Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Florence- How steep is the walk up to San Miniato al Monte?

Florence- How steep is the walk up to San Miniato al Monte?

Mar 11th, 2011, 06:16 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
Florence- How steep is the walk up to San Miniato al Monte?

I will be in Florence in a couple weeks and my DK guide has what looks to be a fabulous walk up the western side of the Arno, starting at the Ponte Vecchio. It goes past Piazza Michelangelo and up to San Miniato.

I've got arthritic knees and exercise-induced asthma. If the pace is slower, I can usually go uphill fine, as long as it is not for long stretches.

Has anyone done this walk? Would it be better if we just cabbed or bussed up to Miniato and walked down? If we walk down from Piazza Michelangelo just after sunset, can we make it to the Ponte Vecchio before dark?

Thanks for any input!
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 06:22 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
PS Sorry. Just taking a second look at my map and I don't think we can make it down the hill before dark if we are to see anything. So we will have to just cab up to Piazza Michelangelo a different night to see the sunset.

However, still curious to see if anyone has done this walk and how steep is it. Thanks!
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 06:38 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,189
There are a few different approaches that you can walk. The shortest route is straight up and indeed very steep. Other routes are flatter and meander more so they take longer. I walked the steep route 25 years ago. Now I take a bus or taxi up the hill and walk down.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 06:54 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,458
I'm 58 and I have done it a couple of times in the last year or two.

I enjoyed it. But I'm an ex-marathoner who used to run up the fire-stairs of a 20 storey office bldg, five times in a row -- on my lunch-hour!

There are differing routes you can take -- the stairs are steeper than the roadway, as you would expect. Whatever route you take, it is a long, sustained climb.

S. Miniato's interior is magical and the surrounding cemetery is fascinating/ appalling. Look for the life-size dancing couple on one 1940s grave.

YOu can check out my photo of Piazzale M. to get a sense of the elevation:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...5&l=d21189b9f6
tedgale is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 06:56 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,070
Mom and I did it a few years ago. No probs for her - age 66 at the time. She doesn't have arthritis though.
flygirl is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 07:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,694
As the others have said there are a couple of 'killer' sections that include stairs. With your physical limitations I would suggest a cab. Please do go though as it offers gorgeous views back into florence and the church itself and the little cemetery are lovely.
cathies is online now  
Mar 11th, 2011, 08:04 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
If it helps, the DK walk goes up the Costa di San Giorgio, past the Forte di Belvedere. Then it heads off up Via di Belvedere and turns left onto Via del Monte Alle Croci. From there, a short distance up Galileo Galilei to the church. The book states it is a two-hour walk.

Sound better now?
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 06:09 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 180
bookmarking
abenedek is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 06:44 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,458
sarge56: That sounds like a long route, though very picturesque.

I did not realize it is possible to get to San Miniato from the Forte. I have climbed the Costa S Giorgio to the Forte (a grand destination in itself) and looked over to San Miniato and wondered "Cool -- but how would I get 'way over there?"

BTW: The Costa S Giorgio, as I recall it, is an unremittingly steep route. Tougher than the direct route to S Miniato, which has some flatter bits (Not sure of the road name -- probably it is what shows on my map as Via del monte alle croci).
tedgale is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 07:37 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
We've done it in our 40s, 50s and 60s. It is a long walk but not arduous. My sister, who has a bad knee says walking down is more difficult that walking up. If your knee bothers you walking down steep areas, probably a cab up and back would be the best idea. Otherwise, cab up and walk down.
mamcalice is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 07:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,931
I recommend, based on what you have told us about your physical condition, to taxi or bus up and walk down.
zoecat is online now  
Mar 12th, 2011, 03:39 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 598
This sounds like fun, whatever way to get up there. Thank you for the suggestion; I'm going to add it to my things-to-do list for my September visit.
hikrchick is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 05:29 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,694
hikrchick, I gather from your Fodor's name that you like to walk? If that's the case then you will love this walk. There are beautiful views back into Florence as you make your way to San Miniato. We started out from the Duomo and it took a couple of hours in total. We did end up catching a bus back down as we had few other things we wanted to do that day.
cathies is online now  
Mar 12th, 2011, 07:23 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,687
I did it but don't think I'd do it now. I'm a little older than you, Sarge, but not in tip top shape. I have no problem coming down the steps from P. Michelangelo, though.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 10:08 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
We've taken a taxi ride up to P.Michelangelo before, but the taxi took us up from the far south side. That particular walk looked like it would be fine for me. But it is all neighborhood and not picturesque, per se.

I think I'm going to try it. If it becomes to arduous at any point, we'll turn around and go back and get a cab up!

Thanks friends!
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 10:09 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
*too arduous
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 10:11 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
PS last trip I walked all the way from Piazza Venezia to Santa Croce in Gerusalem. So, I've got the stamina! It's just the knees that get soar!
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 10:14 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
PPS That should have read from Piazza Venezia to Santa Croce in Gerusalem AND BACK to PV!!! (I lost 7 lbs that week!) hahahahah
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2011, 07:48 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 63
Bus # 12 goes from the SMN train station, with many stops in the city, to San Miniato and Piazzale Michelangelo (the last stop). I'll be catching it at the square outside the Porta Romana because I'm staying nearby on Via Romana in the Oltrarno. First, I'd suggest you consult the English version of the ATAF website, which also lists bus # 13, and ask your hotel's concierge where to find the nearest bus stop for those two lines.

The steep switchback road down from Pzle. Michelangelo would be very hard on anyone's knees, so a bus or cab back down sounds like a good idea.
poetess is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2011, 08:49 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
If you descend from P.Michelangelo on foot, you will pass a very nice winebar, Fuori Porta, on your left, a good place for a break.

I climbed up to San Miniato and down last year and, unfit as I am, didn't think it was a big deal.
tarquin is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
rolohof_duvall
Europe
4
Mar 8th, 2011 05:29 AM
AlReady2Go
Europe
12
Mar 27th, 2010 04:15 PM
readytotraveltoo
Europe
23
Feb 8th, 2010 12:16 PM
rayoflight104
Europe
8
Jun 26th, 2003 03:59 PM
ChristmasinItaly
Europe
7
Dec 9th, 2002 08:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:46 PM.