The road up here is intimidating, rising steeply to a sharp bend, which you round only to discover you're not even near the end. You can take a break halfway up in the small ilex-planted panoramic gardens ★★, which offer a postcard view of Florence. This garden is called the Park of Remembrance, and there's an odd, dangerously sharp-looking modern memorial set up near the edge in honor of three carabinieri who laid down their lives before a Nazi firing squad in exchange for the safety of Fiesole's inhabitants.

At the top of the hill, the ancient focal point of the Etruscan and Roman cities, are the church and convent of San Francesco. The 14th-century church has been largely overhauled, but at the end of a small nave hung with devotional works -- Piero di Cosimo and Cenni di Francesco are both represented -- is a fine Crucifixion and Saints altarpiece by Neri di Bicci. Off the cloisters is a quirky but interesting little ethnographic museum.