Built in 1324, the best preserved of the city’s medieval gates stands sentinel on the banks of the Arno. In summer, you can scale the steep stairs inside the tower with a guide to enjoy blockbuster river and city views. Visits are limited to 15 people at a time (no children under eight years) making advance reservations essential; book online, by email or phone. Tours are cancelled when it rains.

Behind the city gate a monumental staircase designed by Giuseppe Poggi winds its way up towards Basilica di San Miniato al Monte.