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Piazzale Michelangelo is together with the Forte di Belvedere, the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and the hill of Fiesole, one of the privileged viewpoints over Florence. The Piazzale designed in 1860 by the architect Giuseppe Poggi, is located on a hill south of the Arno and the historic center of Florence. This belvedere was built in 1865, at the time when Florence was the capital of Italy.
A PANORAMA FAMOUS IN THE WORLD
The Piazzale, dedicated to Michelangelo Buonarroti, has bronze copies of some of his famous marble works preserved in Florence. At its center are in fact the statues of David and the four allegories of the Medici Chapels of San Lorenzo. Poggi’s project also included the construction of a museum of Michelangelo’s works in the Piazzale. For this purpose, the loggia in neoclassical style was built overlooking the entire terrace. But the museum was never built. The loggia now houses a panoramic restaurant.
The Piazzale can be reached by car along Viale Michelangelo, or on foot by climbing the steps of the Rampe del Poggi from Piazza Poggi in the San Niccolò in Oltrarno district.
On clear days, the panorama that can be admired from this belvedere over the city allows an overview of the historic center of the city. The view ranges from the walls of Oltrarno and Forte Belvedere, to the Arno and its bridges – including the Ponte alle Grazie, Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alla Carraia – to the Duomo and Brunelleschi’s dome, Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello and Badia Fiorentina, to reach the Basilica of Santa Croce and beyond.
Against the background of this magnificent panorama are the hills of Fiesole and Settignano, Monte Morello and the arch of the Apennine peaks, 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).