Hillside Town Above Florence

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by airynfaerie on November 19, 2009

A great getaway from the busy city of Florence is the lovely hillside town of Fiesole. Just a short bus ride up the hill, one can reach this city which has been used as a vacation retreat for the wealthy of Florence. Although overshadowed now by the capital city, Fiesole used to be the prominent town in the area.

Founded as far back as the 9th century BC, Fiesole has roots deep in the Etruscan history. One of the main sites in town is the Etruscan and Roman ruins which include the old city walls, baths, and an outdoor theatre. Just off the main square is the Cathedral of Fiesole which is worth taking a peek into. Plus, there's also a civic museum with a small admission fee where you can see artifacts and other significant works from the area. (With this ticket price you can walk around the ruins as well).

One of the big draws to visit this town is the striking views it offers over the city of Florence and the surrounding countryside. There are a few well known walking paths through the city and hill slopes which offer great lookout points as well as a pass by several interesting churches and villas. The Villa Medici is one of the better known homes up here that was used by the famous Florentine Medici family as a vacation retreat. The walk we liked to take took us down the hill a bit more to the neighborhood of San Domenico. Here there is a church of the same name which was built in the 1400s and is a nice place to stop in before catching the bus outside the church back down to Florence.

To reach Fiesole from Florence, the easiest is to catch the n.7 bus from San Marco square up the 5 mile, hilly ride to the main square in Fiesole, Piazza Mino. This bus runs quite regularly throughout the day. There are a couple noteable restuarants in Fiesole. One is the famous Villa Aurora restaurant which has some of the best views in the city and offers dining al-fresco in the warmer months. A little pricey, but not too bad, especially for a nice night out. The other place where we loved to go is the Indian restaurant (aptly named "India") just off Via Gramsci, a short walk from the main plaza. The staff is very friendly and it was a nice variety from the standard Italian food.

• http://www.comune.fiesole.fi.it/
• Region: Tuscany; Provence: Florence
Via dei Bosconi
Florence, Italy, 50100


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