“To see the sun sink down, drowned on his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature.” – Mark Twain
Even after years spent living here, I would still experience something new every single day, and that for me, defines exhilarating. Constantly learning new sights, sounds, and smells keeps me in a perpetual state of learning, and awe. Which is something I love about this magical city. Whether it was a street artist showing off his work or a violinist in the arches of the uffizi, Florence will always have the soul of an artist. Her beauty is subtle and stunning all at once. And transcendent. Where else can you have views like this, crowds like this, and romance so intoxicating? Where can you can walk the same streets as Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli and feel as though you might still catch a glimpse? Firenze, sei incredible. E sempre nel mio cuore.
One of my favorite places for an epic photo moment is Piazzale Michelangelo. This 19th century piazza has undoubtedly the best panoramic view of Florence. The square is decorated with copies of Michelangelo’s sculptures, but it’s the view people come here to see.
A little history:
The Piazzale was built on the hills located south of Florence’s historic center by architect Giuseppe Poggi. In 1869 Florence was the capital of Italy, and the whole city underwent an intense urban renewal, the “lungarni” (riverside walkways following the Arno) were created; on the right side replacing the walls of the 14th century the bypass (Viali di Circonvallazione) was opened and to the left side a panoramic tree-lined street of 8 km, currently called Viale dei Colli, in which the Piazzale Michelangelo sits as a panoramic terrace on the city. From 1890 to 1935, this street was used by the tram tracks of the Chianti that connected Florence with Greve in Chianti and San Casciano Val di Pesa.
In 1873 a copy of Michelangelo’s David was taken to the square with the help of nine pairs of oxen. This monument occupies a privileged position, observing the city from above as a guard attentive to all the beauties that the city of Florence offers. This square was dedicated to the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo and the copy of the David was located in the center of the square next to the four allegories of the Medici Chapels of San Lorenzo. Poggi also designed the lodge in neoclassical style as a museum for the works of Michelangelo, but this museum was never built and currently houses a panoramic restaurant.