Sunday, December 2, 2012

San Miniato -- Home of the Bonapartes

Commander K. at San Francesco Church, San Miniato
Buonaparte Family Church
The Napoleonic Empire could, with apologies to Frances Mayes, also be referred to as "Europe Under the Tuscan Son."  See my earlier post Napoleon: Son of Tuscany 11/29/12.

Piazza Buonaparte, San Miniato
A beautiful medieval town in Tuscany called San Miniato ( is the ancestral home of the Bonapartes (  This town, also known as San Miniato al Tedesco (not to be confused with San Miniato al Monte), lies between Florence and Pisa in the Province of Pisa in Tuscany.  The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II who had a tower constructed here in the 13th century.  Control of the town was contested during the Renaissance period by Florence and Sienna.

Commander K. at the Cafe Bonaparte, San Miniato, Italy
In 1796 Napoleon Bonaparte visited the town paying respects to his elderly uncle, the canon Filippo Buonaparte (

Plaque commemorating Napoleon's visit in 1796, San Miniato
Today's San Miniato features a Piazza Bonaparte and a Cafe Bonaparte (see above).   Jacopo Buonaparte was a friend and advisor to Medici Pope Clement VII in the 16th century.

Jacopo Buonaparte Memorial, San Miniato Cathedral
The Church of San Francesco was the ancestral burial place for the Bonaparte family.

Nicholas de Bonaparte memorial, San Francesco, San Miniato
You will find the Bonaparte family crest above the lintels of some of the homes in the streets of San Miniato...

Bonaparte Family Crest, San Miniato
You can climb the reconstruction of Frederick's tower (rebuilt in 1958 after the original was destroyed by the German Army in World War II) which gives one splendid views of the surrounding valleys.  My son and I climbed the 192 meter tower.

View from Frederick's Tower, San Miniato
Three weekends in November they celebrate a white truffle festival in San Miniato.  We were there on a Friday and missed the festival but we managed to find a delicious plate of truffle pasta at a local restaurant -- Pepe Nero (

You can now purchase Commander Kelly's 
first book, America Invades or on


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