Fiesole travel guide

Find some of the best places to stay, visit or eat while staying around Fiesole with Freya Middleton’s guide to the highlights of the area…

Images by Freya Middleton unless otherwise stated

What to see and do

Estate Fieosolana 

Via Portigiani 1, Fiesole

An annual theatre and music festival usually takes place at the Roman amphitheatre between June and September. Last year’s event was cancelled, of course, and there were no announcements concerning this year’s event at the time of going to press.

Museo Civico Archeologico 

Via Portigiani 1, Fiesole

The archeological museum is, in normal times, open daily in the summer months (between November and February it is closed on Tuesdays). There is an admission fee but it’s worth bearing in mind that all the Fiesole museums are included in the Firenze Card.

Museo Bandini 

Via Giovanni Duprè 1, Fiesole

Small but fascinating, Fiesole’s main art museum, the third of the institutions under the management of Musei di Fiesole, is usually open from Friday to Sunday, for an admission fee.




Villa le Balze 

Via Vecchia Fiesolana 26, Fiesole 

Now owned and run an American research university, this is a working campus, but you can visit the beautiful gardens upon request from Monday to Friday in the mornings and afternoons during university term time. An admission fee applies.

Villa Medici 

Via Beato Angelico 2, Fiesole

The Villa Medici was built for pleasure and is privately owned, but again you can visit the gardens upon request. Admission fee.

Convent of San Domenico

Piazza San Domenico 4, Fiesole

It will take you half an hour to walk to San Domenico but it is worth it. Open mornings and afternoons. No admission fee.

Cathedral of St Romulus 

Piazza della Cattedrale 1, Fiesole

The Cattedrale di San Romolo has a statue of the saint by Giovanni della Robbia and a chapel with works by Mino da Fiesole. It is open to visitors mornings and afternoons, without an admission fee.

Church and convent of St Francis

Via San Francesco 13, Fiesole

The Convento di San Francesco is likewise open mornings and afternoons daily, without an admission fee.

Where to eat and stay

La Reggia Degli Etruschi 

Via San Francesco 18, Fiesole

The ‘Palace of the Etruscans’ restaurant is halfway up the hill that leads to the church and convent of St Francis, so it’s convenient for walkers, and the view is quite lovely. It is known for the quality of its steak.

Osteria Vinandro

Piazza Mino da Fiesole 33, Fiesole

This friendly trattoria just off Piazza Mino da Fiesole has an excellent Tuscan menu. If you want to eat well in Fiesole itself, without spending a fortune, this is the place to come.

Villa San Michele

Via Doccia 4, Fiesole

This luxurious 5-star hotel is part of the Belmond group and is set in a villa dating to the Renaissance period. They have a separate restaurant, so lunch or dinner, or simply an aperitivo, here is an option as an external guest.

Pensione Bencistà

Via Benedetto da Maiano 4, Fiesole

Walking into the Pensione Bencistà feels like stepping back in time and becoming a character in A Room with a View or something similar. The rooms are simple but nice. The view is wonderful and the garden is peppered with wisteria. They have a restaurant, but meals for external guests are an option on weekends only. Nevertheless, an aperitivo, or a cup of tea, if you prefer, can be organised in the early evening upon request.

Getting there

  • By bus or taxi: Local city bus number 7 from Florence (departure Piazza San Marco). The bus runs every 20 minutes and takes 30 minutes to get to Piazza Mino da Fiesole (terminus). A taxi will cost about €20- €25 each way.