Explore San Miniato on an excursion from Pisa

by - 1:58:00 AM

If you're planning a trip to Pisa, make sure an excursion to the nearby town of San Miniato features highly on your to-do list. Sitting atop three small hills, the historic location is a perfect getaway for anyone looking to create some special memories.

San Miniato is situated along the Via Francigena and is at the crossroads of a group of highways that lead to numerous Italian cities, including Pisa, Florence and Siena. You can use car hire in Pisa to get there, as the two locations are only 31 miles apart.

Fit for an emperor

San Miniato's beauty has been appreciated for hundreds of years, as a number of emperors have enjoyed the tranquillity on offer in the town. Frederick II of Swabia and the popes Gregory V and Eugene IV are among those who have holidayed in the location, while the famous painter and sculptor Michelangelo also made a few trips there before he started the Sistine Chapel.

Once you arrive in San Miniato you will get a real understanding of the importance of history to the location. Indeed, the artefacts from the excavations of a 3rd century BC necropolis at Fontevivo and a Roman villa at Antonini can be viewed at the Civic Museum.

Enjoy the architecture

There is plenty of beautiful architecture on hand in San Miniato. Whether it is the Prato del Duomo - a charming little square that is in a raised position - or the Palazzo Comunale, you will not be let down. Other highlights include the 14th-century Palazzo dei Vicari, the Cathedral and the Bishops' Palace.

The Seminary has a distinctive frescoed facade and its construction dates back to the 13th century. This means the culture vulture in you can while away the hours looking at the majestic brickwork and listen to all of the stories behind how these buildings were created.

Tour the town

You can gain access to eight exhibition centres - including museums, historical buildings and collections - with a single ticket. The tour of these locations will take you on an urban trail that allows you to see the works in their natural settings.

Rocca Federiciana, built by Frederick II back in the 13th century, overlooks the Valdarno and is the final stop of the tour. Although it was destroyed during the second world war, it was reconstructed in 1958 and is still a favourite of most visitors. The Oratorio Loretino and the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art are among the other stops that you can look forward to.

If you have time on your trip, check out the Archaeological Museum, as the top of the tower gives a beautiful view of the city, the Arno River valley and the Volterra hills. If you are really lucky, the Tyrrhenian Sea will also be on show.

Fun for all the family

San Miniato is not just for adults though, as all the family can have a great time in the town. The San Miniato Basso offers 'An Educational Museum of Writing'. The exhibition is designed for children and students, and looks at the key stages in the history of writing, right from the Stone Age through to the present day.

This shows how this beautiful town really does have something to offer everyone and is perfect for day trippers from Pisa.

Image credit to Google

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