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

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte
Via Delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Florence, Italy
055 234 2731
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Ranked #1 of 221 Attractions in Florence
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Lookouts
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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
Top Contributor
734 reviews 734 reviews
426 attraction reviews
Reviews in 255 cities Reviews in 255 cities
2,184 helpful votes 2,184 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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Matosinhos, Portugal
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101 reviews 101 reviews
66 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Simple but enormous and amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 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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London
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14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 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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Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 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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London, England
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28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
92 helpful votes 92 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
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