A Trip to Fiesole: what to see

This Etrusco-Roman hilltop city, only a few kilometers from Florence, offers priceless views and a wide range of attractions.

Fiesole is a Tuscan gem that faces the golden Florentine valley, a place that despite its modest size contains an array of matchless treasures. The city’s mix of history, culture and nature is a must-see in the Florence area, especially given its close proximity to the city center. 
One day is surely not enough to enjoy all of the area’s wonders; breaking down the itinerary thematically, here’s what you should see.


A real archeological treasure

First stop, the origins. Fiesole’s roots date to the Etruscan period, as evidenced by the large number of Etruscan and Roman artifacts: as you explore the area’s rich archeological heritage, the city’s important role in history will become glaringly evident.
Among the various treasures, you’ll find Etruscan city walls still visible today in various parts of the city and the Archeological Area (on via delle Mura Etrusche), which occupies the zone’s center and houses the most important Roman structures: the theater (still used today for concerts and performances), the temple and thermal baths, not to mention the various other minor structures dotting the area.
You can also visit the Civic Archeological Museum to browse the various artifacts collected during archeological digs.
Last but not least, don’t miss the acropolis, found at the top of the sky-high city: a spot you can access by climbing the panoramic via San Francesco.  

Things to know!

Fiesole’s archeological area is also the location of one of the city’s main events: Summer in Fiesole. This festival features events, music and shows and runs from mid-June to the end of July. 


The city’s religious soul

The San Francesco Convent is located on the city’s highest point, which can be reached by climbing a short but steep street presenting beautiful views.
Head to piazza Mino da Fiesole to start your climb, passing through the “Belvedere” vista point where you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of Florence. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll meet the stunning Gothic-style church façade and adjacent building (the old convent), which vaunts an impressive outdoor loggia.

You can also choose to relax in a grassy area in front of the convent while reveling in the stunning views. But this isn’t Fiesole’s only treasure: don’t miss the San Romolo Basilica, Fiesole’s main cathedral found in piazza Mino da Fiesole. The building, boasting a beautiful bell tower, is a part of the entire monumental religious complex composed of the Bishop’s Palace, the Seminary, the Chapter Archive and the Sacred Art Museum. Inside the cathedral you’ll find spectacular frescoes and other invaluable artworks. 

Last but not least, check out the Badia Fiesolana, the most illustrious place of worship in Fiesole. The structure is most known for the façade’s captivating architecture (Romanesque style) and for the large array of artworks housed inside. You’ll have to leave the city center to visit this historic gem, as the abbey is located in a large valley where via Salviati connects via San Domenico to the Nuova Bolognese – an area with a jaw-dropping panorama. 


The museums

Don’t miss Fiesole’s outstanding museums: the Bandini Museum and the Primo Conti Foundation
The former is named after Angelo Maria Bandini (an art collector), a place where you’ll find medieval and Renaissance paintings, a collection of Della Robbia glazed terracotta pieces and a selection of other beautiful works. 
The second museum owes its name to the great 20th-century Florentine painter. Here, you’ll find a collection of paintings and drawings (ranging from 1911 to 1985): it’s the perfect chance to journey through the time period’s artistic evolution as interpreted by Primo Conti

Information

The Archeological Museum and Area, Bandini Museum and Primo Conti Foundation can be visited with Firenzecard

Hours

Archeological Museum and Area (via Portigiani, 1)
November to February, 10:00am - 3:00pm (closed Tuesday)
March and October, 10:00am - 6:00pm (open every day)
April to September, 9:00am - 7:00pm (open every day)

Bandini Museum (via Portigiani, 1)
November to February, 10:00am - 3:00pm (open Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
March and October, 10:00am - 6:00pm (open Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
April to September, 9:00am - 7:00pm (open Friday, Saturday and Sunday)

Primo Conti Foundation (via G. Dupré 18)
Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 2:00pm

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