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The hills of Florence’s Oltrarno
Country walks a stone’s throw from the city

Everyone knows Florence is brimming with masterpieces, but those that lie hidden among its green hills are less familiar. We reveal the treasures of the hills of Florence’s Oltrarno and recommend walking routes to enjoy their fabulous views and clean country air.

Reachable by a 30-minute walk from the city centre, the Arcetri hill is where nature meets Florentine culture. In addition to the Astrophysical Observatory, this hill is also the site of Villa Galileo, where Galilei spent his final years. As you stroll among cypresses and wonderful views, you’ll spot many other villas with beautiful gardens and ancient towers.
(photo Lorenzo Cotrozzi)

From the little square of San Francesco di Paola, near Porta Romana, you can be at the top in about 90 minutes. Due to its particular position, this hill offers a different view of Florence to others; a very special view that comes in sight from the “Curva dell’Oh”, named after the spontaneous exclamation of astonishment on seeing it.
(photo Dario Garofalo)

This is the Oltrarno’s highest hill, and its top offers one of the most spectacular vistas of the city. From Via di Rusciano, continue on Via Fortini and follow the wall that encloses the gardens of Villa di Rusciano. After two and a half hours’ walking, surrounded by nature and extraordinary silence, the city chaos is just a distant memory. Visit the church of Santa Margherita a Montici, which preserves several works by Andrea Sansovino.

From Piazza Acciaiuoli, take Via del Podestà; Galluzzo hill is about an hour’s walk. On the way you’ll find the Palazzo del Podestà, the impressive medieval Palagio dei Corbinelli complex, the church of Santa Maria della Neve al Portico with its adjoining monastery, and plenty of sumptuous villas, including the one known as “La Favorita”.
(photo Lorenzo Cotrozzi)

Florence is only half an hour away from The Mall Firenze. Frequent daily buses connect the exclusive mall to the city center, bookable online at this link.

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