San  Miniato  is a beautiful village perched on a hill along the Arno River, halfway between Florence and Pisa on the ancient Via Francigena, the route of the pilgrims of all over Europe from the Middle Ages to the present day. The origins of the city, famous for its delicious white truffle, date back to the Etruscans and Romans. The castle was built in 962 by the Emperor Otto and also Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Gregory V stayed there.

La Rocca arises on the top of the hill to complete the defensive system of the castle: here Federico II, between 1217 and 1221, built the tower symbol of San Miniato. The Cathedral overlooks Piazza del Duomo and dates back to 1200. The facade is decorated with ceramics arranged in the shape of the constellations Ursa Major and Minor. The Convent of Saint Francis, according to tradition, was donated by the nobles of San Miniato to Saint Francis who was staying in the nearby Abbey of Santa Gonda. Also notable is the Church of Santo Stefano and San Michele, built in the XII century on a private chapel of the Mangiatori family; it preserves a wooden crucifix by Pietro Cavallini (XV century), the frescoes of the four evangelists of Domenico Brogi, and Dilvo Lotti’s stained glass mosaic and frescoes.

The city is full of churches and palaces to visit: the Church of SS. Crucifix, the Church of Loretino, the Church of SS. Annunziata, the Church of St. James and Saint Lucia, the Convent of San Domenico and the Bishop’s Palace.

San Miniato and Surroundings

San Miniato and its territory are part of the preciousness of Tuscany with an inheritance of architectural and artistic treasures, traditions, ancient history, all set in a beautiful and picturesque landscape. Nearby Relais Sassa al Sole, you can visit numerous villages rich in history with their fortifications, towers and museums.

Distances

From the Relais, you can easily reach the most important cities and sights of Tuscany such as:

Firenze 44 km – 45 min
Pisa 48 km – 50 min
Livorno 56 Km – 55 min
Pistoia 48 Km – 50 min
Lucca 44 km – 45 min

Certaldo 25 km – 36 min
Siena 73 km-1 ora e 12 min
San Gimignano 38 km – 40 min
Volterra: 62 km – 1 h
Roma: 315 km – 3 h e 15 min

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