Church San Miniato al Monte
Church San Miniato al Monte is situated on one of the highest points in Florence. The basilica stands atop Mons Fiorentinus (also known as San Miniato Hill). When standing at the front door of this church you will have gorgeous view overlooking the city. It is located a little bit away from the main sights across the river. It is a tiny hike, but well worth seeing this treasure.
As you walk up you can admire the spectacular green and white marble façade that was based on the cladding of the Baptistery.
When walking into the Church San Miniato al Monte the sound of music being played by an organ was quite inviting. The floor was inlayed with marble zodiac symbols of the 13th century. The decorated marble columns and arches are amazing. I thought the large golden mosaic above the altar was stunning. If you look up at the rafters that support the roof, you will notice they are decorated with intricate motifs brought to Western Europe by the Moors. There is some amazing art by Della Robbia, Gaddi and Mechelozzo. My favorite highlight is the sacristy with its Life of St Benedict painted by Spinello Aretino.
The monks all assemble in the crypt down below the chapel, every night at 6:30 for chanting in Latin. It is a magical mystical treat and should not be missed.
When you are finished looking inside this pretty basilica head outside and see the divine and peaceful cemetery.
The monumental Cemetery of the Porta Santa was beautiful and calm. And it is is magical especially towards dusk. Many important Florentines are buried here and you will also find gravestones with photos from WWI. The cemetery is still in use as the final resting place of Florentines. The walls that surround the area were built by Michelangelo and then later reinforced into a fortress by Cosimo de Medici.
I don't know if it's the majesty of its location or maybe the feeling of history when you stroll amongst the crypts within the cemetery but I think the church is just perfect in every way. This is one of my favorite churches in Florence.