San Miniato al Monte

This is, after the Baptistery, Florence's earliest Romanesque church. Already present at the time of Charlemaign, it was rebuilt by Bishop Ildebrando in 1018, though the decor was only completed at the beginning of the XIII century.

The palace was begun in 1295 by Bishop Andrea de'Mozzi and completed in 1320. Many sections of the monastery were built in the first half of the 15th century by Florentine master artisans, including Bernardo Rossellino. The cloisters, which were closed in 1700 and recovered between 1962 and 1987, together with other sections of the complex, have fragments of sinopias (the drawings from which an artist paints a fresco) attributed to Andrea del Castagno, and in the upper loggia there is a poorly preserved work by Paolo Uccello.

In addition to the palace there is the fortress, thrown together in just a few months under the direction of Michelangelo and made permanent in 1553 by Francesco da Sangallo. Within the walls of the fortress is the monumental cemetery, known as Le Porte Sante (The Heavenly Gates) built in 1865 by Mariano Falcini.


Principali opere presenti: The facade, begun in the XII century, and concluded in the XIII, follows the Florentine tradition, with geometric patterns created with white and green marble (the latter from Prato).

The lower section has the classic five arches that alternate with three doors. Above, on the pediment, there are nine arches surmounted by symbolic figures dating to the thirteenth century. In 1401 a gilded copper eagle, symbol of the Guild of Merchants, which had administered the church since 1288, was added to the pediment.

The interior, which has been restored and altered in several points, is divided into three aisles by alternating columns and pilasters, and terminates with a raised presbytery built over the crypt. The capitals of the columns of the crypt are in part Roman and in part Romanesque; some are marble and some stone.

The central nave has marble floor mosaics reminiscent of those of Rome's early basilicas, and exposed ceiling beams. Just before the crypt is the elegant Cappella del Crocifisso built by Michelozzo in 1448, which has a glazed barrel-vaulted ceiling by Luca della Robbia. To the right of the church is the Palazzo dei Vescovi, the summer residence of Florence's bishops until 1553, when it was used as a barracks by Cosimo I; in 1594 it became part of the monastery of San Miniato.

Indirizzo: Via Monte alle Croci - Firenze
Orario apertura: Winter season: 8.00 - 12.00; 14.30 - 18.00; Summer season: 8.00 - 12.00; 14.00 - 19.00
Ingresso ridotto:
Telefono: 055.2342731