If you didn't score a "room with a view" in Florence, no problem! You can still enjoy highly delightful views during your stay, whether over a cocktrail drink, an "aperitivo", as the locals call it, or over dinner. The evening is particularly magical as the setting sun illuminates the monuments of the city.
There are many terraces in Florence offering wonderful views, we've selected just a few of the best ones, including ones from hotels (which are open to non-guests), even a library and those towering over some of the most beautiful piazzas in the city center.
Most of the ones we list are the rooftop terraces of hotels or hotels with restaurants which are of course open to the public. You might also find a friend who lives in "centro storico" with a view who invites you over for dinner for these types of views: in that case, we are so very jealous! ;)
Three Sixty Rooftop Bar - Hotel Minerva
Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 16 (to the left of the church as you face it).
A gorgeous rooftop terrace with pool right in the middle, and a smaller terrace on the other side of the bar. During the day, the pool terrace is reserved for guests but you can still enjoy the views of Santa Maria Novella over lunch on the other terrace. From 7pm, both terraces are open to everyone and the Italian-style aperitivo is great over sunset. Open from 11am to 11pm so you can enjoy lunch or dinner here as well.
The terrace opens every day during the year, pool side from June through September 11am - 11pm.
Wines from 6 euro, cocktails 12 euro, lunch or dinner entrees from 9 to 20 euro average.
La Terrazza Lounge Bar - Hotel Continentale
Vicolo dell'Oro, 6 (corner with Ponte Vecchio, right bank)
The gorgeous terrace of this upscale hotel right at the corner of Ponte Vecchio offers incredible views on the river, bridge and Palazzo Vecchio. Almost seems like you can touch everything and it provides you with a great excuse for dressing up and lounging while you enjoy the views.
Open every day from 3:30 to 11pm
Wine 12 euro and up by glass, cocktails 19 euro average.
Se-Sto - Westin Excelsior
Piazza Ognissanti, 3
A bar, restaurant and lounge so you can enjoy the terrace throughout the day.
Gorgeous views on to the Arno and Oltrarno, with San Frediano and Santo Spirito across the way and down into Piazza Ognissanti on the other side. The views toward the Duomo are from the events rooms, so if in use, you might not be able to access them. No matter, you can still enjoy the food, drinks and magical sunset.
Open from 7 to 9pm for cocktails, average is 18 euro.
Caffe La Terrazza - La Rinascente
Piazza della Repubblica
This is the rooftop bar at the top floor of La Rinascente department store in Piazza della Repubblica, and if you need a break from shopping, this is the place to head to for a coffee, snack or drink or light meal. You have a 360° view all around, and offers a great view of the Duomo, Ognissanti and Palazzo Vecchio being right smack in the middle of the historical center.
From April 5 through July 19, 2016, from 6:30pm, the summer "Feel the Music" program kicks off and every Tuesday you can enjoy DJ set music with performers, covering jazz to soul to R&B.
Open until midnight on these nights, otherwise it closes at 8:30 or 9pm (depends on day of the week).
Caffetteria delle Oblate - Oblate Public Library
Via dell'Oriuolo, 24
The public library Oblate is right behind the Duomo and the top floor has a gorgeous terrace. There is both a cafe here where you can enjoy a meal, an aperitivo in the evening or just sit in one of the tables outside and enjoy the fine view and weather (when there is sun ;) ). There are often book readings, presentations and other cultural events taking place within the library and terrace, so you might be able to enjoy more than the view on your visit! For example, this past April, there were jazz nights on Fridays at 7pm.
Open Monday 2-7pm, Tuesday-Saturday 9am-midnight.
Beyond rooftop terraces....
Costa San Giorgio
During the summer months, the Forte Belvedere reopens as a temporary art space and offers one of the best views over the entire city. It isn't as close as some of the hotels mentioned above, but the small cafe here is perfect for a snack or drink after you've enjoyed wandering around the temporary exhibit. In summer 2006 (but really until the beginning of October), you can enjoy Jan Fabre's "Spiritual Guards", with the exhibit extending into Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio.
Closed Mondays, open 10:30am-7:30pm rest of the week.
How can we not include Piazzale Michelangelo with its great view of the city? Most head here for the great views all day, but especially at sunset it can get quite crowded. If you're tired of the climb up there, make sure to go to the terrace immediately below the corner to enjoy a drink or snack during the day. During the summer, the cafe is open longer hours (and closed in the off-seasons). There is another cafe to the back left corner where you can pick up gelato, and La Loggia Cafe/Restaurant at the back of the piazza offers upscale dining with a view.
The piazzale is open all of the time, year-round. The small cafes and restaurant close around 10-11pm.