The Best Of Oltrarno: Florence’s Most Authentic Area

Meaning, beyond the Arno or the other side, the Oltrarno side of Florence lies just across the glorious Ponte Vecchio.

Oltrarno is a neighborhood that can take you off the beaten path to some of the best sights and eats in the city. For a city like Florence where travelers can overwhelm every street and alley, Oltarno is a cool yet up-and-coming escape. Here are the best things to do in this stylish yet hidden neighborhood.

Pitti Palace

FACEBOOK Susi Rossini

Home to the Medici family, one of great status which patronized many famous artworks, the Pitti Palace is home to a wide variety of art. The palace is quite grand and behind it, you can find a vast array of gardens, including: the Boboli Gardens. A place of history and beauty, this is something you definitely do not want to miss.

Piazzale Michaelangelo

piazzale michaelangelo Oltrarno
FACEBOOK La Loggia Del Piazzale Michelangelo

Offering views of the city of Florence at no cost, Piazzale Michaelangelo is the perfect spot to kick back with a bottle of wine and take in the beautiful city. Here, you may find musicians showcasing their talent, locals hanging out with their friends and the occasional proposal. This is the perfect sunset spot to relax after a long day of exploring the city. You can either taxi up to the lookout point or, if you’re brave, you can hike it. Whatever you choose, know that it is so worth it.

Piazza Santo Spirito

osteria santo spirito Oltrarno
Photo: Katherine McGowan

As a market by day, Santo Spirito Square is a hub to buy food and clothes from local vendors. By night, it becomes more alive as both locals and travelers can find delicious bites to eat. One of the most famous places, Osteria Santo Spirito, offers tasty baked gnocchi and other mouthwatering pasta dishes.

La Carraia Gelateria

carraia Oltrarno

Ask any local in Florence and they will most likely tell you that this is the “end all be all of gelato” in the city. Don’t let the line around the corner deter you, this is a must-try for any foodie. Located along the Arno river, about two blocks to the right of the Ponte Vecchio, you can enjoy a taste of Italy with a view almost just as sweet.

So, if you are a traveler who prefers to take the off the beaten path, try visiting the Oltrarno side of Florence the next time you are in town.

Katherine McGowan

Social Media Associate

Katherine is a New Jersey native who is passionate about understanding culture through its history and food. You can most likely find her enjoying an Aperol Spritz with a local or getting lost on a windy cobblestone road. Some of her other favorite cities are NYC, Amsterdam, London and Rome.

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