Sunset Florence: 7 Best spots to watch the magical Florence sunset

Here is a list of the top 7 spots where can you find an incredible view of Florence and the sun sets over the skyline. Watching the sun go down from the city center or from one of the surrounding hills is an experience not to be missed.

Here you’ll find all the practical information you need about how to get there when you should be in position, and, of course, where to have a cocktail as the sun sets over the Arno River and Florence’s Renaissance heart.

Practical Information and the best time for photography

Florence is a romantic city. Imagine watching a sunset at one of the city’s best sunset spots. The cradle of the Italian Renaissance is the best place to enjoy this time of day.

Admiring the sunset is in itself a unique moment that allows you to enjoy the warm colors of the evening and the evocative atmosphere that is created.

But which sunset and what time will the sky be the most beautiful? Sunset is technically when the middle of the sun is on the horizon.

But there’s also Civil Twilight which is when there is just enough light to clearly see the horizon. The sun has just set below the horizon but it is still light. Many of the professional photographs you see of Florence are taken at civil twilight.

Photo of a silhouette of a row of photographers shooting a sunset over mountains
Silhouette of landscape photographers

And finally, there’s nautical twilight which is defined as when the middle of the sun is 6-12 degrees below the horizon! That’s when it becomes too dark for a mariner to see the horizon anymore.

The pics you see where it’s not dark, but there’s no discernible light coming from the horizon. These are more moody photos when the city lights are switched on.

The best times to capture the amazing colors of the afternoon/evening sky is in the hour before sunset and in the minutes after sunset, during the civil twilight.

The period just after sunset is called the Golden Hour (although it doesn’t last an hour).

Sunset in Florence in the summer months is late compared to many countries in the world because it is so far from the equator. He’s a simple chart of the sunrise and sunset times in Florence in the peak visitor months for 2023.

Florence Sunrise and Sunset times May – September 2023

May sunrise06:07May sunset20:17
June sunrise05:35June sunset20:49
July sunrise05:36July sunset21:00
August sunrise06:03August sunset20:39
September sunrise06:38September sunset19:51
Florence Sunrise and Sunset Monthly Times (May – September 2023)

So now you know the local time in Florence to catch the sunset each month, here are the Top 7 spots to watch the sunset over Florence.

1. San Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte (Saint Minias on the Mountain) is one of the most striking places in Florence. Perched on the hills above the city is this Florentine Romanesque-style Abbey.

Photo of the sunset view of Florence from San Miniato al Monte
Sunset view of Florence from San Miniato al Monte

From San Miniato al Monte you have the chance to see the city from above at sunset and also to admire one of the most beautiful and best-preserved basilicas that have stood over the city for more than 1000 years.

During the golden hour, the church itself takes on shades of color that make it seem alive.

Phot of the Daytime view of Florence city from San Miniato al Monte
Daytime view of Florence city from San Miniato al Monte

How to get there

To get to the basilica, you can walk from the city center to the top of the hill by taking the picturesque staircase up the slopes.

It is well served by buses and convenient for cars to reach as well. There is a parking lot available for a fee and it’s free to visit San Miniato al Monte.

2. Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most visited places in Florence, most especially at sunset, and for good reason.

Photo of Sunset Florence - the view from Piazzale Michelangelo over the city with the Duomo in the center
Sunset Florence – the view from Piazzale Michelangelo over the city with the Duomo in the center

The sky at sunset when viewed from Piazzale Michelangelo is tinged with gold, and the square becomes the ideal place to take photos of incredible views of the city.

This square was built in 1869 and allows unobstructed views of the Arno River from above. It was built and designed to celebrate the Florentine genius of Michelangelo.

Today it is a pilgrimage destination for all those who are on the hunt for places where they can admire the beautiful sunrise and sunset.

Photo of the Sunset view of Arno River and Ponte Vecchio from Piazzale Michelangelo
Sunset view of Arno River and Ponte Vecchio from Piazzale Michelangelo

It is one of the best free sunset spots in Florence Italy and is my favorite sunset spot in Florence. It’s best at the golden hour, as you can see from these pics above – there’s no sun but it’s still civil twilight.

Piazzale Michelangelo is enlivened every day by tourists and souvenir stalls that in the evening, as the sun sets, give way to kiosks offering drinks to visitors.

Photo of the view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo during the day
View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo during the day

How to get there

Piazzale Michelangelo can be reached on foot by walking up the steps from Piazza Poggi, or by bus, taking lines 12 or 13. It is a convenient spot for cars to get to as well.

3. Brunelleschi Terrace (B-Roof Restaurant and American Bar)

For a romantic sunset worthy of the best of dates, an evening at Brunelleschi Terrace is a must.

Photo of the golden sunset view from the Terrace, B-Roof, Florence
Sunset view from the Terrace, B-Roof, Florence

B-Roof, as it is called, is a gathering place for all Florentines who love to enjoy the view of a sunset while sipping a good drink.

An oasis of peace overlooking the rooftops of Florence, surrounded by green plants that during the best sunsets turn golden.

It is the ideal location in Florence for an aperitif with a view of Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Vittoria. From the loggia, it is possible to have a 360-degree view of the whole of Florence and I love the view of the Duomo from here.

Photo of a cocktail at the American Bar on B-Roof during sunset Florence with Florence city beyond
The American Bar on B-Roof during sunset, Florence, Italy

It all becomes even more enjoyable with a glass of good wine and a plate of finger food in hand.

How to get there

Located near the Santa Maria Novella Park, it is right in the center. The station of the same name is just a few minutes walk from the property, which is also a hotel and restaurant and has parking facilities.

Address: Hotel Baglioni, Piazza dell’Unità Italiana, 6 Firenze

4. Golden View Bar

The very name of the restaurant recalls the view that can be had from this restaurant.

Photo of the Golden View terrace at sunset next to Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Golden View terrace at sunset next to Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Open for lunch, dinner, and aperitifs, it is during this time that it is taken by storm by all those who wish to see the Ponte Vecchio tinged with the colors of the sunset.

A table on the charming terrace guarantees an incredible view of the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio, and the historic buildings of Florence located in this old neighborhood.

Looking from right to left, one can admire the bridges that connect the two parts of the city. When the sun goes down, the atmosphere becomes magical and the hours seem to fly by.

Photo of the view of the bank of the Arno River in Florence from the Golden Bar during the day
View of the bank of the Arno River in Florence from the Golden Bar during the day

How to get there

Address: Via de’ Bardi, 58/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy.

Its location in the center makes it easily accessible on foot, being at a key junction point for Florence. The Bardi bus stop is very convenient.

5. Orti del Parnassus (Gli Orti del Parnaso)

A little-known place, but no less worthy of being visited by tourists from all over the world. The Parnassus Gardens are a panoramic terrace from which to admire an incredible sunset.

Photo of the Sunset-view-of-Florence-from-Parnassus-Garden, credit: Federica Cervo
Sunset view of Florence from Parnassus Garden, credit: Federica Cervo

What makes them unique in the world is the snake-shaped sculpture that runs the entire staircase.

Today this place is called the Garden of the Righteous, where all people who have performed selfless acts toward human beings are celebrated and commemorated.

In addition to being able to admire these lovely gardens, from the Gardens there is a wide view of Florence from a very large terrace.

You can see the Ponte Vecchio, the Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Vittoria. Very romantic to stand here and wait for nightfall.

Fontana del Drago at Ortana del Parnaso during the day, Florence. Italy
Fontana del Drago at Ortana del Parnaso during the day, Florence. Italy

How to get there

Address: The Garden of Parnassus, Via Trento, 11, 50139

The gardens are easily accessible by public transportation such as bus 13, streetcar T1 and train R. Admission is free.

6. Giotto bell’s tower

Giotto’s campanile, or the bell tower of Santa Maria del Fiore, is one of the iconic places in Florence. Built by master Arnolfo di Cambio, it is still one of the city’s major attractions.

Rooftop view at sunset of medieval Duomo Cathedral Dome from Campanile in Florence.
Rooftop view at sunset of Duomo Cathedral Dome from Campanile (Giotto’s Bell Tower) in Florence.

There are 413 steps to climb to reach the top of the tower. At this point, however, despite the effort, the view of Florence will be priceless.

It is impossible to visit without enjoying a sunset in the autumn period, between September and October, in accordance with the ticket office hours, which close before sunset in summer.

The rooftops of Florence become a mosaic from up here and look like neat little buildings. In the distance, you can see the river and mountains in the background.

Photo of a subdued sunset view from Campanile in Florence.
A subdued Sunset Florence view from Giotto Bell Tower

How to get there

Easy to reach, it is served by many bus stops, including the C1 that drops off passengers near the Baptistery.

7. Giardini di Boboli

Not many people would think of watching a sunset from the Boboli Gardens. In fact, this place offers terraces over the city with priceless views.

Photo of the view from the Boboli Gardens over Florence and the Duomo at sunset
View from the Boboli Gardens of Florence at sunset

After taking the usual tour of photos and plants, tourists can head to these balconies overlooking Florence.

When the daylight falls, the park is tinged orange and it is impossible not to be amazed by this view.

Created as the gardens of the Pitti Palace, they are now among the most visited gardens in the world. It is a true open-air museum that alone is worth the trip to Florence.

How to get there

Access is easy and is from the pedestrian street Via Romana. It is located just a few meters after Ponte Vecchio.

Final thoughts: how to best enjoy a romantic sunset in Florence Italy

To enjoy a sunset in Florence at its best, all it takes is a little something: a magical place from which to admire it, a drink to sip, and the right company!

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