Up and Away from Florence-
My second day in Florence I climbed a big hill. On the top of the hill was Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte. The church is considered to be one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Florence. The first structure, a chapel, appeared on the site by the eighth century, and the present church was begun in 1013. The church was endowed by Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, and was guided by Bishop Alibrando. There is also a monastery on the site, which began as a Benedictine community, then became Clunaic, and, in 1373, became Olivetan. As for the structure itself, it was begun in 1013, but the decorative pavement is from 1207, the large mosaic, Christ Between the Virgin and St. Minas, is from 1260, and Michelozzo’s Cappella del Crocefisso is from 1448. As for the outside of the church, the marble façade was begun around 1090 and the campanile was replaced in 1523, after it collapsed in 1499. Legend states that during the Siege of Florence (1530) Michelangelo wrapped said campanile in mattresses to protect it from being damaged.
After visiting San Miniato I walked to the Piazzale Michelangelo, which is a noted place among tourists because it gives an amazing view of the city. Finally, I walked to the Boboli Gardens, which are also popular with tourists because of their beauty. They were very nice, but I was a bit underwhelmed with them. I think this is mostly because I was at Versailles just last week.