Through My Lens: Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte

My experience visiting this church, the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, was probably the most unique of any visit I have ever made to a European church. It was late in the afternoon, and my friend and I stumbled upon the basilica almost by accident after taking dozens of photos of the amazing view over the city of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. (Go back to the First Sunday of Lent if you want to see one of those photos.)

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte is located just a few steps further up the hill from Piazzale Michelangelo. We wandered in and were immediately overwhelmed by the music. Gregorian chant, to be precise. It was mesmerizing, and took all of our attention during our entire visit. The monks were singing in the crypt, located below the raised choir, and there were maybe a dozen tourists scattered about, listening to them.

I had read how the monks who live in the monastery next door sing each afternoon during Vespers, but had completely forgotten about it until we just happened to enter the church at precisely the right hour. If you’re wandering about Florence in the late afternoon and want a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience, go listen to these monks.

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte is my photo choice for today, the Third Sunday of Lent.

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