This week the Arnolfo Tower at the Palazzo Vecchio opened up to visitors in Florence for the first time. We love climbing towers in Italy for the fantastic views and atmospheric experience of climbing up the narrow ancient staircases, so we jumped at the chance to be one of the first to experience it.
Unlike our rather crowded (but still worth it) experience of climbing the duomo’s cupola (cathedral’s dome) there were only a few visitors to the Palazzo Vecchio tower – probably because most people don’t know about it yet. The climb up wasn’t too hard, definitely easier than the cupola and the stairs had a new old feel to them as they’ve obviously been restored to be opened to visitors.
We had high hopes but when we reached the top we were a little disappointed. They had prevented visitors getting right to the edge and from the middle it was difficult to see over the stone walls without standing on tiptoes. It’s such a shame as from the edge it would be the perfect view of the duomo, obviously something you don’t get when climbing up the duomo itself.
We managed to get photos by holding our camera over our heads. On the lower levels there are also places where you can poke your camera through barred windows for more great views. Damn health and safety though.
It costs €6.50 to climb the tower or €10 if you combine it with a visit to the Palazzo Vecchio. It’s open every day from 9am to 9pm, except on Thursdays when it closes at 2pm. There’s no need to book tickets in advance.
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