Tower of Frederick II
For its strategic position, San Miniato became part of the Swabian imperial defensive system and seat of the imperial finance administration for central Italy in the 11th century. The highest Tower at the peak of the hill was bulilt under Empreror Frederick II from the 1217 and 1223. Moreover than a defense tower the Rocca was used as prison. In Italy, there are many exemples of architectures and buildings built during his glorious reign: Castel del Monte, Castel di Melfi and many others...
credit Riccardo Taddei
The tower is 30 meters high, it represents the last vestige of Frederik's keep, heart of complex fortress. Today, there is a new version built in 1958 after the original was destroyed during the Second Wold War. From the top of the tower, one can observe the structure of the city which develops along the main street on the ridge of the hill. In the past, the military fortification was made up of two trapezoidal wall circuits, almost as if to describe the shape of an eight. In the medieval architecture and symbolism, the eight was the synonymous of infinity and equality. The first ring of walls encircled the top of the hill, the second and wider one went down to the area that corresponds to today's Cathedral's Square. This second ring included the Torre delle Cornacchie, destroyed in the 19th century, and the Matilde's Tower, today the Cathedral's bell tower.
Opening time: Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm