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The Abbey of San Miniato al Monte

Built between the 11th and 13th century, the exterior of the Church of San Miniato is decorated with green and white marble in geometric patterns similar to the facades of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella. A mosaic from the 12th century decorates the facade over a central window.

With your back to the front of the church one can enjoy an impressive view of Florence even higher up than the beautiful Piazzale Michelangelo.  From this lofty height, one can see from the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio, to the last standing parts of the medieval walls that once surrounded Florence.

Going into the church, one finds that the interior is Romanesque, with three naves and an elevated presbytery and a crypt. Pay particular attention to the marble pavement in the central aisle dating back to the 13th century. At the end is the beautiful Cappella del Crocefisso by Michelozzo (1448), and behind it is the crypt, decorated with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi. Above the crypt, the elevated presbytery is enclosed by a marble column fence and contains an impressive 14th century wood chorus.

The monumental cemetery in front and back of the church contains the tombs of illustrious men, such as Carlo Lorenzini (Collodi), author of Pinocchio.

san miniato

View our photo gallery of San Miniato View more photos of the Church of San Miniato »

Author: Lourdes Flores

I'm from California but have called Florence my home for over a decade. I love to explore Italy; it is a lot of fun to try to see everything like I'm seeing it for the first time, keeping you, our readers, always in mind. I enjoy sharing what I know and helping others as they make their travel plans for Tuscany through our Forum. If you have itinerary-related questions, please post them there!


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