1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fiesole

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FIESOLE (anc. Faesulae, q.v.), a town and episcopal see of Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Florence, from which it is 3 m. N.E. by electric tramway. Pop. (1901) town 4951, commune 16,816. It is situated on a hill 970 ft. above sea-level, and commands a fine view. The cathedral of S. Romolo is an early and simple example of the Tuscan Romanesque style; it is a small basilica, begun in 1028 and restored in 1256. The picturesque battlemented campanile belongs to 1213. The tomb of the bishop Leonardo Salutati (d. 1466). with a beautiful portrait bust by the sculptor, Mino da Fiesole (1431–1484), is fine. The 13th-century Palazzo Pretorio contains a small museum of antiquities. The Franciscan monastery commands a fine view. The church of S. Maria Primerana has some works of art, and S. Alessandro, which is attributed to the 6th century, contains fifteen ancient columns of cipollino. The inhabitants of Fiesole are largely engaged in straw-plaiting.

Below Fiesole, between it and Florence, lies San Domenico di Fiesole (485 ft.); in the Dominican monastery the painter, Fra Giovanni Angelico da Fiesole (1387–1455), lived until he went to S. Marco at Florence. Here, too, is the Badia di Fiesole, founded in 1028 and re-erected about 1456–1466 by a follower of Brunelleschi. It is an irregular pile of buildings, in fine and simple early Renaissance style; a small part of the original façade of 1028 in black and white marble is preserved. The interior of the Church is decorated with sculptures by pupils of Desiderio da Settignano. The slopes of the hill on which Fiesole stands are covered with fine villas. To the S.E. of Fiesole lies Monte Ceceri (1453 ft.), with quarries of grey pietra serena, largely used in Florence for building. To the E. of this lies the 14th-century castle of Vincigliata restored and fitted up in the medieval style.