Whenever someone is visiting, or maybe living in a new place, the first item on the agenda is to see the wonders that the city has to offer. This is what makes up a tourist area. The plazas are cleaned up, showing their best side. Myths and legends tell their tales, gathering the attention of those who will listen. Stalls are set up at every corner of the street, gaining a little more income.
Living in an area where the tourist volume is high, I can see the beauty the city of Florence has to offer. It also gives me the opportunity to look past the surface of Florence and learn its secrets. The streets in which others overlook, the restaurants in which only the locals are aware of, and the beautiful architecture hidden away from view. These are all of the locations I will uncover as I live here. But the beauty is not limited to the small details Florence has to offer. Instead one can view the city as a whole.
Many structures in Florence allow one to get a view of Florence if you are granted access. Some of the best views are those that are free.
Here are the Top 3 places to see Florence:
Giardino Delle Rose: When I first visited this area, it was one of the first times since arriving in Florence that I have seen an area of green. Although it is still early in the year, this garden is still green. There were no roses when I visited, but locals tell me this garden comes alive during the warmer weather. Anyone can come here and spend some time away from the city and enjoy the nature that surrounds them. The view that can be seen from this place overlooks most of the city of Florence and it is a sight to behold.
Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte: This church has beauty within itself. It is a beautiful structure that is inviting to those who come by. San Miniato is utilized as a monastery where locals can enter for religious purposes. Tourists can also come by, admiring the architecture and beauty of this structure. Just about all of Florence can be seen from the bridge-like balcony before going up some stairs to the church. It is a beautiful sight where you can see all of the major structures of Florence.
Piazzale Michelangelo: Many of those who came to Florence may go on a tour and maybe be brought to this plaza. This plaza has a large space with several statues around it. You will find many vendors selling souvenirs. To get to this area, there are stairs in which one has to climb, but there are water features along the way making it an interesting journey. The view from here is incredible! As it is a large space, all of Florence can be seen as well as a few parts on where the plaza is located.
All of these locations are across the Arno River on top of the hill. If you are to come to Florence, I would recommend visiting these places. Even if you may not want to see the view these places hold, they still hold historical value. They have strong importance to the history and culture of Italy. There are many more places that show the beauty of Florence, but I have yet to explore these places myself. I encourage you to go to these places as well as go out and explore on your own.
Stephany is a Spring 2022 Florence student from Colorado State University.