The Hill of Bellosguardo is just outside the city walls: from here you can enjoy a beautiful view of Florence.
Tuscan country around the corner
Florence is surrounded by hills from where one can enjoy a wonderful view of the whole city: the hill of Bellosguardo is one of them. In 1471 the painter and cartographer Francesco di Lorenzo Rosselli took as a model the panorama from this hill for his painting Pianta della catena ("Map with the chain"), the first "portrait" of Florence painted following perspective and cartographic rules.
To reach the hill you only have to cross the avenue and walk for 10 minutes ... and you will find yourself surrounded by Tuscan country. Walking along Via di Bellosguardo - and then, from Piazza di Bellosguardo, entering Via di San Vito, or Via Piana, or Via di San Carlo - we discover streets flanked by olive trees and cypresses, with pictoresque ancient houses and some tabernacles of different styles.
From Piazza di Bellosguardo we can walk until the end of Via Piana and then turn left in Via di Santa Maria a Marignolle (which after a while changes its name to Via delle Campora): we will come to the busy Via Senese, from where we can reach the Gate of Porta Romana.
Click to enlarge pictures.
On the hill are also some notable buildings, including:
The Villa dell'Ombrellino, built in 16th Century by family Segni on top of the hill. This villa if renown not only for the panorama from its garden, but also for the famous personalities who inhabitated there: the astronomist Galileo Galilei lived in the villa during the years (1616-1631) in which he formulated his revolutionary theory, and the poet Ugo Foscolo wrote here between 1812 and 1813 his renowned poem Le grazie.
The Church of the Saints Vito and Modesto a Bellosguardo dates back to 11th Century and has been deeply modified in 15th Century and then in 1662 and in 19t Century. It is characterized by the loggia (15th Century) on its façade and inside is a painting by Filippo Tarchiani (17th Century), the Guardian Angel.