Though not as impressive by its dimensions as other noteworthy churches in Florence, the Church of San Miniato al Monte is a highly rated religious establishment of the capital of Tuscany by force of the artistic assets embellishing it and of its half legendary half historic origins related to the figure of San Miniato, an early Christian and example of martyrdom said to have indicated by its very striking moment of death the place on which the future church was to be built (beheaded upon the order of emperor Decius, San Miniato took his head, crossed the Arno River and climbed the hilly relief on which the church stands at present, and died on the very spot where the establishment was erected).

Moreover, during a siege on the 16th century, San Miniato offered shelter and defense to the resisting Florentines, among which Michelangelo is said to have improvised a protection for the campanile of the church consisting of a mattress, and to have been commissioned to build a fortification around the church. Michelangelo’s contribution to the asset of this church chiefly comes down to the aforementioned, but the inside, as well as the outer walls of the edifice are populated with works by Luca della Robbia (a terracotta decoration in the vault, the crucifix above the altar, and a part of the ornaments in the chapel), Taddeo Gaddi (several frescoes in the vault), Michelozzo (architect of the Chapel of the Crucifix located in the center of the nave), Antonio Manetti and Giovanni Rossellino (designers of the Chapel of the Portuguese Cardinal). As a further tourist incentive, one should know Carlo Lorenzini (or Collodi) – author of Pinocchio – along with other Italian resonant figures, is buried in the adjoining cemetery.

Church of San Miniato al Monte
Via del Monte alle Croci/Viale Galileo Galilei, Florence
Telephone number:
0039 (0)55 234 2731