Only 9 km from Florence this village lies in the hills where the gentle breeze disturbs the olive groves and awakens their delicious scent. Renaissance villas dot this area which have housed artists and celebrities from around the world for many years. Fiesole began as an Etruscan settlement in the 7th century and became the most influential town in northern Etruria. A trip to Fiesole makes a nice change after all your museum-visiting in Florence and is especially lovely for summer picnics.
The tourist information office (tel. 055 597 83 73; www.comune.fiesole.it; Via Portigiani 3; open 9.30am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm and 2-3pm weekends) is near the Piazza Mino de Fiesole within a stone’s throw of the historical sites. It is a good source of maps and the staff can advise you on walking trails in the area.