Fiesole, Italy, less than 10 kilometers from Florence, has centuries of preserved history. While it’s unknown to many, it has a wealth of secrets you won’t want to miss. 

From Etruscan walls to Romance baths, there’s so much to see in Fiesole. Since you’ll be close to Florence, there will also be plenty to do. In the summer months, enjoy the various events that occur in the Roman amphitheater. It allows you a location to have peace and quiet away from the big city while exploring plenty of history. 

If you’re ready to learn about this historic and centrally located town, you won’t want to miss then read on!

Fiesole – How To Get There From Florence

Fiesole is only about 10 kilometers from Florence. It’s about 295 meters above Florence, giving you a panorama of the city. 

By car: It’s about 24 minutes by car. Expect moderate traffic. Head southwest on Via dei Neri toward Via del Castello d’Altafronte. 

Buses are available and take about 22 minutes. It’s only a few euros to take a bus. Walking will take over an hour.

By bus: In about seven miles, you’ll take the bus from Florence to Fiesole. Autolinee Toscane operates itne – Urbano Area Metropolitana Fiorentina and Busitalia. Bus times will vary, so checking the schedule in advance is essential. 

What To Do And See In Fiesole, Florence

This historic town will keep you busy even if you never venture to Florence. From Etruscan Walls to Roman baths, there’s so much to see. 

Don’t forget to end your busy day with some local food! Since you’ll be close to Florence and the other cities, boredom will never be in your dictionary. Take lots of pictures, and don’t forget to check out the panorama of Florence and the historic structures of the Etruscans and Romans.

1. Archaeological Museum

Tourists are entering the archaeological museum of Fiesole
Archaeological Museum in Fiesole – I, Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museo Civico Archeologico in Fiesole stands as a captivating testament to over two millennia of history, stretching from the Etruscans and Romans to the Lombards and antiquarian collections.

Situated in an area of stunning scenic beauty within the Archaeological Area, this museum breathes life into the long story of Fiesole and its surroundings through its preserved archaeological finds. The exhibited artifacts offer a journey through the diverse cultures that have graced this land, with a spotlight on the Etruscan, Roman, and Lombard periods.

Additionally, the museum’s extensive antiquarian section, enriched by donations from numerous significant collectors, delves into the Greek period as well, showcasing a wealth of historical treasures.

2. Convent of San Domenico 

The entrance to the Convent of San Domenico, in Fiesole
Convent of San Domenico, Fiesole- I, Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The serene Dominican monastery, is a peaceful oasis lying between Fiesole and Florence.

Founded in 1406 and enriched by the artistic contributions of Beato Angelico, this spiritual haven tells stories of faith and art through its historic walls.

Visitors can explore the beautifully preserved church and its captivating frescoes, reflecting the monastery’s significant role in the religious and cultural life of the region.

Ideal for those seeking a tranquil escape, this site offers a unique journey into the heart of Tuscany’s religious heritage, inviting travelers to explore its timeless beauty and enduring legacy.

3. Convent of San Francesco 

Located atop the highest point in Fiesole, the Convento di San Francesco offers travelers a unique blend of spiritual tranquility and historical richness.

Founded on the site of ancient ruins, this Franciscan convent weaves together tales from its initial construction by Augustinian nuns in 1225 to its flourishing under Franciscan guardianship since the late 14th century.

Notably, the convent’s church, with its neogothic facade and treasures like Piero di Cosimo’s “Disputa sull’Immacolata Concezione,” invites visitors into a serene space of contemplation.

The convent’s cloisters, adorned with frescoes depicting St. Francis among birds, echo the harmony between nature and spirituality, creating a peaceful retreat for those exploring the Tuscan landscape.

4. Roman Theater 

The Roman theatre in Fiesole
The Roman theatre in Fiesole – Photo by Egisto Sani CC BY-NC 2.0

The Roman Theater of Fiesole stands as a testament to ancient architectural brilliance in the Tuscan hills, reflecting the innovative spirit of Roman and Greek influences.

Constructed in the late 1st century BC, it made smart use of the terrain’s natural slope to create a grand amphitheater. This space, which could hold up to three thousand people, marries the elegance of Greek theaters with distinct Roman architectural features, offering a unique glimpse into the cultural amalgamation of the era.

Today, it serves as a vibrant venue for summer operatic performances, allowing visitors to enjoy historical drama in a setting that has echoed with the voices of the past for centuries.

5. Bandini Museum

Bandini Museum, Fiesole – Macieklew, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As you wander through the Museo Bandini in Fiesole, you’re enveloped in a world where the sacred art of the medieval and Renaissance periods comes alive.

Angelo Maria Bandini’s 18th-century vision materializes before your eyes, showcasing an exceptional collection that spans Florentine and Tuscan paintings, rare Byzantine works, and the vivid terracottas of the Della Robbia family.

Each piece, a testament to the devotion and artistry of its time, invites you into a deeper appreciation of history and culture.

6. Etruscan Walls 

Some remains of the ancient Etruscan walls of Fiesole
The Etruscan walls of Fiesole – I, Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Exploring the ancient walls of Fiesole, you’re taken back to the city’s formidable defensive system crafted in the 4th century BC.

Constructed from large, squared blocks of local serena stone without mortar, these walls once soared up to 5 meters high and stretched approximately 2.5 km around the city’s core, encapsulating the hills of San Francesco and Sant’Apollinare.

As you walk along the well-preserved northern stretch in Via delle Mura Etrusche, the grandeur of Etruscan late Hellenistic architecture unfolds, offering a picturesque glimpse into the past.

Although the southern side, facing Florence, retains only fragments within modern structures, the essence of Fiesole’s ancient fortifications resonates, connecting you with the city’s rich, layered history.

7. The Local Food

Tourists are eating local food in Fiesole, near Florence
Tourists eating local food

Besides the history, you’ll want to check out the various pizzerias and cafes in the area. You can also head to the local markets for fresh ingredients from the area. Local delicacies, cheese and meats, and more can be found here.

Some famous local dishes include Bruschetta (known here as Fettunta), Tuscan pasta, Cacciucco di ceci (swiss chard and chickpea soup), Florentine Steak, and Zuccotto, a special Tuscan dessert from Florence. Complete the meal with a Florentine Chianti wine. Some of the local house rentals will be on wineries, but even if yours isn’t, many restaurants will have fresh wine from the area.

The Best Hotels In Fiesole, Italy

While small, there are still plenty of beautiful options in Fiesole. Save your money by staying in this small but historic and beautiful city instead of Florence. 

Stunning Views with a Relaxing Pool

Aerial view of the Hotel Villa Dei Bosoni with outdoor swimming pool
Photo Credit: – Hotel Villa Dei Bosconi

The Hotel Villa Dei Bosoni is surrounded by the Tuscan countryside. Enjoy a terrace, a hydro-massage corner, and a swimming pool to relax after a day of exploring.

Location: Via F.Ferrucci 51, 50014 Fiesole, Italy

Stars: 3

Features: Outdoor swimming pool, Very Good Breakfast, Bar

Reviews: 8.5/10

A Historic and Highly-Ranked Hotel

Simple room with a relaxing atmosphere in Agriturismo Villa Di Campolungo
Photo Credit: – Agriturismo Villa Di Campolungo

Look above as you walk underneath wooden beams and walk on terracotta flooring. Use handmade soap made from the villa’s own olive oil. Before a day of adventure, fuel up on their buffet breakfast. 

Location: Via Campilungo 1 , 50010 Fiesole, Italy 

Stars: 3

Features: Free parking, Breakfast, Free WiFi

Reviews: 9.4/10

Gorgeous Views and Fresh Olive Oil

Aerial view of the Agriturismo Montereggi with outdoor swimming pool and beautiful landscape
Photo Credit: – Agriturismo Montereggi

Head to Agriturismo Montereggi for a sustainable travel property. Located in the beautiful Tuscan hills with a large swimming pool, you’ll relax in luxury. The train station isn’t too far, allowing easy transport to local cities and towns. 

Location: Via Santa Maria Maddalena 8, 50014 Fiesole, Italy

Stars: 3

Features: Outdoor swimming pool, Restaurant, Facilities for disabled guests

Reviews: 9.1/10

Modern Accommodations

Stunning view of the landscape from the balcony in Residence Fiesole
Photo Credit: – Residence Fiesole

This hotel has modern conveniences such as an AC, flat-screen TV, and more. A bus stop isn’t too far either. Gorgeous views of the Tuscan countryside can be enjoyed as well. 

Location: Via degli Artigiani 1, 50014 Fiesole, Italy

Stars: 3

Features: Private Parking, Free WiFi, Facilities for disabled guests

Reviews: 9.2/10

A Sustainable Apartment in the City’s Center

The San Bartolo Rent Apartments building with well in the outside
Photo Credit: – San Bartolo Rent Apartments, due passi da Firenze

San Bartolo Rent Apartments due Passi da Firenze allows you to be part of nature sustainably. There are beautiful gardens and terrace views to enjoy as well. 

Location: Bolognese 60 Piano terra, 50014 Fiesole, Italy

Stars: 3

Features: City view, Balcony, Bathtub

Reviews: 9.5/10

Best Restaurants In Fiesole

Here are the restaurants we have selected for your trip!

Restaurant La Reggia Degli Etruschi

Inside the Restaurant La Reggia Degli Etruschi with overlooking view of the city
Photo Credit – lareggiadeglietruschi

This restaurant is located on one of the most panoramic terraces of Fiesole. Enjoy delicious food while taking in beautiful monuments and views of Florence. 

Location: Via S. Francesco, 18, 50014 Fiesole FI

Reviews: 4.7/5

Insider Tip: Exquisite local cuisine

Terrazza 45

The Tagliolini with white truffle dish cooked by the Terrazza 45
Photo Credit – Terrazza 45

Only a few meters from Fiesole, Florence amphitheater, is the Terrazza 45. Pair seafood pasta with local Tuscan wine or other delicious dishes. 

Official Website: Terrazza 45

Location: Piazza Mino da Fiesole, SP53, 45, 50014 Fiesole FI

Reviews: 4.3/5

Insider Tip: Stunning View

Coquinarius Fiesole

The delicious Tagliolini with lobster served by the Coquinarius Fiesole
Photo Credit – Coquinarius

Enjoy some of the best views of Florence in the world here! Don’t forget to try their hand-rolled pasta dishes and complete the dish with Tuscan wine

Official Website: Coquinarius Fiesole

Location: Via Giuseppe Mantellini, 2b, 50014 Fiesole FI

Reviews: 4.5/5

Insider Tip: Exquisite wine

Read more: Tuscan Food – A Wealth of Pasta Sauces, Soups, and Sweets!

What To Visit Nearby Fiesole

Roman arches in the archaeological area of Fiesole
Roman arches in the archaeological area of Fiesole – Photo by Egisto Sani CC BY-NC 2.0

Don’t forget to visit the art and architecture of Florence. You can get there by bus or driving for an easy trip. 

You won’t want to miss San Gimignano, a small medieval town nearby. It’s located in the province of Siena.

In the city of Florence, head to the Greve in Chianti. Check out the fast-flower river running through the beautiful town. 

Don’t miss out on the wine in this area, which it’s known for. Stop by the other Chianti towns as well. Some options include Castellina in Chianti, Montefioralle, Gaiole in Chianti, and more. 

In the province of Arezzo, there’s Poppi. It’s about 40 kilometers east of Florence. The town is linked to the family of the Counts Guidi, who built castles in various regions. Head to the historic scene of the Battle of Campaldino.

FAQs About Fiesole

Florence at sunset seen from Fiesole
Florence at sunset seen from Fiesole – Photo by Michael Levine-Clark CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Check out the most frequently asked questions:

What Is Fiesole Italy Famous For?

It’s famous for Etruscan history, and the walls still survive to this day. Since it’s a secret location, the Roman theater is still well-maintained. There are also Roman baths, and you’ll have a beautiful panorama of Florence from this city.

How Long To Spend In Fiesole?

Since it’s smaller, you can see most of it in half a day. Since Florence is nearby, as well as plenty of other towns and cities, it’s worth it to stay here. You’ll be close to Florence without the busy traffic of that area. 

How Much Is A Taxi From Florence To Fiesole?

A taxi is about 13-16 euros. Taking the bus is a more affordable option. 

How To Take The Bus From Florence To Fiesole?

Head to the Stazione Piazza Adua to Fiesole Piazza Mino. Check the schedule in advance since it could change. 

Where To Buy Bus Tickets To Fiesole?

You can buy bus tickets through Plan your trip in advance for more options.

Closing Thoughts: Is Fiesole Worth Visiting?

Scenic view of Florence from Fiesole
Scenic view of Florence from Fiesole

Yes! It’s a secretive city with a history dating back to the Etruscans. Before Florence was on the map, this city was flourishing and vibrant, with plenty of history and art to enjoy. 

You’ll be close to Florence but still have more peace and quiet. Since you’ll be close and above, you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of the city. 

There are gardens and villas, museums, parks, trails, churches, and historic structures. Food in Fiesole, Italy, is delicious. There are pizzerias, restaurants, and cafes.