The Rocca di Federico II stands on the top of the hill on which the village sits, marking the completion of the castle’s defensive complex. It was here, between 1217 and 1221, that the Emperor built the tower of San Miniato, now a symbol of the town.
The Cathedral, which dates back to 1200, has a strikingly unique exterior decoration: a series of ceramic discs replicate the arrangement of the stars in the Orsa Maggiore and Minore constellations.The Convent of San Francesco is also worth seeing; according to tradition, it was dedicated by the nobles of San Miniato to the Saint of Assisi while he was staying in the nearby Abbey of Santa Gonda.
Among the diverse religious architecture that is characteristic of the town, the Church of Santo Stefano and San Michele are particularly notable. It was built in the 12th century over the Mangiatori family’s private chapel; inside there’s a wooden crucifix by Pietro Cavallini (XV century), and frescoes depicting the four Evangelists by Domenico Brogi, as well as beautiful mosaic windows and frescoes by Dilvo Lotti.
As previously mentioned, San Miniato is full of churches and palaces that are well worth visiting, but there are a few stand-outs: the Church of the Santissimo Crocifisso (dedicated to Loretino) the Church of the Santissima Annunziata (dedicated to San Iacopo and Santa Lucia) the Convent of San Domenico and, finally, the Palazzo Vescovile.