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On the South bank of the Arno River, up a majestic hill and down a winding, cobblestone path known as the Viale Michelangelo, you will find the Piazza Michelangelo (sometimes referred to as Piazzale Michelangelo).
The piazza was constructed in the 1890s, beautifully landscaped and lined with copies of Michelangelo’s sculptures. Today, look past the street vendors and souvenir stands to the unbeatable view. Take in the rolling hills of Fiesole behind you, and the spectacular unobstructed Florentine cityscape below. At the square’s center is a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David.
Take a few minutes to visit the church of San Salvatore al Monte, which still houses original Renaissance paintings and artwork. The church is free and open to the public, and remains the “kissing cousin” to the Church of San Miniato al Monte, which is a (very worthwhile) 10-15 minute walk further uphill.
Getting to Piazza Michelangelo
The walk up to Piazza Michelangelo can take awhile, depending on where you’re starting from in Florence. If you’re climbing the Viale Michelangelo, allow at least an hour, but don’t be afraid to linger longer. The trek, along a picturesque and cobbled lane, is well worth it. Once you reach the piazza, you’ll be glad you hiked it.
For help in planning your walk, we recommend the walk outlined in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide’s “Florence & Tuscany”. Their walk takes two hours and brings you to Piazzale Michelangelo, before continuing on to San Miniato al Monte.