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“Location, Location, Location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Basilica San Miniato al Monte

Basilica San Miniato al Monte
Via Delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125, Florence, Italy (Piazzale Michelangelo)
055 234 2731
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Recommended
$17*
and up
Florence Independent Tour with Audiopen and...
Ranked #7 of 351 things to do in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Situated on a hill (monte) outside Florence with unsurpassed views of the city, this structure is one of the finest examples of Tuscan Romanesque architecture, built between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Warren, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
915 reviews
550 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,400 helpful votes
“Location, Location, Location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

San Miniato al Monte is indeed my favorite church in Florence, partly because of its location with one of the most splendid views in Tuscany, and partly because of the Romanesque design. The Romanesque style is vastly under-rated by tourists and art lovers alike. It's softer, rounder, simpler than its showier Gothic sister. The surfaces are flat and painted or inlaid with mosaics rather than the robust decoration of the Baroque. The 13th century interior of this church is dark and quiet with massive columns dating from Roman times that have been re-used. The main mosaic is splendid and includes St. Minias, Christ in his best Byzantine pose, and the Virgin. The floors are mosaic as well and divided into seven sections with animals from the zodiac.

This particular church is reached after an approximately 20 -30 minute climb up into the hills from the Piazzale Michaelangelo, an overlook above the city of Florence. As you climb toward the top, at first you see only the top of the church, and the higher you climb, the more of the church facade comes into view. A very interesting graveyard lies just in front of the church. You'll be winded after the climb, so take some time and enjoy the cemetery and the splendid view before entering the church.

Enjoy!

Visited November 2012
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4 Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Matosinhos, Portugal
Level Contributor
111 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Simple but enormous and amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I'm not a big fan of basilicas/churches with a lot of golden decorations inside... So I really loved this one, with an amazing view from the outside and with a very wide inside not too fancy but just enough for you to be astonished.
Don't miss this place, just next to Piazzale Michelangelo and where you get the best views from Florence.

Visited February 2013
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Thank ines_mcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Stunning location and beautiful interior”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This is one of the calmest and prettiest churches I have ever entered. It did help that the organist was practising while we were there so we were treated to some lovely music too but the main thing that I liked was the beautiful carvings, murals and paintings which are beautifully preserved. The view over Florence is beautiful too.

Visited February 2013
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Thank Patrick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not Florence's number one attraction but nice views after a steep climb”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Although I enjoyed being there it should not be the number one attraction in Florence. By overrating this attraction it lessens the impact of a wonderful view of Florence in a beautiful setting. It's quite a climb up to this site and we had to stop a number of times to recalibrate our bearings and rest! We arrived quite early and so waited a while for the Monks to begin their prayer. It was very quiet and although it started to rain the views are a nice distraction. Inside the church was actually colder than outside but this is pretty normal. I'm not sure whether we saw something different than other people who have written reviews but the monks prayer and chant was actually 2 monks saying Mass and so although we're catholic, we hadn't bargained for this on a Friday night! Having hiked up there and hung around in the rain for an hour and a half this was a bit annoying.

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Thank SCLMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
92 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Well worth the walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

It is a long haul, but so worthwhile. The church is superb, wonderful interior and the view is amazing, especially at sunset, looking over the city and the hills. The Piazzale Michaelangelo is just down the road, which is also a "must" - the views are stunning and musicians play there.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank bellamanning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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