The best view of Florence is at Piazzale Michelangelo, but this is NOT exactly a well-kept secret. ;-)
I love to capture skyline photos when I travel, but it's not always easy to do. Some cities just don't offer a good location for taking in the grand expanse of a place, but Florence Italy certainly does.
Prior to arriving here, I did some online research (as I always do before going somewhere) about Florence and it wasn't much of a time investment to figure out that Piazzale Michelangelo is the best view of town. It's a hell of a climb, but it's well worth it.
So I set off quite a while before sunset and clambered up the fairly steep hill to get here. My expectations were that I would find some folks here doing the same as me (or at least watching the sunset), but in reality this place is BUSY. It was literally jam packed. It's a big, wide plaza on the top of a hill, and there is a bar/restaurant and hordes of people. Of course, I was there in late summer so that is at least partly responsible for the crowds, but nonetheless it was a madhouse.
At first I was concerned I wouldn't be able to find a good spot, but surprisingly I did, and quickly. Once I got settled, I stayed there for quite a while. I was afraid to move actually, for fear of not getting another spot with a clear view. While most of the people there were of the tourist variety (no tripod, iPhone or point and shoot camera - though I want to point out there is nothing wrong with that), there were some others like myself that had all the gear set up and ready to go. I guess everyone got the message that this is THE spot for a skyline view.
While the sunset wasn't exactly magical, it's an incredible view of a beautiful city and one that I am very happy to have spent an evening capturing, even with my iPhone (yes, I still do that a LOT) and my point and shoot camera - not to mention my full frame Sony (which the above photo was captured with). I try and cover my bases by using several cameras, LOL. Besides, you can never take too many photos, right?