A walk through the Oltrarno (literally "the other side of the Arno") takes in two very different aspects of Florence: the splendor of the Medici, manifest in the riches of the mammoth Palazzo Pitti and the gracious Giardino di Boboli; and the charm of the Oltrarno, a slightly gentrified but still fiercely proud working-class neighborhood with artisans' and antiques shops.
Farther east across the Arno, a series of ramps and stairs climb to Piazzale Michelangelo, where the city lies before you in all its glory (skip this trip if it's a hazy day). More stairs (behind La Loggia restaurant) lead to the church of San Miniato al Monte. You can avoid the long walk by taking Bus 12 or 13 at the west end of Ponte alle Grazie and getting off at Piazzale Michelangelo; you still have to climb the monumental stairs to and from San Miniato, but you can then take the bus from Piazzale Michelangelo back to the center of town. If you decide to take a bus, remember to buy your ticket before you board.
POINTS OF INTEREST
The incredible Carthusian complex was largely funded in 1342 by the wealthy Florentine banker Niccolò Acciaiuoli, whose guilt at having…Learn More >
This late Baroque church (its facade was remodeled between 1736 and 1739) contains the mannerist Jacopo Pontormo's Deposition, the centerpiece…Learn More >
Giardino di Boboli
The main entrance to these landscaped gardens is from the right side of the courtyard of Palazzo Pitti. The gardens…Learn More >