No trip to Florence can be complete without a visit to Fiesole! Known for its incredible views of the region, this hilltop Tuscan province contains ruins of both the Etruscans and Romans – and is the BEST place for photographing Firenze. Located about twenty-five minutes from Florence, Fiesole is the perfect day trip for anyone with an afternoon to spare. Take the #7 bus, from either Santa Maria Novella train station or piazza San Marco, to the very last stop; you’ll end up in the center of Fiesole. Start your visit at the tourist office so you can purchase tickets for the many museums and sites, and get your hands on a complimentary map of the area.
While the map gives several suggestions of what to see in Fiesole, here are my top picks (in no particular order):
- Archeological Area & Civic Museum:
Via Portigiani, 1, Fiesole
Tel. 055 5961293
Along with stunning countryside views, this area contains a Roman amphitheater, baths, and temple, all of which date back to the first century. As a plus, admission to this area includes access to the Civic Museum, which contains prehistoric, Etruscan, Roman, and Medieval artworks and remains.
- Bandini Museum:
Via Duprè, 1, Fiesole
Tel. 055 596 1293
This small museum houses the works of Angelo Bandini, an artist from Fiesole, in addition to Florentine paintings from the 13th and 15th century, and Della Robbia terracotta.
- Franciscan Convent and Missionary Museum:
Via San Francesco 13, Fiesole, ItalyTel. 055 59175
While it is a bit of a steep climb to get here, the scenery on the way up is worth it! The church and convent are small but beautiful-take your time to explore the area. You can go inside the donation-only museum, which houses treasures from the monk’s around-the-world pilgrimages, and you can even go upstairs to see the tiny cells were they once lived and worshipped!
- Chiesa e Convento di San Domenico:
Piazza San Domenico, 4, Fiesole
Tel. 055 598837
This convent was completed in 1406 and contains various artworks, the most famous of those being the works of Fra Angelico. There are beautiful frescoes housed here that you cannot leave Fiesole without seeing!
- Mura Etrusco-Romane: Fiesole was once surrounded by walls that today are only partially visible. These are the remains of fortifications constructed in the 4th century.
- Tombe Etrusche: This exhibit contains two tombs that date back to the Hellenistic period, located next to the Mura Etrusco-Romane.
- Montececeri: This is where Leonardo Da Vinci had his “flight experiment!” This is the furthest tourist location from the city center but if you have the time it will be more than worth your while!
- Fonte Sotterra: An artificial, underground cave that has been used as a spring since the Middle Ages. Tours are offered during certain times of the year, check the Fiesole events website, or ask at the tourist office!
- Mueseo e Fondazione Primo Conti: This museum has a large selection of artwork; everything from oil paintings to drawings to watercolor works done by artist Primo Conti. Known for his futurist style, the Conti collection is a can’t miss in Fiesole!
- Panoramic Viewpoint: Standing in the his is where many of the picturesque images of Tuscany are taken. The view is incredible and definitely worth the hike up!