Fiesole, a pretty town immersed in a breathtaking panorama, stands on the hills behind Florence.

The history of Fiesole is very ancient and dates back to the Etruscan period. Under Roman rule the Tuscan city experienced a long period of prosperity, which continued until nearby Florence definitively took possession of the surrounding territory at the end of the 12th century.  Despite the dependence on the "city of the lily",  numerous luxury villas commissioned by the Medici prospered here.
During the Second World War, the city was known for the famous Martyrs of Fiesole, that is, the sacrifice that three carabinieri made to save ten hostages. If these places fascinate you, you could decide to spend a weekend in Fiesole or discover Tuscany with one of our tours: 

Trekking on the Way of Gods: from Bologna to Firenze

The Via Francigena in Tuscany: from Lucca to Siena

What to see in Fiesole

We have prepared a list of things to see in Fiesole to enjoy the beauty of the city shaped by the Medici in peace. Why not decide to dedicate a day to discover the beauties of Fiesole?

  • Villa Medici
  • Fiesole Cathedral
  • Castel di Poggio
  • Archeological Area of Fiesole

And now let's set off together to discover the most incredible places in Fiesole!

Villa Medici

Villa Medici is one of the oldest and best preserved villas belonging to the Medici family.
It was commissioned between 1451 and 1457 by Giovanni de' Medici who, passionate about architecture, decided to create a terrace on the top of a hill to be able to build his villa.
Its structure appears very different from the previous ones, as it appears to be open to the outside, without military buildings and without the internal courtyard. The house was equipped with a cellar on the ground floor, stables and servants' quarters, while the upper floors were the homes of the lords.
A curiosity about the villa is that the famous "Pazzi Conspiracy" was supposed to take place right here, according to which some members of the Pazzi family were supposed to kill the two scions of the Medici family by poisoning them at a banquet. Fortunately the plan fell through, but unfortunately the conspiracy was only postponed to the following day, during the celebration of mass in Santa Maria del Fiore. 

Fiesole Cathedral

The Cathedral of San Romolo is located in the main square of Fiesole and represents one of the main meeting points of the city. The church dates back to 1028, but was enlarged and restored several times over the years. The exterior is in Romanesque style, very simple and flanked by a 42 metre high bell tower. The interior is also very simple, but appears much more imposing and decorated with few but very valuable frescoes attributed to Piero Perugino and Nicodemo Ferrucci.
The cathedral is also equipped with a crypt supported by numerous small columns and decorated with frescoes depicting the Madonna and Child. The relics of San Romulus are also located here.

Castel di Poggio

What makes this castle unique is that, despite its fourteenth-century appearance, it dates back only to 1826. The castle, in fact, perfectly follows a complex that was destroyed in 1348 and which was then rebuilt by the Alessandri family with an architecture that could imitate the original style impeccably. This imposing construction is completed by a huge garden composed of holm oaks, oaks, chestnut trees, olive trees and cypresses.

Archaeological Area of ​​Fiesole

In Fiesole it is possible to admire an important archaeological area containing finds dating from the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD. Inside the park it is possible to visit a museum, containing the finds found in the area, and the wonderful monumental finds such as the Roman theatre, the ancient baths and the Etruscan-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.

What to do in Fiesole - the Slow Active Tours proposal

Once you have discovered the wonders hidden in the streets of the historic centre of Fiesole, the time has come to get to the heart of the sounds and smells in the shadow of the ancient village. For this reason, among the things to do in Fiesole we suggest enjoying the calm and wonder offered by:

  • Panorama of San Francesco

The peculiarity of Fiesole is that it is built on top of a hill and for this reason it hides breathtaking panoramic points. To enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city, just cross the Rimembranza park until you reach the convent of San Francesco.
The park will give you an incredible walk among the most hidden corners of Fiesole and, once you arrive at the Convent, the view is unparalleled: there are those who have even managed to see Brunelleschi's dome in Florence from here!

Popular festivals and celebrations of Fiesole

Fiesole is a city full of festivals and popular events that can be admired throughout the year, but summer is the best time to enjoy them to the fullest. For the entire duration of this season, in fact, the Estate Fiesolana takes place, a series of musical and theatrical shows that brings to the stage the works of various theatre companies and numerous local bands. Another interesting event you can take part in in Fiesole during the summer is the “Notte splendente di Fiesole” (Fiesole Shining Night). The event is held in June and represents a real marathon of gastronomic events accompanied by numerous concerts.

Typical dishes of Fiesole

The typical dishes of Fiesole cuisine are mainly based on the Florentine tradition and this is why it is very easy to find Florentine steaks, castagnaccio (a dessert prepared with chestnut flour), chickpeas with caciucco and stuffed onions.
In Fiesole it is also possible to visit numerous vineyards and olive groves and immerse yourself in the creation and conservation of organic extra virgin olive oil and the best and most famous wines in Italy. Did you know that very famous American films such as "Letters to Juliet" and " Sotto il sole della Toscana" are set in the many vineyards that the area has to offer?

Eating and Drinking in Fiesole

Among the many restaurants in the centre of Fiesole, we recommend some that are worth visiting:
La Reggia degli Etruschi in San Francesco street, 18. It is located in a heavenly place: an informal place, but full of quality dishes. Particularly appreciated are the appetisers, cooked with first choice ingredients.
Bar Pasticceria Alcedo in Antonio Gramsci street, 39. A small pastry shop that churns out delicacies of all kinds every day. Particularly suitable for breakfasts and snacks, it offers both sweet and savoury goodness every day to satisfy every palate.
Casa del Prosciutto in dei Bosconi street, 58. Typical restaurant that offers traditional dishes without sacrificing the excellent quality of the products. The wonderful experience is completed by friendly staff and a welcoming venue. 

So what are you waiting for? Get your stuff ready and off you go!