Hilltop Fiesole, best known for its commanding views over Florence that have drawn aristocratic Florentines and rich expats to build their country villas here since the Renaissance, offers an easily accessible introduction to the area’s rich Etruscan and Roman past. Although now subordinate to its larger neighbor, Fiesole was actually established first (by the Etruscans in the seventh century BC) and was considered the more important of the two cities up until the early 12th century. It was then that Florence took over, nearly destroying the town and surroundings by using it as a quarry for the growing city’s architectural needs. These days it is little more than a village. The steep, winding roads that lead off from the bustling caffès and restaurants of the main Piazza Mino da Fiesole can be explored in a morning, the park of Monte Ceceri or the trails up into the Mugello occupying you for the remainder of your stay.
Fiesole is just six miles north of Florence. ATAF Bus #7 departs from Firenze S.M.N. every 20 minutes (i1) dropping you off in Piazza Mino da Fiesole. If you’re arriving by car, pick up the road through San Domenico from Piazza Edison in the north of Florence (Campo di Marte area). Once you’re here, the town is small enough to navigate on foot, with Monte Ceceri a 10-minute walk to its south.
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