Piazzale Michelangelo is my '10th place' attraction in Florence, of those I visited.
There are 3 reasons that should attract you to this Piazza, none of which are to look at the Piazza itself !
I am compiling an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my recent 6 full-day visit to see the sights of Florence. Please fell free to access it via my TA Profile - I hope it is of interest and use to you and I hope all of my individual reviews/photos get posted properly as I know from past experience that the Trip Advisor submission process sometimes, incorrectly, 'blocks' them despite me being a so-called 'Senior Contributor'.....
Just before covering my personal views of the piazza, please note that as official information sources can change and the Internet links at the top of each attraction webpage on Trip Advisor can be wrong (or even absent !) I deal with visitor information/ticketing etc in the dedicated section for the attraction in my TA Trip List. This is because I have sole-control over that, can add Internet links and can edit/update it with ease to reflect changes (reviews cannot be amended after they're posted). It might also contain photos/video links if they fail to get posted with this review or on this webpage....
The reasons to go to this Piazza are :
1. For the views you can gain of the city centre and along the river from a viewpoint on the northern rim.
2. To walk the small distance further uphill to visit Basilica di San Miniato al Monte (my '4th place' attraction, see my review), along with the slightly different city views you can get from there.
3. To then access the adjacent start point for the downhill stroll along a scenic path back to the city centre.
The Piazza itself is not that special, in fact it looks like nothing more than a very-well located car park/hawker combo !
I have added photos and a video to this review/webpage to show the potential views, but I shan't bother adding my media info about the bus route there, where the scenic walk is or the route it takes as I'm quite sure that TA will block them being posted - please refer to my Trip list instead, which has links to the media...
I would suggest you consider where the sun will be when you visit as haze/glare can seriously degrade the view across the river to the city centre. If I post the right photos, you'll see the difference as I went there twice to get better photos and video....
Once you're done and have visited the church, I think it is better to go down the scenic path as you see things in front rather than having to turn around if you go up - also, the climb is about 400ft and quite steep so worth avoiding if you also plan to climb either part of Duomo !
As a result, you might like to know that Bus 12 gets you to the Piazza from the West, Bus 13 from the North.
Along with wandering around the viewpoint area, allow time to walk to/from & visit Basilica di San Monte, which is about 300m or so along and about 150ft higher up.
It is easy to get to the hillside walk from the front of the Piazzale viewing area - the start points are massive and don't need signposts. Similarly, once you're there the route for the walk down the hill is obvious.
The walk downhill takes no more than 10mins - it is quite short as it is steep. If wet, it can be a bit slippery ! Then the walk west along the south side of the river to Ponte Vecchio is about 1km, so about 15mins or so....
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