Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas ☆☆

Via Vecchia Fiesolana, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Florence, Italy (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
Via Vecchia Fiesolana

Hiking a narrow path past lovely villas from Fiesole back down into Florence

My favorite way to get back down to Florence from Fiesole is by foot.

You can leave the main piazza on Via Beato Angelico, keeping left at the bend to hike down along cypress-lined Via Vecchia Fiesolana, passing walled gardens.

Most villas in and around Fiesole are open to the public—one at a time on a rotating schedule—Thursdays around 4pm from mid-April though early October. (See www.fiesoleforyou.it for this summer's schedule of villa openings.) You must book a visit by the preceding Monday by calling tel. 055-055 weekdays between 9am and noon.

On weekdays you can visit the gardens of Villa Medici, first gate on your left (Mon–Fri 9am–1pm; tel. 055-239-8994, Villamedicifiesole.it); and the gardens at Villa Le Balze at no. 26 (Mon-Fri 9am–12:30pm; apply online at Villalebalze.georgetown.edu).

At the hamlet of San Domenico halfway down sits the monastery where Fra' Angelico first took his vows; the Chapter House (ring at no. 4) preserves two of his paintings, with another in the church itself.

Here you can hop the no. 7 bus again to ride back through Florence's uninteresting outskirts to the center.

Total walk is only about 1.3km—and it's all downhill.

Photo gallery
  • Via Vecchia Fiesolana, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
  • Villa Le Balze, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
  • The Nymphaeum at Villa Le Balze, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
  • The limonaia at Villa Medici di Belcanto, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
  • The fountain terrace at the Villa Medici di Belcanto, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
  • The lower terrace of Villa Medici di Belcanto, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • Villa Medici di Belcanto, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo courtesy of the Comune di Fiesole)
  • Villa Medici di Belcanto, Hiking from Fiesole to Florence—The Villas, Italy (Photo by Sailko)

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