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The Ancient, Hilltop Town of Fiesole Has Panoramic Views of Florence Away From the Crowds



31 January 2023

As much as we love talking about how beautiful Italy’s beaches and countryside are, there’s something even more captivating about this country: Its rich, historical past. From its regions to its provinces, large cities, hilltop towns, and small villages, Italy’s history dates back to the founding Etruscans and the conquering Romans with significant evidence of their ancient civilization and settlement found all over the boot.

Tuscany’s capital of Florence received UNESCO World Heritage Site status for its Historic Center due to the area being built on top of an Etruscan settlement, and also for its incredible displays of important artwork and Italian Renaissance architecture. Less than 7 miles outside of Florence’s cultural mecca — and the millions of tourists who visit there annually — the picturesque, ancient, hilltop town of Fiesole is not only known for its important Etruscan and Roman ruins and artifacts, it also has the most stunning, panoramic views of Florence, away from the maddening crowds.

Fiesole’s History and Connection to Florence

Quite often, it’s difficult to describe the immense beauty and charm found within the hilltop towns and villages throughout Italy, particularly those in the Tuscan region. From the narrow, cobbled roads one must take to ascend the hills to reach them, to the quaint alleyways and hidden treasures found around every corner: They are the hidden gems of Bella Italia. Enter Fiesole. This magical town, surrounded by cypress and olive trees, in all its picturesque and charming glory, has adorned its twinned, Tuscan hilltops named after two saints since Etruscan and Roman times, and has quite a collection of artifacts and ruins to prove it.

And, while its present position overlooking Florence is welcomed and admired, its historical past and its connection to the Renaissance City back in the 11th century was quite tumultuous and divided. Now, Fiesole warmly holds Florence in its scenic embrace. As you walk the charming, medieval streets of this hilltop town, you sense the deep-rooted connection to its historical past visible through the archaeology found within its landscape, while becoming captivated by the stunning villas and palaces that share their space.

Fiesole’s Charm and Postcard Views of Florence

What’s even more attractive about Fiesole’s dominant hilltop presence, is what you find when you walk the steep Via di San Francesco, and suddenly set your eyes upon Florence’s Duomo in the distance. It’s a heartstopping experience that transfixes you in place. The Renaissance City and all her vibrant terracotta rooftops and towers are as visible atop Fiesole, as they are if you were standing at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence itself, only with far less people admiring her gorgeous view.

But it’s Fiesole’s quaint village charm and relaxed atmosphere that captures the hearts of the locals and tourists that live and visit here: Differentiating it from the fast city pace of its neighboring sister. If you happen to arrive in Fiesole on a clear day, the views overlooking Firenze are so detailed, its proximity, and sloping, narrow streets also allow for that perfect Instagram photo. And just before nightfall, spectators are treated to views of the most romantic, and spectacular Tuscan sunsets you can ever imagine, as day turns to night lighting up the Florentine valley, and Florence herself.

This article originally appeared published here by the same author.

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