Viewpoints and Visual Axes


The urban landscape is without a doubt an evolving element. It is subject to continuous transformations due to anthropic pressure. As early as 2005, in Declaration on the Conservation of Historic Urban Landscapes, WHC-05/15.GA/7, UNESCO has begun to emphasise the need to adequately contextualise contemporary architecture in the historic urban landscape. It highlighted the importance of considering visual impact or cultural impact studies when designing modern establishments. Consequently, this project was conceived with the goal to manage the transformations for sustainable development of the UNESCO Site of Florence, while guaranteeing the integrity and enhancement of the city’s image.

The project is carried out thanks to the financial support of MiBACT L. 77/06, and a detailed, ongoing agreement between the Municipality of Florence and the Department of Architecture, Design, History, and Project of the University of Florence signed on 15 July 2011.

A total of fifty panoramic sites around the UNESCO Site of Florence have been surveyed with GPS equipment, and then have been outlined on the map on a 1:10,000 scale. Amongst these sites, eighteen that are deemed essential for defining the area of influence of the UNESCO Site, are chosen. These sites are significant for the determination of any new interventions. The Verification Points are mainly located along the scenic route, located on the hillsides around the Site. For every viewpoint, the included areas will be defined as close-up, first floor, second floor, third floor, stage, and background. The elaborate thematic map will allow an adequate verification of the new interventions concerning Florence’s skyline.

Amongst the 62 viewpoints taken into consideration during the research, 18 viewpoints and the corresponding visual axes – listed below – were considered to be the most significant for the protection of the historic centre and for the control of the transformations planned inside the World Heritage site. Therefore, they were included in the last revision of the city’s Structural Plan (approved by the resolution CC 2015/C/00025 of 02.04.2015) and reported in its “Table 3” regarding the additional protection measure to the city centre.

Monte Rinaldi
Badia Fiesolana
Villa Medici – Fiesole
Piazza Desiderio da Settignano
Via del Loretino
San Tommaso a Baroncelli
Santa Maria alla Badiuzza
San Miniato al Monte
Bardini kaffeehaus
Boboli – Abbondanza
Via di San Carlo
Via di Bellosguardo
Via di Monte Uliveto
Orti del Parnaso
Villa Fabbricotti
Villa La Petraia
Santa Lucia alla Castellina