Quaternary age the plain of Florence-Prato-Pistoia was occupied by a large lake that hung between the lines of the finds of Monte Albano to the west, north of Mount Giovi and the hills of Chianti to the south. With the retreat of the waters the plain, located about fifty meters above sea level, was dotted with many ponds and swamps, especially in the area of Campi Bisenzio, Signa and Bagno a Ripoli, were a constant territory at least until the reclamation built in the eighteenth century. A section of the Museum of Geology and Paleontology admirably illustrates this period of Tuscan prehistory, with cards and artifacts.
It is believed that at the confluence of the Mugnone and Arno there was already a Villanovan settlement between the tenth and eighth centuries BC Between the seventh and sixth centuries BC The Etruscans had to have discovered and used the easier crossing of the Arno river at the said junction, where even the plain was closer to the vicinity of the hills from the north and south. At that point they had probably built a walkway or a ferry service, which was to be located about ten meters from the current Ponte Vecchio, the narrowest ford. The Etruscans they preferred not to found cities on the plain for reasons of defense (by foreign armies and flooding) and settled about six kilometers from the ford on a hill, the birthplace of the fortified center of Vipsul, today Fiesole, well connected a road that united all the major Etruscan centers from Emilia in the north of England.