VILLA DEI BOSCONI · SURROUNDINGS
Fiesole and its territory offers many possibilities for excursions or simple walks filled with historical, artistic and natural value.
Visitors can enjoy the archaeological area of the Roman Theatre, the Thermal Baths and various Etruscan tomb sites, the Archaeological Museum and the Bandini Museum.
Certainly not to be missed is the Montececeri Park which offers an extraordinary combination of nature and culture and which is the precious custodian of the Serena Stone caves which provided the raw materials for the most prestigious architectural creations of Florence.
The park can be visited along especially designed routes suitable for all ages and reservations in Spring and Autumn are essential (800.414.240). It is possible to visit some of the most beautiful villas in the hills such as Villa Corsini a Maiano, Villa Le Balze, Villa al Bosco di Fontelucente, Villa Medici, Villa il Roseto, Villa il Riposo dei Vescovi and Villa la Torraccia (site for the Music School of Fiesole).
In the summer months, from June to September, the suggestive Roman amphitheatre comes to life with the "Estate Fiesolana" (Fiesole summer), Italy's most ancient festival, with operas, concerts, ballets, prose and cinema.
Finally, close to Villa dei Bosconi, trekking paths depart for excursions into the surrounding hills.
ITINERARIES - ONE DAY IN FLORENCE
Visiting all of Florence in just one day is an impossible task, given that the city of the Medici holds endless works of Italian art, testimony to both past history and vibrant contemporary beauty.
It is therefore important to choose and select a specific itinerary to ensure that in one day you can entirely experience the cradle of the Italian renaissance.
In one possible itinerary which includes almost all the major symbols of the city, we depart from Santa Maria Novella, arrive at Ponte Vecchio, pass through Piazza Duomo and Piazza della Signoria and stop at the "mercato del porcellino" (markets of the boar) to purchase a leather item and take a photo in front of the golden statue of the "porcellino" (boar).
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, the work of Leon Battista Alberti decorated with spectacular multi-coloured marble, houses the Giotto Crucifix at the bottom of the main nave. The many works of art housed inside include the Holy Trinity by Masaccio, Santa Lucia e donatore (St. Lucia and donor) by David Ghirlandaio, the Resurrection with four saints by Giorgio Vasari and the Crucifix by Filippo Brunelleschi. Of admirable beauty is the Tornabuoni Chapel, the Strozzi Chapel and the Rucellai Chapel.
In Piazza Duomo the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florentine Cathedral, stands triumphantly, striking and beautiful in a structure begun by Arnolfo Di Cambio and completed by Giotto.
The Dome by Brunelleschi, with its innovative and bold form, whose complexity and extraordinary final result has ensured it has become the most significant affirmation of renaissance architecture, embellishes the entire structure.
Placed in an unusual position to highlight its importance is the Campanile di Giotto (Giotto Bell Tower), aligned with the facade with its sophisticated decorative technique consisting in white, green and red marble, together with the grandiose figurative cycle which adorns the base.
In Piazza della Signoria the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) dominates. The building functions as the seat of municipal government and became the Palazzo dei Signori di Firenze (Palace of the Sirs of Florence) with the Medici family. At the foot of the Palazzo is a copy of the Statue of David by Michelangelo, the original version of which is housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
The Loggia dei Lanzi, the equestrian statue by Cosimo I and the Fountain of Neptune complete the artistic beauty of the Piazza.
From Palazzo Vecchio, to the south of the Cathedral and less than a hundred metres away from the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno, we move on to the Galleria degli Uffizi, one of the most important Museums in the world.
Once we arrive at Ponte Vecchio, we can enjoy the view of the Lungarno and the numerous goldsmiths' workshops which line the famous bridge.
SHOPPING IN FLORENCE
In addition to Via De Tornabuoni, the famous fashion boutiques of Florence and the historical workshops which are a legacy of the centuries old tradition of craftsmanship, nearby there are also important Outlets selling large brands such as The Mall in Valdarno or the Barberino Outlet in Mugello.
At The Mall you will find all brands from Valentino to Fendi, from Salvatore Ferragamo to Giorgio Armani, in large stores with competitive prices. In addition, a Museum of Unoaerre jewellery has been set up in the outlet. Parking is free and close to the shops.
The Barberino Outlet in Mugello has been structured in an innovative and original way, distinguishing it from traditional large scale retail shops, rather designed to be a shopping village.
The inclusion of bars, restaurants, play areas, safe environments, park benches along the roads and bathroom facilities complete with change tables, make the facility particularly appealing for families and children of all ages.
TOURS IN TUSCANY
Thanks to its special location, Villa dei Bosconi is the ideal starting point to visit the most important cities of Tuscany such as Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, Pisa and many other areas of the Chianti.
Piazza dei miracoli (Square of miracles) in Pisa, part of Unesco Cultural Heritage since 1987, holds some of the masterworks of European Roman architecture, such as the cathedral, baptistery, graveyard and bell tower.
The bell tower of Santa Maria, known as the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" is in fact the Cathedral's bell tower. Below the tower, the earth has slightly sunk, causing the tower to lean some degrees to the side. The inclination continued to increase for many years, stopping only following renovation works which were completed in the early 21st century.
Lucca is one of Italy's most important cities of art, famous beyond national borders above all thanks to its curtain wall of the 15th - 17th centuries, which delineates a perimeter approximately 4,223m long around the city's historical centre, making it one of only four Italian provincial capitals to have its renaissance era city walls still intact, together with Ferrara, Grosseto and Bergamo.
Piazza Napoleone, with its structure, trees, encircling roads and central monument, all in symmetry with the Palazzo Ducale, is an example of early 19th century Neoclassic architecture.
In Siena, a Roman colony dating back to the era of Emperor Augustus, not to be missed is the "Cattedrale dell'Assunta" Cathedral, with its marble pulpit by Nicola Pisano, Piazza del Campo, the site of the famous Palio, the Church of St. Agostino, of medieval origin and renovated by Vanvitelli and the Sanctuary of Santa Caterina near its namesake street, the home of the Saint transformed into a sanctuary in 1464.
San Gimignano is above all famous for its medieval towers which to this day provide a panorama of the city, worthy of being nicknamed the Manhattan of the medieval. Of the 72 towers and house-towers which existed during the town's period of glory, only 25 remained in 1580, and only 16 remain today, with the remains of other partially destroyed towers visible throughout the urban fabric. The oldest is the Rognosa tower, whilst the tallest is the Torre del Podestà, also known as the Torre Grossa (Big Tower), at a height of 54 metres.
There is also much religious architecture of artistic importance worth seeing, such as the Church of Sant'Agostino and the Collegiate Church, the Cathedral, completed in 1148 and considered one of the most important examples of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.