The Roman/ Etruscan site is not particularly well-signed (and the guide is not very detailed). Make sure you see the (reconstructed) hypocaust in the baths. This efficient form of underfloor heating was much-used across the Roman empire (and particularly useful in the UK, I should think). Fires were lit outside the building and the warm air channelled underneath (and, in many case, up the walls as well, using a system of flue tiles). Very efficient, assuming you had capable servants in charge of the fires. As a Roman bath-house usually had both warm and hot rooms, a good hypocaust system was a necessity.
View from the top
One of the things you should budget for your time is to sit and sup overlooking the plains of Florence.
I can tell you I eyed off with envy the people in the Blu Bar at the Ristorante Aurora on the Piazza Mino da Fiesole.
The lovely garden atmosphere and the expansive vista was oooooh so tempting. Alas, time did not allow but I can tell you those that were there didn't look too stressed.
My sort of place........................
Easily accessible from Florence (bus 7 from S Novella station), up in the hills, away from the crowds, Roman and Etruscan ruins...................yes, definitely very pleasant.
There's a nice church (founded 1028), worth a visit, excellent views of Florence and the surrounding hills/ villages (though it was very overcast and chilly when I visited) and some rather good ruins. These are in the Museo Archeologico (7 euros entry), and include a theatre (still used, apparently), baths and temple.
Fiesole was more important in Etruscan and Roman times than Florence, hence the ruins. The Etruscans enclosed the town with walls of huge stones, some of which are still standing just below the museum site. The museum itself is extremely well-presented, with numerous artefacts and sculpture found locally as well as other bits and pieces (eg ancient Greek artefacts). More photos of ruins and museum pieces in the travelogue below.
There are a couple of other interesting churches, which I didn't have time to visit, places to eat in the main square and pleasant lanes to wander. It would be a good to take a picnic there, I think, although it was far too chilly on my visit. Maybe next time.
More archaeology, art and religion
We visited both the museum on the grounds of the archaeological excavations and the local Museo Bandini.
A vase, obviously inspired by Greek art, and a canopic jar with the head of a jackall that seemed very Egyptian, we'd seen similar jars at the Luxor Museum
St. Peter (San Pietro Apostolo), terracotta statue from the workshop of Giovanni Della Robbia, around 1520.
St. Agnes (Sant'Agnese), terracotta statue by Santi Buglioni, dated 1510-1520.
A Nativity scene at the Bandini Museum, painted by the 'Maestro della predella dell'Ashmolean Museum' around the years 1380-1385. We thought this might look good as our Christmas card for this year...