The basilica of San Miniato al Monte recently celebrated its 1,000th birthday. Dominating the view from one of the highest and most scenic spots overlooking Florence, it is a jewel of Tuscan Romanesque architecture. A defensive wall built in haste by Michelangelo during the siege of Florence in 1530 surrounds the church complex, later completed by Cosimo I de’ Medici and made into a real fortress in 1553. Today, enclosed within that wall is the Porte Sante monumental cemetery where many famous Italians are buried, amongst others, Carlo Collodi, who created Pinocchio, painter Pietro Annigoni and politician Giovanni Spadolini. By contrast, inside the church—although the basilica’s simplicity and elegance are striking and it proves to be a trove of artistic treasures that make the steep walk up the many steps more than worth the effort—we find only one tomb, that of a noble churchman from a distant land.