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What to see..Week end in San Miniato- Saturday or Day 1 of 2

Many people have already visited Tuscany several times, especially attending the most famous circuits such as San Gimignano, Volterra, Florence, Pisa and Siena which are a must for a holiday in Tuscany. This time, however, I would like to take you to a lesser-known medieval town that is definitely worth a visit for its rare beauty: San Miniato. Also nicknamed the city of the XX Miles (about 33.5 km) for the distance that separates it from Pisa and Florence and from Pistoia and Lucca. Here I will give you some ideas on what I would do if I were a tourist in San Miniato for 48 hours .. presumably a weekend but this is not necessarily the case, even if it would take a week to fully appreciate it!

  • Arrival at the facility and check in, to optimize times and comply with the anticovid rules, documents are registered by email or whatsapp in the days prior to arrival as well as the main info Insert in your GPS “Fonte alle Fate” https://goo.gl/maps/zZ4u1bvSzbBwp8Km7 you will find a large parking lot, with a column for paying the parking and a comfortable lift that will take you to the center of the town. Once you get out of the elevator, assuming it is late morning, we recommend that you turn right to reach the Loggetta del Fondo where you can find some info on San Miniato and then turn left taking via A. Conti to reach Piazza della Repubblica or Piazza del Seminario . The splendid building that you find in front of you was the seminary, built in 1650. Its particular “wave” shape is given by the fact that it was built following the curve of the city walls of the time. On the facade you can read some inscriptions from the bible decorated with allegorical elements.
  • We advise you to take the staircase on the right of the square to reach Piazza del Duomo. Piazza del Duomo is the square overlooked by the Palazzo Vescovile, an elegant building that cannot be visited but also very beautiful externally and still the seat of the Bishop and the homonymous church whose name is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Genesio. The façade of the Cathedral is decorated with basins, colored spherical elements from North Africa that seem to have been affixed as the constellations of the bears and the white and green star at the top stands for the Polar Star. The Cathedral will win you over for its artistic beauty and will tell you about an important historical fact, namely its bombing during the Second World War.
  • If you have time (and we hope so!) The Diocesan Museum is worth a visit, which is open every day from April to September from 9 to 13 and from 14 to 16. It contains very interesting works by local and European painters. the cumulative ticket which also includes the Tower of Matilda.
  • Once out of the museum, take the small road on its left that will take you to the entrance to the Tower of Matilde or the Tower of the Cathedral built in Romanesque style. From 1/04 to 30/9 it is open Monday from Friday from 11-14 Saturday from 10 to 13 and from 14 to 17 Sunday 14-17. It is a bell tower from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the city is and is dedicated to Matilde di Canossa who apparently was born in the adjacent Palazzo dei Vicari.
Considering that we assumed that you arrived late in the morning, it is time for a break: there are many restaurants for lunch in the center of San Miniato and offer different cuisines. I mention 3 for particularity:
After having refreshed yourself and being presumably in those parts (a few meters away) we continue the walk on via IV Novembre to admire, even only from the outside, some historic buildings of San Miniato: Palazzo Formichini and Palazzo Grifoni, headquarters of banking institutions admirable inside on the occasion of local events but deserving to be admired also externally. While walking through the streets of San Miniato do not forget to raise your eyes .. on many buildings you will discover the plaques that testify to the stay in the city of many historical figures, to name a few of great importance Carducci and Napoleone Bonaparte.
Once you reach Palazzo Grifoni, an imposing ocher-colored building, continue the descent until you reach the entrance to Vicolo Carbonaio on the left. The alley retraces the town but on the side of the countryside and was a road that connected the countryside to the city and the visit is a walk in nature made of roses and lush greenery. Along the way is the Via Angelica. Before leaving for Tuscany, book your visit because it is really worth it: via Angelica with the oratory of Sant'Urbano: https://www.terredipisa.it/attrazione/san-miniato-la-via-angelica/
You will go out at the Loggiati di San Domenico, an elegant building in which the MUME is located, then take the opportunity to visit a Modern Museum witnessing the Second World War, definitely innovative and worth a visit, for info and timetables:

https://www.terredipisa.it/attrazione/san-miniato-museo-della-memoria/

Once you exit the Museum and turn right you will find yourself in Piazza del Popolo. Enter the Church of San Domenico on the right, it deserves to admire its allegorical frescoes and its peculiarities.

After all these visits I imagine that you are hungry and we are at "snack time".

If you like a slice of cake and a cappuccino I suggest you cross the street to go to Essenza

http://essenzainsanminiato.it/

If, on the other hand, you want an ice cream or a yoghurt, I recommend "Camilla" located in front of the Loggetta del Fondo.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gelateria-Camilla/274505233197890

Walk to the Bucalossi gardens (same direction as the parking lot or in front of the Camilla ice cream parlor) to get to take the uphill road or Viale XXIV Maggio where the monument dedicated to Paris is located, the dog that in 1954 found a truffle of record weight:

http://smartarc.blogspot.com/2012/11/il-monumento-al-tartufo-piu-grande-del.html

The road will bring you back to Piazza del Duomo from which you can take the flight of stairs that will take you to the Torre di Federigo also known as "La Rocca", symbol of the city surrounded by a green lawn, destroyed during the Second World War and proudly rebuilt by the San Miniato people . Here the landscape speaks for itself. From here you can see 9 Tuscan provinces .. from here the look goes on to infinity .. From April to September the tower can be visited inside from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 to 18 .. you decide if you are more romantic to prefer than go there at sunset or on Sunday morning also visiting the inside of the tower.

Evening has come … it’s time for dinner, 3 proposals within walking distance:

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