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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Comune  —
Comune di Fiesole
The Roman theatre of Fiesole is still used.

Coat of arms
Fiesole is located in Italy
Location of Fiesole in Italy
Coordinates: 43°48′26″N 11°17′31″E / 43.80722°N 11.29194°E / 43.80722; 11.29194
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Florence (FI)
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)
 - Total 14,113
 - Density 336/km2 (870.3/sq mi)
 - Demonym Fiesolani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 50014
Dialing code 055
Patron saint St. Romulus
Saint day July 6
Website Official website

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.

Florence as seen from Fiesole.



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.[1][2]

Fiesole was the scene of Stilicho's great victory over the Germanic hordes of the Vandals and Suevi under Radagaisus in 406.[3] 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.

Main sights

  • Remnants of Etruscan walls.
  • Roman baths.
  • Roman theatre.
  • Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) of the 14th century.
  • The cathedral of Fiesole (Il Duomo), containing the shrine of St. Romulus, martyr, according to legend the first Bishop of Fiesole, and that of his martyred companions, also the shrine of St. Donatus of Fiesole.
  • The Badia or ancient cathedral of St. Romulus, built in 1028 by Bishop Jacopo Bavaro with materials taken from several older edifices, at the foot of the hill on which Fiesole stands, supposed to cover the site of the martyrdom of St. Romulus; it contains notable sculptures by Mino da Fiesole. The old cathedral became a Benedictine abbey, which passed into the hands of the regular canons of Lateran. It once possessed a valuable library, long since dispersed. The abbey was closed in 1778.
  • The room in the bishop's palace where St. Andrew Corsini lived and died.
The cathedral of Fiesole.
Arches near the Roman theatre.
San Francesco monastery
  • The little church of the Primerana in the cathedral square, where the same saint was warned by Our Lady of his approaching death. Built in 996 and further expanded in medieval times, has maintained the Gothic presbytery from that period. It received a new façade in the late 16th century, with graffito decoration by Ludovico Buti. The interior, on a single hall, has a 13th century panel portraying Madonna with Child. In the transept are two marble bas-reliefs by Francesco da Sangallo, and a terracotta from Andrea della Robbia's workshop.
  • The church of S. Alessandro, with the shrine of St. Alexander, bishop and martyr.
  • The monastery of S. Francesco on the crest of the hill, with the cells of St. Bernardine of Siena and seven Franciscan Beati.
  • San Girolamo, the home of Venerable Carlo dei Conti Guidi, founder of the Hieronymites of Fiesole (1360).
  • San Domenico, the novice-home of Fra Angelico da Fiesole and of St. Antoninus of Florence.
  • Fontanelle, a villa near S. Domenico, where St. Aloysius came to live in the hot summer months, when a page at the court of Grand Duke Francesco de' Medici.
  • Villa Medici in Fiesole.
  • Villa Le Balze
  • Villa Palmieri
  • Villa Schifanoia.
  • Fonte Lucente, where a miraculous crucifix is greatly revered.
  • Castello de Vincegliata

In the neighbourhood are:

  • Monte Senario, the cradle of the Servite Order, where its seven holy founders lived in great austerity and were cheered at their death by the songs of angels
  • S. Martino di Mensola, with the body of St. Andrew, an Irish saint, still incorrupt.

Famous residents

  • Francesco Landini (c.1325–1397), composer, singer, poet, organist and instrument maker
  • Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1424), painter
  • the greatest name associated with the city is that of Fra Angelico or Blessed Giovanni Angelico, called da Fiesole (1387-1455). His baptismal name was Guido, but entering the convent of the Reformed Dominicans at Fiesole, he took Giovanni as name in religion; the surname Angelico 'angelic' was afterwards given to him in allusion to the beauty of his works and purity of spirit.
  • Mino da Fiesole, Florentine sculptor (c.1429—1484) ?and painter
  • Andrea Barzagli, soccer player, member of the 2006 Italian World Cup champion team.
  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas spent their summers in Fiesole before the First World War.[4]

Twin towns

See also


  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ Gaius Mallius was a colonist of Fiesole who, according to Sallust (Bellum Catilinae 24.2), was the first to raise an army and take the field against Rome. His nomen is often confused with the more common Manlius.
  3. ^ Radagaisus was executed 23 August 406 (Herwig Wolfram, Thomas J. Dunlap, tr., History of the Goths, 1988:169); Paulinus of Nola attributed the victory of Stilicho over Radagaisus's Ostrogoths near Fiesole, to the protection of Felix, Peter, Paul and other saints.
  4. ^ Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, New York City: The Bodeley Head, Reprint: London: Penguin Classic, 2001, p. 96

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Fiesole is a city in Tuscany close to Florence.

  • Hotel Villa Fiesole, Via Beato Angelico, 35, +39 055.846860 (, fax: +39 055.8468680), [1]. On the side of an ancient Etruscan Hill in Fiesole (Florence, Italy), surrounded by centuries old woods.  edit
  • La Sorgente di Francesca, Via montetrini 34/37 (Fiesole), +390558300702 (), [2]. Located on a very secluded Tuscany hill. A perfect place to recover your balance and renew yourself spiritually.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

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.

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Simple English

Fiesole is a town in Tuscany, near Florence. In 2003, about 15.000 people lived there.


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