The residents of Florence, according to our supreme poet Dante Alighieri, descended “from ancient times” from the proud, warlike Etruscan town of Fiesole, overlooking Florence from its neighbouring hilltop.
The Etruscans were important. Placenames the the Florence region bear signs of their presence. Tuscany comes from Etruria, then Tuscia.
The name of the river Arno is Etruscan, as attested by a sculpture in the Archaeological Museum of the city, where there is a carved figure of a bearded man, holding up a jar, on which the word Arno appears.
Florence and Fiesole are rich in archaeological remains of this mysterious and remarkable people in the history of ancient Italy. Most of them are mentioned in the Archaeological Museum of Florence which houses so many artistic masterpieces such as the Chimera and the Orator.
The discovery of this ancient people continues on the hill of Fiesole. Here you can still see the mighty Etruscan walls of the 3rd century. B.C intact until the 12th century, when they suffered partial destruction by the Florentines.
Also in the archaeological area there are ancient tombs and an Etruscan temple, side by side with Roman and the Lombard successive historical periods.
In this archaeological area there is the Archaeological Museum of the city, with the typical findings such as the Fiesole Stele of the 5th century and boundary stones.
Fiesole also worth a visit to understand the selection criteria of the Etruscans for the foundation of their city, always on high strategic locations, dominating the important communication roads.
Indeed Fiesole overlooks the territory to the south with its links to Pisa and the Arno valley, the valley of Mugnone to the north, and lines of communication with the Apennines of Emilia and Romagna regions.
From here you can admire the typical Tuscan landscape, which so enchanted Hannibal in his journey south to conquer Rome.