|| Tuscany | Florence
|Fiesole, on the hills above Florence, was once a bustling Etruscan settlement, then a Roman town, and quite the equal of Florence until the medieval era. During the Renaissance, Fiesole became a nice retreat for the Medicis, who built villas on the hillsides. Here in Fiesole today, kids can get a glimpse of earlier inhabitants, and it's a great escape from busy Florence.
|Etruscan tombs (Tombe Etrusche) – Walk to the end of town, approximately a ten minute walk on Via A. Gramsci, to visit two little Etruscan tombs, more than two thousand years old. The tombs are the perfect size for children, quite open, kids can go inside the tombs and climb on the stones. The walk also has views of the Tuscan countryside, just imagine Etruscan settlements dotting the hills. There's also a long section of existing Etruscan wall (which defended the town) on Via delle Mura Etrusche, behind the Roman theater.
|Visit the ruins of the Roman Theater and Archaeological Museum (Teatro Romano and Museo Archeologico). The Roman amphitheater, built between 50 and 0 BC, could hold a big crowd of 2,500 people, and is still used for dramatic productions. Don't miss the ruins of the Roman baths and a Roman-Etruscan temple.
Public Garden (Giardini Pubblico) – Looking for a place to spread out your picnic? Head for the public gardens, it's just a short walk from the central piazza. Heading north west, follow the signs up the hill toward S. Alessando. On the right, in the gardens are shade trees, grassy areas and benches.
If you continue up the road a little more, on the left is more of the public gardens, with panoramic views of Florence. On a clear day, the Duomo and surrounding Florence look like a Renaissance map.
Walk from Fiesole to San Domenico – For a stroll in the hills, take a walk down the Via Vecchia Fiesolana, the old road that goes from Fiesole in the direction of San Domenico. It's a delightful walk down a one lane road, lined with stone walls and villas, olive trees and flowering trees in spring, birds singing. The road ends at the little town of San Domenico, and there you can pick up the bus back to Fiesole.