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Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

One of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany

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A long walk from the center, to be sure, but rewarding. Occupying one of the highest points in Florence, uphill from the panoramic views on Piazzale Michelangelo, construction of this church began in 1013. The neighboring monastery, formerly a Benedictine community, was given over to the Olivetans in 1373, who still run it.

The marble façade, begun around 1090, has a mosaic of Christ between the Virgin and St Minias completed in 1260. Inside are frescoes dating from the 13th to 15th centuries, a detailed marble pulpit and screen (1207) in the raised choir and presbytery, and a Romanesque crypt. The sacristy contains the fresco cycle Life of St Benedict, by Spinello Aretino (1387).

In the center of the nave is the Cappella del Crocefisso (1448), a freestanding vault designed by Michelozzo, with painted panels by Agnolo Gaddi and terracotta adornments by Luca della Robbia.

The Cappella del Cardinale del Portogallo, to the left of the nave, built in 1473, is described as “one of the most magnificent funerary monuments of the Italian Renaissance.” The tomb was done by Antonio Manetti and the terracotta on the tabernacle ceiling was done again by della Robbia.

A shop next to the church sell liqueurs, honey and tisanes (herbal tea) made by the monks.


At A Glance

Price:
free
Hours:
Daily 8am-7pm high season, 8am-noon & 3pm-6pm low season

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