Fiesole

A half-day excursion to Fiesole, in the hills 8 km (5 miles) above Florence, gives you a pleasant respite from museums and a wonderful view of the city. From here the view of the Duomo gives you a new appreciation for what the Renaissance accomplished. Fiesole began life as an ancient Etruscan and later Roman village that held some power until it succumbed to barbarian invasions. Eventually it gave up its independence in exchange for Florence's protection. The medieval cathedral, ancient Roman amphitheater, and lovely old villas behind garden walls are clustered on a series of hilltops. A walk around Fiesole can take from one to two or three hours, depending on how far you stroll from the main piazza.

POINTS OF INTEREST

San Francesco

This lovely hilltop church has a good view of Florence and the plain below from its terrace and benches. Off…

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Duomo

A stark medieval interior yields many masterpieces. In the raised presbytery, the Cappella Salutati was frescoed by 15th-century artist Cosimo…

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San Domenico

If you really want to stretch your legs, walk 4 km (2½ miles) toward the center of Florence along Via…

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