A perfect day and so close to Florence

When we travel we explore where we are.  Usually there is so much to see where we are that we choose not to spend precious time traveling out and about on day excursions. The time had come for an exception. We scanned the weather forecast and chose a warm, sunny day for our planned trip to Fiesole, a small town in the hills five miles north of Florence.

It took us longer to walk to the stop at Piazza San Marco for bus #7 than to take the 20-minute winding ride up into the hills with Beth’s brother, Tom, and his wife, Barbara.

Fiesole has a rich past and we were ready to explore what we could in our short, one-day outing.

The old Etruscan town dates back to at least the 8thcentury BCE.  Next came the Romans (283 BCE), followed by invasions and wars (some successful and some not) by the Vandals, Suebi, Byzantines, and Florentines.

We walked a block off the main piazza to see the Roman Theatre, built in the 1stcentury BCE.

The Roman Bath (upper right in the photo) offered extensive choices.   Bathers started with the choice of exterior or interior baths.  The exterior bath had two pools, one for swimming and the other a plunge pool.  If the interior baths were chosen, bathers had no less than three choices of water: a caldarium (3 small pools complete with heated floors), a tepidarium, and a frigidarium.   Ah, to have lived then and enjoyed a visit to the baths!

We left the ancient ruins and walked up the hill. In just a few minutes we got the view we had come for.

Looking down over the Tuscan countryside and out to Florence in the distance.

Our reserved table, with the same view, awaited us.  Ristorante La Reggia degli Etruschi was the most expensive meal of the trip but all four of us agreed, it was the best.

After lunch, we headed back to the Civic Archaeological Museum where we slowly made our way through the interesting exhibits.

The scale was larger than life size.

We’d never seen anything like this before.

We’re sure the good weather and the company of Tom and Barbara added to the memorable visit.  Still, the visit to Fiesole surprised us.  Everything was better than we expected: an easy bus ride, the ruins, museum, and even our long lunch.  We’re glad we ventured out of the city for this gem of a place.


April 2018


About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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11 Responses to A perfect day and so close to Florence

  1. Sometimes a day excursion is just what you need and Fiosole looks like it was perfect. Great company, rich history, panoramic views and the best meal of the trip sounds like a winning day all the way around! Anita

  2. Look like a great day out. Well worth the effort.

  3. plaidcamper says:

    What a fine day out!
    Many years ago, I visited the Roman ruins in Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum – I think?!) when I was studying history and archaeology, and had to write a paper about Roman baths. Even more fascinated by all things Roman ever since, but sadly, field trips to Italy were out of the question and budget then. Your Italy posts have us itching to go…

  4. Ishita says:

    I agree!! Fiesole is a treasure. Great photos.

  5. I have only visited Florence and Tuscany once, (too) many years ago. Seeing your photos and reading about your experiences makes me want to go back!

    • Yes, our previous visit was very good – but we just knew there was so much more to experience. On this trip, it was a lot easier to just drop in and start since we were already oriented.

  6. Those Romans were amazing builders. What a perfect day out.

  7. A plunge pool from the first century? No wonder you are glad you visited. Who would believe that without the evidence? More happy travels – Susan

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