San Miniato stands high on a hill overlooking Florence in one of the most spectacular views around.
This Romanesque church was founded in 1013 and was originally a Benedictine order monastery. In 1373 it was passed to the Olivetans who still run it today. They make and sell honey, liqueurs’, and tisanes which they sell from a store located next to the church.

The interior is unusual and beautiful with a raised choir loft above a crypt. The patterned pavement floor dates from 1207 and there are works of art by Taddeo Gaddi and Luca Della Robbia.

There is a cloister dating from the 1450’s and the entire complex is surrounded by protective walls which Michelangelo built in 1553 when Cosimo I de Medici had the entire complex turned into a fort.

The walls now enclose a large cemetery which was laid out in 1853.I don’t go to San Miniato often, although I am frequently at the Piazzale Michelangelo just below. They have a Gregorian chant service here, but before you go check the schedule to see exactly when it is. It used to be daily, but recently when I visited, I saw that it is scheduled about once per month. Here is a link to the churches website, but when I checked, there was no posted schedule here.
The church can be reached by buses number 12 or 13 and the church has its own stop with the same name. After visiting the church you can walk down to Piazzale Michelangelo for a drink, dinner, a snack or just to take in more of the astounding panorama.


Even though I will always be a sucker for sunsets, this year, I was also captured by the moon. The moon and the stars seem so much closer in Florence and I always say that it’s because it is so close to heaven! Being the night owl that I am, I have a lot of opportunity to see the moon.

This year, Mother Nature offered us a few extra special moons with the Super Moon and the Blue Moon. Whatever you call it, there is nothing like being under the Tuscan moon!


I go here often to browse and see what there is that I can’t live without. Located at via dello Studio, 8 in the shadow of the Duomo, this little gourmet grocery store is a treat to visit.
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It has been in business since 1860 and is opened from 9:30-7:30 Monday through Saturday and 11-7 on Sunday.

If you are visiting Florence, this is a great place to find things to take home as souvenirs, or that you might need for picnics, late night snacks or drinks in your room, etc. Also, they have some of those hard to find items like peanut butter and taco mix, if you happen to live here!

While quite the gourmet shop in appearance and cost, you will find almost everything you need here, except fresh produce. They have a candy counter, a full line of liquor and wines, a deli counter, and all types of toiletries. A wonderful place to browse, I wish they served samples! Check it out sometime when you are near the Duomo.

They also have a small online store…mostly wine…just the important stuff.