Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

 In Italy

It was a no-brainer; our plans for the day were finished and Florence’s #2 rated Trip Advisor attraction sat only half a mile away. Making the most of our time, we set off for the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte.

I should’ve known better. “Al monte” is practically the same in Italian as the Spanish phrase “of the mountain”. But without thinking, we set off for the basilica. Immediately, the following road greeted us.

Road to San Miniato al Monte

The path was a winding road up a mountain. Trip Advisor’s estimation of half a mile away was according to a straight line, and didn’t account for distance in elevation, winding paths, and blocked roads. This half a mile walk would up being about two miles uphill. Eventually, we arrived at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Florence Piazzale Michelangelo view

Piazzale Michelangelo is dedicated to the artist Michelangelo himself and features copies of his most famous works as well as stunning views of the city below.

Florence Piazzale Michelangelo view 2

Florence Piazzale Michelangelo view 3

It was 99 degrees in the square with no shade; we felt like we had hiked straight to the sun. Smiling for photos was almost unbearable.

piazzale michelangelo mama

piazzale michelangelo avery

We were now only two tenths of a mile away. We  set off, and after about 20 minutes arrived at the following church.

Red Herring Basilica

It wasn’t as grand as we expected for the #2 ranked attraction in Florence, but did we finally reach the end of our journey? As it turns out, no. It was a minor church, while the basilica stood many hundreds of steps uphill. Mama didn’t think she could make it, and said she would wait for us. But Zach and I wouldn’t let go; we would not let her sit back. Mama reluctantly began the arduous journey up to our destination.

Mama climbing stairs

At long last, we reached the salvation of the basilica gates. Mama couldn’t help but leap out in jubilation.

San Miniato Mama Unbound Joy

Zach at San Miniato final stairs

The inside of the basilica was grand, but didn’t particularly stand out against the basilicas in Rome. The main reason why this basilica is so highly reviewed is for the spectacular views outside.

San Miniato Avery and Mama

On the right side of the church sits a 1000+ year old Olivetan monastery.

San Miniato adjoining Olivetan Monastery

While on the left sits a chilling graveyard.

Top of San Miniato Avery

Despite all of the beautiful scenery, we were drop-dead tired.

Top of San Miniato Zach and Mama

So much so, that it was difficult to appreciate the beauty surrounding us. We had walked nearly 30,000 steps according to Mama’s pedometer, and our lower bodies felt every step.

Top of San Miniato Zach and Mama 2

Needless to say, we took a taxi home.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Kathryn Deas
    Reply

    Great story!!! Great photos!! 😀

  • L. Leahy
    Reply

    Great story and pictures. We are going to Florence soon and I can’t wait to see San Miniato, steps and all! We heard there is a bus that will take you close, from town, so we’ll see! We plan to visit the crypt and hear the Gregorian Chants as well. This will be one of our highlights!

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