A Brief History
Piazzale Michelangelo is located south of the city center on the right side of the Arno river. It was designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1869.
At the time, Florence was the capital of Italy, and to celebrate this fact, the city was “beautified” and modernised. The 14th century walls were knocked down on the left bank of the river to make a promenade, boulevards were added on the outskirts of the historical center and a winding panoramic road called Viale dei Colli, was carved into the hillside. This 8 km long road ends at Piazzale Michelangelo.
All about Michelangelo
The square was named after the famous artist Michelangelo Buonarroti, and showcases a few bronze copies of some of his masterpieces, such as the David statue, that you can admire at the Gallerie dell’Accademia. The neoclassical loggia in the back of the piazzale, also designed by Poggi and originally meant to be a museum of Michelangelo’s work, is now a restaurant.
Rampe del Poggi
Poggi didn’t just design the square, but also a series of fountains that break up the hill into different levels. Until last year (2018), the Rampe del Poggi were closed and all but forgotten, but after a pharaonic restoration project, Florentines and tourists alike can finally enjoy a beautiful walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo the way it was thought out by its creator.
A Square with a View
The best time to enjoy the square and its breathtaking views of Florence is at sunset when the city is painted in golden hues. Once the city lights come on, the most important sights with their personalised spotlights stand out like beacons in the night.
Piazzale Michelangelo is considered one of the most romantic places in Florence, so expect quite a few other visitors to be there too. If you choose to go up by car (follow Viale Michelangelo), be ready to struggle a bit to find a parking space. For a hassle free evening, consider hiring a car with a driver. I Just Drive! offers a 90 minutes tour of Florence in a luxury car that stops in Piazzale Michelangelo. Give a look at it!