San Miniato al Monte

Abbey in Florence

San Miniato Al Monte, Florence
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Thomas Woodtli

The Abbazia of San Miniato al Monte or Abbey of San Miniato al Monte in Florence is a stunning example of Florentine Romanesque architecture. Located above Piazzale Michelangelo, it offers a magnificent view of the historic center of the city. The construction of the abbey took place between the 11th and 13th centuries.

The façade of the abbey is particularly striking, adorned with white and green marble and featuring a beautiful mosaic at the centre, depicting Saint Minias, the Virgin Mary, and Christ. Notably, depictions of an eagle and a bolt of cloth, symbols of the cloth guild, can be seen in various parts of the church. This is because the cloth guild financed the construction of the church on the site of a small oratory dedicated to the Christian martyr Saint Minias. Legend has it that Saint Minias was beheaded on the banks of the River Arno and carried his head to the top of the hill, where the oratory was founded and later rebuilt into a church in 1018.

The interior of the church features a marvelous marble floor, adorned with a depiction of the zodiac, and a crypt below, showcasing curious Romanesque capitals.

Inside the church, visitors can also find remarkable works of art, such as the Chapel of the Crucifix by Michelozzo, with glazed terracotta vaults by Luca della Robbia. The Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal is another highlight, decorated by Luca della Robbia and possibly also by Andrea della Robbia and Alessio Baldovinetti. Additionally, the sacristy houses frescoes depicting the life of St. Benedict, painted by Spinello Aretino.

Being situated just above the famous Piazzale Michelangelo, the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to enjoy both its splendid architecture and the panoramic views of Florence’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The San Miniato al Monte appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Florence!

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Visiting San Miniato al Monte

Hours:

Monday-Saturday 9:30-13:00; 15:00-19:00

Sunday 8:15-13:00; 15:00-19:00


Address: San Miniato al Monte, Via delle Porte Sante, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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