If you’re looking for the perfect day trip from Florence, head to Fiesole, a village that has stolen hearts from many locals and tourist alike. Tucked in the northern Tuscan hills, it’s about an hour’s walk (or a quick drive) from bella Firenze. And its extraordinary views of Florence mean that it’s a top-notch spot for those wanting that perfect photo op of the Florence Duomo!
To get there without a car or a hike, just take the ATAF 17 bus, then the 7, to Fiesole (40 minutes in total). You’ll arrive in the heart of town in Piazza Mino, where there is usually a local market during the weekends. Bring cash so you can leave with some local food, wine and artisan treasures.
Want to know more? Here’s what to do, and see, on your perfect day trip from Florence: a day in Fiesole.
Fiesole’s stunning monastery and views
Besides visiting the adjacent chapel and free museum that is run my the monks, you’ll see some of the most spectacular views of Florence. There are park benches that gaze over the terrace; it’s the perfect place to read or have a little picnic.
To head back down to the center of town take the little path in front of the chapel. It’s a beautiful path through a park, just another spot to take walks and enjoy the scenery.
Roman ruins and magnificent art
Time for some Roman ruins… and art!
If you are a fan of the Uffizi, then you will also fall in love with the 12th- to 14th-century works at the Bandini Museum at Via Dupré 1. You will see works from Della Robbia, Taddeo Gaddi, Bernardo Daddi, Lorenzo Monaco and Nardo di Cione.
One entrance fee to the Bandini Museum will also grant you access to the Civic Archeology Museum and sites, which is closed on Tuesday (and on Wednesdays during winter). You can tour the external grounds of what was once inhabited land dating back to the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered the town. (The Etruscan settlement dates even further, to the 9th century BC!).
The archeological area also has an intact amphitheater, which, much more recently, showed operas. There are also remains of a bath and temple, plus more Roman and Greek artefacts in the Civic Museum located at Via Portigiani 1.
Wine and dine
Now that you are hungry and ready for a Tuscan lunch or dinner, we recommend eating like a local—and that includes ordering the famous bistecca fiorentina at Il Fiesolano. We love this place so much, we’ve even included it in our list of favorite restaurants in Florence! So sit and enjoy the best steak you’ll ever have. Follow up dessert with window shopping up Via Gramsci.
Have you ever spent a day in Fiesole? What was your favorite thing about this Etruscan town?