by Luciano Artusi and Vincenzo Giannetti
On the hill of San Miniato
Everyone in Florence knows Piazzale Michelangelo, but not many have explored the hill of San Miniato, with its peaceful winding lanes that climb up as far as the Church of San Salvatore al Monte and Fort Belvedere, which the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici built as a defence for the city. Designed by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti, its construction dates from between 1590 and 1595. Its original name was the Fortress of Santa Maria di Belvedere. We will start our walk from the Gate of San Miniato, climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo to explore the area around the monumental buildings of the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and then go back down the hill to reach the Tower of San Niccolò, which gives onto a splendid panoramic view. This is a short but extremely interesting walk that will take us past monuments famous for their art, as well as places that have played a vital part in the history of Florence, and will also show us many of the suggestive and little known aspects of the hill of San Miniato.
Taken from "Walks around the hills of Florence"
by Luciano Artusi and Vincenzo Giannetti.
© 1997 SEMPER EDITRICE FIRENZE