|— Comune —|
|Comune di Fiesole|
The Roman theatre of Fiesole is still used.
|Frazioni||Anchetta, Caldine, Compiobbi, Ellera, Girone, Pian del Mugnone, Pian di San Bartolo, San Domenico|
|- Mayor||Fabio Incatasciato|
|- Total||42 km2 (16.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||295 m (968 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2007)|
|- Density||336/km2 (870.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|- Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Romulus|
|Saint day||July 6|
Fiesole is a town and comune of the province of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany, on a famously scenic height above Florence, 8 km (5 mi) NE of that city. According to the 2003 census, its population was 14,100.
Fiesole was probably founded in the 9th-8th century BC, as it was an important member of the Etruscan confederacy, as may be seen from the remains of its ancient walls.
The first recorded mention on the town dates to 283 BC, when the town, then known as Faesulae, was conquered by the Romans. In pagan antiquity it was the seat of a famous school of augurs, and every year twelve young men were sent thither from Rome to study the art of divination. Sulla colonized it with veterans, who afterwards, under the leadership of Gaius Mallius, supported the cause of Catilina.
Fiesole was the scene of Stilicho's great victory over the Germanic hordes of the Vandals and Suevi under Radagaisus in 406. During the Gothic War (536-53) the town was several times besieged. In 539 Justinus, the Byzantine general, captured it and razed its fortifications.
It was an independent town for several centuries in the early Middle Ages, no less powerful than Florence in the valley below, and many wars arose between them; in 1010 and 1025 Fiesole was sacked by the Florentines, before it was conquered by Florence in 1125, and its leading families obliged to take up their residence in Florence.
By the 14th century, rich Florentines had countryside villas in Fiesole, and one of them is the setting of the frame narrative of the Decameron, also Boccaccio wrote the poem "Ninfale fiesolano". Robert Browning also mentions "sober pleasant Fiesole" several times in his poem, Andrea del Sarto.
In the neighbourhood are:
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FIESOLE (anc. Faesulae, q.v.), a town and episcopal see of Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Florence, from which it is 3 m. N.E. by electric tramway. Pop. (Igoi) town 4951, commune 16,816. It is situated on a hill 9 70 ft. above sea-level, and commands a fine view. The cathedral of S. Romolo is an early and simple example of the Tuscan Romanesque style; it is a small basilica, begun in 1028 and restored in 1256. The picturesque battlemented campanile belongs to 1213. The tomb of the bishop Leonardo Salutati (d. 1466). with a beautiful portrait bust by the sculptor Mino da Fiesole (1431-1484), is fine. The 13th-century Palazzo Pretorio contains a small museum of antiquities. The Franciscan monastery commands a fine view. The church of S. Maria Primerana has some works of art, and S. Alessandro, which is attributed to the 6th century, contains fifteen ancient columns of cipollino. The inhabitants of Fiesole are largely engaged in straw-plaiting.
Below Fiesole, between it and Florence, lies San Domenico di Fiesole (485 ft.); in the Dominican monastery the painter, Fra Giovanni Angelico da Fiesole (1387-1455), lived until he went to S. Marco at Florence. Here, too, is the Badia di Fiesole, founded in 1028 and re-erected about 1456-1466 by a follower of Brunelleschi. It is an irregular pile of buildings, in fine and simple early Renaissance style; a small part of the original façade of 1028 in black and white marble is preserved. The interior of the Church is decorated with sculptures by pupils of Desiderio da Settignano. The slopes of the hill on which Fiesole stands are covered with fine villas. To the S.E. of Fiesole lies Monte Ceceri (1453 ft.), with quarries of grey pietra serena, largely used in Florence for building. To the E. of this lies the 14th-century castle of Vincigliata restored and fitted up in the medieval style.