower is famous as being the place that housed heretical monk Savonarola just before his public execution. Climb the 233 steps to the top of the tower to get an exceptional view of the city and some of its most famous landmarks. Although you won’t have the tower to yourself, as its height and distinctive appearance make it well-known in the city, the number of visitors at any one time is controlled so that you shouldn’t have to battle against dense crowds.

La Rinascente

This upscale department store sits in the heart of old Florence, just a short walk from the Uffizi Gallery. Therefore, you couldn’t exactly call it unknown. However, what’s not that well-known outside the city itself is that this department store has a wonderful rooftop terrace where you can enjoy coffee along with a beautiful view of the city. Head up to the top floor to grab a table and linger over this unrivaled view of the city center.

Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory

Galileo Galilei is one of the most important figures in the history of science, and he did much of his important work in the city. He spent the last few years of his life at this villa, and in honor of his achievements, this is now an observatory dedicated to the study of physics and the cosmos. Located on top of a hill on the southern edge of the city, the observatory offers an incredible view of Florence and the surrounding countryside and also allows you to peer into the depths of the galaxy and learn more about science on a guided tour. It’s surprising this unique attraction isn’t better known, but that means you won’t have to worry about large crowds when you visit.

Bardini Gardens

Florence is home to some beautiful city parks, many of which offer astonishing views. Located on the south side of the Arno River, the Boboli Gardens is perhaps the most famous of these parks and is well worth a visit for its historical interest as well as its scenic beauty. But nearby, you’ll find this equally beautiful park much less crowded.

The Belvedere terrace will give you a beautiful view of the city, especially at sunset. And don’t miss the beautiful wisteria tunnel while you’re here, especially if you’re lucky enough to visit in spring.

Beautiful views are everywhere in Florence

And checking out these lesser-known places can help you see more of the city, too. Avoiding crowds can be tricky in this popular place, but getting above it all allows you to enjoy some serenity and take in the atmosphere for yourself.

Leaving your bags behind in a convenient luggage storage will make it much easier to track down these off-the-beaten-path spots and enjoy your own unique experience of the city. Enjoy beautiful views of Florence from these locations while Bounce looks after your bags.

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Browse our database of the best travel blogs and get the most current travel tips and trends to enhance your vacation experiences. Take a look.

Find travel inspiration, amazing vacation ideas, unique places to visit, and three day travel guides to the top cities around the world. Visit our city guides page to discover where to travel to next.

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