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MUSEUMS


Civic Archaeological Museum
Via Portigiani, 1
Founded in 1873 there are on exhibition here pieces of archaeological interest found in and around the territory. The exhibits cover a wide chronological band with examples from the Etruscan and Roman eras, through to the Longobard dominion and the medieval period. The area's archaeological monuments are also documented here: the Etruscan-Roman Temple, the Roman Theatre end the Spa complex. A visit to the annexed Archaeological Museum and to the ancient site is indispensable for a complete panoramic view of Fiesole's ancient history.
Opening hours: 9.30 am to 7 pm daily (summer). 9.30 am to 5 pm daily (winter).
Closed on Tuesdays (only in winter)


Antiquarium Costantini
(rooms I-II of the Civic Archaeological Museum) Via Portigiani, 1
The Alfiero Costantini Collection includes 157 pieces of pottery from Greece, Magna Grecia and Etruria with some important examples of Attic red-figure and black-figure vase painting. The lower floor hosts a topographic section with the discoveries found during excavations when the building was restored (1886-1990).
Entrance: All- inclusive ticket with the Civic Archaeological Museum.


Museo Bandini
Via Dupré, 1
The collection includes 13th to 15th century Florentine paintings and Della Robbia terracotta. Of particular note are the paintings by Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo Gaddi, Nardo di Cione, Lorenzo Monaco, Cosimo Rosselli,Jacopo del Sellaio and the school of Botticelli. Most of these art works were assembled by Angelo Maria Bandini (1726-1803), philologist, antiquarian and formerly librarian of the Laurentian Library in Florence.
Entrance: All- inclusive ticket with the Civic Archaeological Museum.


Ethnographic Museum of the Franciscan Missionaries
Via San Francesco, 13
AThe museum (access is from inside the church) was formed by the monks who returned from missions to the Orient early in last century. It contains objects of the material an artistic culture of China and Egypt and local archaeological remains.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-12 a.m. /3-5 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 3-5 p. m.


"Primo Conti" Museum of the Avant-garde movement
Villa le Coste - Via Dupré 18
The Museum of the Avant-garde movement' and the Primo Conti Foundation are both to be found at Villa Le Coste, a 15th century house set in the midst of vineyards and olive groves. The Museum contains over 60 oil paintings and over 150 drawings carried out by Primo Conti between 1911 and 1985. Primo Conti himself arranged the succession of pictures trough the rooms in order to illustrate his artistic development, of which we note a selection here.
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 9-1 a. m.
In the afternoon guided visits by appointment only for groups (phone number 055-597095)


HOLY ARCHITECTURE


Badia Fiesolana
Via della Badia dei Roccettini, 9
Via della Badia dei Roccettini, 9 The "Badia Fiesolana" was constructed in around the year 1000. The Romanesque facade, with its geometric design in green and white Prato marble, is very similar to the Baptistery and San Miniato al Monte in Florence. Cosimo de' Medici commissioned Michelozzo and his assistants with the reconstruction of the interior from 1462 onwards. Note the many examples of fine Renaissance masonry and carvings in pietra serena by Francesco di Simone Ferrucci and Piero di Cecco in the interior.
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 9 a. m. to 5.30 p. m.
Saturdays 9-12.30 a. m. Sundays and Holidays closed


Basilica of Sant'Alessandro
Via S. Francesco
The nave of this early Christian basilica, built in the style of Constantine in around the 6th century, is nearly double the width of the aisles. The church we see today still show traces of its early 11th century renovation as well as of later restoration carried out from the 18th century onwards, which led to the discovery of Etruscan remains under the apse, as well as other Etruscan, Roman and Lombard finds. Open occasionally for cultural exhibitions.


The Chapel of San Jacopo
Via S. Francesco, 4/a
It was originally the oratory of the Bishop's Palace and thus dates from the first half of the 11th century but renovated and modified various times over the centuries the chapel contains the great wall fresco of" The Coronation of the Virgin with Angels and Saints" by Bicci di Lorenzo (circa 1441) and a rich collection of precious liturgical objects dating from late Gothic times to the Renaissance, and the Baroque and neo-classical periods.
Opening hours: open only on Saturdays, holidays and Sundays 10 a.m-7 p.m. (summer). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (winter).


Cathedral of San Romolo
Piazzetta della Cattedrale, 1
The Cathedral, designed on a basilican plan, was built by Bishop Jacopo il Bavaro in 1028, and enlarged in the 13th century. The restoration work carried out in 1878-82 left the internal and external walls as we see them today and was responsible for the neo-Gothic style of the facade. Archaeological excavations in the crypt in 1990 discovered evidence of continuous habitation here from the Hellenistic period through to the 14th century. The ponderous Romanesque fabric of the interior, which recalls the Church of San Miniato al Monte in Florence, has fortunately managed to survive the many the alterations carried out over the centuries.
Opening hours: every day 7.30-12 a.m. 3-6 p.m. (summer). 7.30-12 a.m. 13-5 p.m. (winter).


Church of Santa Maria Primerana
Piazza Mino
The church was probably founded in the 10th century but it is very probably the site of an early Christian church. Its raised position on a sort of podium dominating the square (which was probably once the Roman forum) would suggest that it was built upon portions of an even older construction. Today the church still possesses several examples of beautifully carved and typical stonework dating from the 16th and 19th century on the facade and the portico. The interior contains Francesco da Sangallo and glazed terracotta by Andrea della Robbia.
Opening hours: every day 9.30-12 a.m. 13-6 p.m.


Church of San Martino a Maiano and Ex-Convent of Benedictine nuns
Via delle Cave di Maiano - Maiano
The church (single nave, on a Latin cross plan) already existed in the 11th century. Renovated in the 15th century, it was restored in 1885 in 14th century style by John Temple Leader.
Saturday Mass at 5 p.m.- Sunday Mass at 12 a.m.


Church and Convent of San Domenico
Piazza S. Domenico - S. Domenico
This church, on a simple nave with six aisle chapels, was built in around 1420. Various additions were made in later centuries. The convent, dating from the same period as the church, has since also been altered and enlarged, and it was here that Fra Angelico took holy orders and began his career as a painter.
Opening hours: every day 7.30-12.30 a. m / 4.30-6.30 p. m. (summer).
8.30-12 a. mi 4-5 p. m. (winter).


Church and Convent of San Francescoo
Via S. Francesco, 13
The Portigiani family built a small chapel on the site of an ancient acropolis or inhabited citadel at the top of this hill in around the year 1210. The interior contains paintings by Renaissance artists like Neri di Bicci, Raffaellino del Garbo and Piero di Cosimo. The complex possesses two cloisters: the small sacristy cloister and the cloister of San Bernardino. The tiny cells of the friars lie in the small convent of San Bernardino beside the church entrance. The library, first set up in the 14th century, contains about 1,000 volumes, including ten early incunabula.
Opening hours: every day 9-12 a.m. / 3-7 p.m. (summer). 9-12 a.m. / 3-6 p.m. (winter). Holidays and Sundays 9-11 a.m / 3-6 p.m.


Convent and Church of Santa Maria Maddalena
Via Faentina, 402 - Caldine
This group of buildings, close in style to that of Michelozzo, was founded in the 15th century as a hospital or hospice for pilgrims as well as for the poor and the sick. Although this little Chapel, like the Convent beside it, lies right in the middle of the countryside, it boasts a fine fresco by Fra Bartolomeo. No visits allowed. Sundays and holidays Mass at 9 a.m.


Oratory and Crucifix of Fontelucente
Via Fontelucente
Costruzione del secolo XVI a ridosso di una cava di pietra da cui era scaturita una sorgente che scorre ancora all'interno della chiesa e sbocca all'esterno in una fontana. All'acqua, potabile e finissima, sono attribuite virtù salutari. Sulla sorgente è un Crocifisso in pietra oggetto di devozione popolare. Vi si conserva un trittico di Mariotto di Nardo, del 1398, che rappresenta la Madonna della cintola.
Per informazioni e visite telefonare al parroco 055-400139. La domenica e i giorni festivi Messa alle ore 10.00.


WALLS, PALACES AND CASTLES


Etruscan and Roman Walls
Via delle Mura Etrusche, Via A. Mari
In the second half of the 4th century B.C. the town was surrounded by fortification walls of about 2,500 m. in perimeter, composed of huge and imposing blocks. The sections that are still visible can be found at the Church of San Francesco, inside the Missionary Museum, in the public park (the Fortress), in "Via delle Mura etrusche" (North wall, the longest section standing today), Via A. Mari at Borgunto (East side), Via Frà Beato Angelico (small part of the South side), Via Vecchia Fiesolana Villa San Girolamo (on the South, a small section but with enormous, cyclopean masonry). Outdoor monument.


Palazzo Pretorio
Piazza Mino, 26
Today the seat of the Fiesole Town Council, the palace was built in the 14th century and then altered in 1463. The portico with Ionic columns dates from the latter period. When restoration was carried out about forty years ago, it was a fairly simple matter to replace some of these Ionic columns with new ones of the same type. The stone and glazed terracotta coats of arms of the many "podestas" who ruled here from 1520 onwards adorn the façade, loggia, and interior of the building.
No visits allowed.


Episcopal Palace
Piazzetta della Cattedrale, 1
The Episcopal palace was built at the same time as the Cathedral, in the period of Jacopo il Bavaro, but its present form dates from the 17th century. The balustraded staircase was removed from the Cathedral pulpit during 19th century restorations.
No visits allowed.


Bishop's Seminary
Piazza Mino, 1
The Seminary was founded by Bishop Lorenzo Della Robbia and opened in 1637. The building was raised higher in the 20th century. It boasts an indisputable cultural and educational tradition that has lasted for over three centuries.
No visits allowed.


The Etruscan tombs
Via del Bargellino
Two tombs survive from a more extensive necropolis dating from the Hellenistic period. They lie immediately outside the ring of walls (visible on the route from Borgunto in the direction of Via Mari).
Outdoor monument.


Castle of Poggio
Via di Vincigliata, 4
The original castle, probably built in the 13th century, incorporated the summit of the hill (thus its name - Poggio = hill) was demolished in 1348. The entire group of buildings was reconstructed in the second half of the 15th century, adding the characteristic battlements to the walls, the tower, the lordly mansion and the chapel. The castle was considerably altered in the last century by additions to the eastern side of the building and the restoration of the chapel.
Visits by appointment. phone number 055-59174.


Castle of Vincigliata
Via di Vincigliata, 19
John Temple Leader bought this medieval fortress in 1855 and restored and expanded it and made the "Castello" the model and hub of Gothic Revival in the area around Florence. The artistic objects collected by Temple Leader still decorate the interior.
Guided visits for groups, with tasting, by appointment - phone number 055-599556.


PLACES AND SURROUNDINGS


Borgo di Maiano
This village was the birthplace of the Renaissance artists, Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano, who expressed their talents in both architecture and sculpture. They integrated plastic and decorative elements in local stone, marble and wood into their architectural creations. The village leads to the southernmost "pietra serena" old quarries of Mount Ceceri.


La Fonte Sotterra
Via dei Medici
According to local tradition the fountain dates back to Etruscan times and had some sort of religious function, though the one we see today is probably medieval in construction. This artificial subterranean fountain and spring lies within a large cavity that was carved out of a mass of rock in order to capture the veins of water so as to enable them to flow into an accessible place for use.


Mount Ceceri: The Quarry Park
Entrance A: via Montececeri/ via degli Scalpellini. Entrance B: piazza Mons. Formelli. This park, covering an area of 44 hectares is an extraordinary blend of culture and nature. The old "pietra serena" quarries still bear the easily visible traces of centuries of hard labour, which were to provide the whole area, especially Florence, with the material for some of the greatest architectural monuments. After the quarry was closed down in the late forties, the entire area was systematically planted with trees. The former quarry service roads have been cleaned up and repaired and are now all used as tracks for excursions. The Park is open all year round. Access is free


Public Park
Via S. Francesco
The park was created in a panoramic position. Its lay-out reflects urban tastes in Italy after unification and it soon acquired a unique 1'Romantic" air thanks to the dramatic contrast created by the knotted shapes of the ilex trees, the rocky outcrops and portions of the Etruscan walls of the acropolis.
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