History History

Two Thousand years of history

credit Danilo Puccioni
The origin of San Miniato dates back to the 3rd century B.C. when the first Etruscan and later Roman colonies settled here. Those first settlements named Fontevivo (living water spring), Antonini (roman villa). According to the most ancient text, a document dating 713 in the Archiepiscopal Archives of Lucca, the original core of the city signs its birth back to the 8th century: a Church dedicated to the Martyr Miniato had been erected by seventeen Longobards Lords. The germanic heritage continues strongly in the following centuries insofar the city became known as San Miniato al Tedesco (the German San Miniato). The city grew as a military bastion: Otto I of Saxony made it an imperial seats for his government (962), Frederick II of Swabia built the castle and tower making, he converted it in a focal place for central's Italy' tax collection.
With the Middle Ages going by San Miniato became an independent city. By the 14th century it was conquered and went under the new powerful Florentine Signoria. Maria Maddalena of Austria, wife of Cosimo dei Medici, made San Miniato an episcopal headquarters (1622). In the following centuries the cultural life grew its fame thanks to a rich and fertile diocesan and cultural environment.
The Second World War hit San Miniato hardly: the old and symbolic tower (Rocca) was destroyed to the ground together with other ancient buildings. The reconstruction of the tower in 1957 market the beginning of the contemporary age. Today by the MuMe Museum a new exhibition retraces those days when San Miniato didn't have its lookout tower.