San Miniato

San Miniato has a history dating to Etruscan and Roman times; today it's a tiny, pristine hill town of narrow streets lined with austere 13th- to 17th-century facades, some covering buildings that are centuries older. The Holy Roman Empire had very strong ties here—the local castle was built in 962 under the aegis of Otto I (912–973). Eventually the town, with its Ghibelline (pro-imperial) sympathies, passed into the hands of the Florentines. San Miniato's artistic treasures are limited by Tuscan standards, but the town's prettiness makes a visit worthwhile. On three weekends in November an annual truffle festival adds to San Miniato's allure; it’s well worth visiting if you’re in the area. The food stalls teem with fantastic local stuff, while restaurants are crammed with locals and visitors chowing down on truffled things.

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