When my parents and I felt we were done taking pictures up at Piazzale Michelangelo we came down the hill and took a scenic route through Florence’s Oltrarno District on our way back towards the city center. Oltrarno literally translates to “beyond the Arno” and is the part of Florence that is on the south side of the Arno River. The sun was going down and lights were starting to come on as we walked westwards through some of the neighborhood’s quieter streets. Much of the tourist crowd that visits Florence tends to stay on the north side of the river but there are a few notable attractions that make journeying to the Oltrarno worthwhile. The scenic panorama of Piazzale Michelangelo of course is one of them, but you can also visit places like the former Medici residence at the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. If you like checking out Renaissance churches there are a couple of good ones like Santo Spirito and the Brancacci Chapel. Lastly, the Oltrarno is home La Carraia, possibly the overall best gelato shop in Florence, as well as several other top-notch gelato shops. The gelato shops on the north side of the Arno are good but I truly believe that the best gelato in Florence is found on the south side of the river in the Oltrarno.
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