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Hills of florence

Already in the XIV century, a large number of “rich villas, towers, courtyards and gardens” in the vicinity of Florence made a strong impression on travelers, according to Giovanni Villani, it seemed that the city was twice its actual size. The dome of Brunneleschi rises above the city, connoisseurs of art and wealthy people, noble Florentines and travelers, fans of the Muses and company leaders loved to stay here.

Parks and gardens, kitchen gardens and vineyards – among them are the inherited villas, acquired houses, hotels, as well as former colonial houses. All this created a special space, with its privileged atmosphere, it is a kind of an unusual museum without shop windows, you can not only live here, but just stop and explore the local beauties. Among the villas with gardens are the Medici era villas, which make up the historical core, although it cannot be said that they all form a single whole. Of these, 14 villas of the Medici era in 2013 were awarded the title of “World Heritage Site”. The following routes include visits to 3 villas – in the towns of Kareji, Petraia and Castello. These routes are optional excursions in addition to tourist sites for a must visit in Florence. A visit is in an individual rhythm, measured and requiring attention to the smallest details.

Fiesole and Setignano
Two small routes for traveling by car or public transport, leading from Florence to the northeast and east of the capital.

The first of two routes (both starting from the very center of Florence and leading to a hilly area untouched by urban development) offers three access options to the village of San Domenico, then you can get to Fiesole through the streets of Giuseppe Mantellini and Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. The most popular option is the bus number 7, which leaves from Edison Square, it follows through numerous villas to the top of the hill. The second way – along the street Giovanni Boccaccio to the Villa Palmyeri. The third one coincides with Faentina street, follows to Ponte alla Badia, where it turns right onto Via dela Badia dei Rochchettini. The second route (3.5 km) starts from Campo di Marte station, follows along Gabriele d’Annunzio street, crosses Querciano (center of the Italian Football Federation, and also the football museum), rises through olive groves to Settignano. Both routes intersect on Benedetto da Mayano and Poggio Gerardo.

Complex San Domenico
The church, the construction of which was begun in 1406, and completed between 1418 and 1435, was expanded and significantly changed during the XVII and XVIII centuries, in 1635 a portico was decorated. Inside are works of art such as The Baptism of Jesus by Lorenzo di Credi and Madonna and Child with the Throne and Saints Thomas Aquinas, Barnabas, Dominic and Peter the Martyr, tempera (1425) by Beato Angelico, landscape and architectural setting completed by Lorenzo Lee Credit (1501). In the main hall there is a fresco depicting a crucifix by Beato Angelico (c. 1430), as well as a fresco “Madonna and Child” from his workshop.

Abbey Badia Fiesolana
Since 1028 it was the Cathedral of Fiesole, it was completely renovated at the request of Cosimo de ‘Medici Old (1456). The facade of stone is incomplete, it has preserved Romanesque features, lined with white and green marble. Interior (1461-64 inspired by Brunelleschi’s works): crucifix by Bernardino Campi – a rare instance of the Lombard school of painting of the 16th century in Florence; fresco from the workshop of Raffaelino del Garbo (Annunciation); relief of the Madonna and Child is the work of the Jacopo della Querca school. To the right of the church is the entrance to the former monastery (today there is the European Peace Institute) with an extensive courtyard of the Renaissance, a large fresco by Giovanni da San Giovanni hangs in the refectory (Christ with the Angels, 1629).

Fiesole
The city is located on top of a hill that rises above the valley between the Arno and Munone rivers, its area is 295 meters, 13,985 residents live in it. It was one of the important centers of Etruscan civilization and the Roman Empire. Under the onslaught of the barbarians, he fell into decay, and in 1125 was conquered by Florence. In the XV century, Fiesole passed into the hands of the Medici, in the XVIII and XIX centuries, villas were built here and gardens were laid out, so it became a favorite place for foreign travelers who came to Florence. Numerous institutions are located here, such as the European Peace Institute (Tub Fiesolana) and the building owned by Harvard University (Villa “I Tatti”). Numerous performances take place in the summer in the Roman theater and not only.

Piazza Mino da Fiesole. It faces the facade of the priest’s house (the municipality is located here), is decorated in the XIV century, rebuilt in subsequent centuries.

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