Yesterday we enjoyed a visit to the Tuscan town of Fiesole — in the hills overlooking the city of Florence. The highlight of our visit was the Area Archeologica — see the comprehensive website (in Italian) here. Many thanks to Les and Joanne for briefing us on Fiesole — absent their guidance we might not have discovered this tasty treat! There were almost no tourists, so we had the site to ourselves.
Over the past 100 years or so, excavations by archaeologists have revealed a twenty-five hundred year old Etruscan temple and a two thousand year old Roman temple, Roman ampitheater and Roman baths. These are all structures built of enormous stones. The site is set up for easy viewing. We walked the pathways between and around the ruins. Vistas of the Tuscan hills and olive groves filled the distances. Excellent educational materials explained what we were seeing.
The Archaeological Museum is filled with items recovered during the excavations. Everything is carefully displayed, with extensive explanations, in Italian, and sometimes in English. The building is set deep into the excavation itself, where parts of the ruins are displayed underground.
The delightful town of Fiesole is a fine place for strolling, viewing Florence, dining, having coffee, and resting our feet. We enjoyed a delicious thin-crispy-crust pizza on the piazza before catching our bus back to Florence. A low-cost way to visit Fiesole is the #7 bus from the Piazzo San Marco near the University of Florence, about 25 minutes to reach Fiesole. Use Google Maps to view the bus schedule – much easier than using the bus website.
Because it was very hazy over Florence we did not attempt any photos of the Duomo from Fiesole. Here is one example of that iconic image taken by another Smugmug photographer.
Fiesole is a must-see when you visit Florence. Our next dispatch will have a bit more detail on the Musei di Fiesoli — a truly remarkable archaeological museum.