Piazzale Michelangelo, along with the Forte Belvedere, the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and the hill of Fiesole, is a privileged vantage point in Florence. The Piazzale designed in 1860 by architect Giuseppe Poggi, is located on a hill south of the Arno and the historic center of Florence. The square was built in 1865, at a time when Florence was the capital of Italy.
The square is dedicated to Michelangelo Buonarroti presenting the bronze copies of some of his famous works in marble preserved in Florence: the David and the four allegories of the Medici Chapels of San Lorenzo. In the project of Poggi was also the realization, in the Piazzale, of a museum with Michelangelo’s works, at the scope was built the Loggia in neoclassic style that dominates the whole terrace, but the museum was never realized, the Loggia today accommodates a panoramic restaurant.
The square can be reached by car along the Viale Michelangelo, or on foot, climbing the stairs of the “Rampe” from Piazza Poggi in the district of San Niccolò in Oltrarno.
On a clear day, the view from Piazzale Michelangelo allows the overall view of the historic center of the city, the view extends from the walls of Oltrarno and Forte Belvedere, river Arno and its bridges – including the Ponte alle Grazie, the Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alla Carraia – the Duomo and the dome by Brunelleschi, Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello and the Badia Fiorentina, to get to the Basilica of Santa Croce and beyond.
In the background of this magnificent landscape are the hills of Fiesole and Settignano, Mount Morello and the arc of the peaks of the Apennines, which in winter are often covered with snow.
Just below the Piazzale Michelangelo are two interesting gardens: the Iris Garden (Giardino dell’Iris) and the Rose Garden (Giardino delle Rose).