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Florence, Italy


Flag of the City of Forence
Flag of the City of Forence

Photo by Kanchelskis on Wikimedia Commons

Coat of Arms of the City of Forence
Coat of Arms of the City of Forence

Photo by Connormah on Wikimedia Commons

Florence has had multiple nicknames throughout time. It is referred to as "the most beautiful city in Europe", "La Bella", "the Italian capital of art", or "the City of Lilies" ("a città dei gigli" in Italian), as the lily ("giglio") is the symbol of Florence. It has also been called "Athens of the Middle Ages", "the architectural jewel of the Middle Ages", "a city of history and arts" and "la città Viola" (meaning "the purple city"), from the color of the uniform of the local football team Fiorentina, which is purple. Florence has a long history and a continuous presence in the artistic community. The Renaissance first began here in 1400s ("Quattrocento") with the Italian pre-Renaissance (or "Florentine period"), Florence is thought of as the "cradle of the Renaissance" ("la culla del Rinascimento" in Italian), the city become the symbol.of the Renaissance. As it spread, Florence became a model for other places to copy. As a result of the all-encompassing spirit of the Renaissance era and of spectacular artistic and scientific pursuits and achievements, the notion of the "universal man" appears, defining the complete man: artist, poet, philosopher, mathematician, scientist.

Florence is much like an open-air museum, and it has been said that half of the most renowned artworks in the world are in Italy. Over half of them are in Florence, the city being called "the Italian capital of art". The most famous artworks, with universal historical and artistic value, are displayed in beautiful Piazzas (squares) created around the most important buildings and monuments in the city. It is the birthplace or residence for many historical personalities, including: Presently it is known for art and architecture, museums, great fashion and musical events, and its textile and leather industry; its wine industry, having great vineyards on the surrounding hills; valuable collections of books, manuscripts, documents, kept in archives, National Library, Laurentian Libraries, Riccardiana, and Marucelliana; Florentine hospitality, as Florence offering shelter and food for traders, travelers or visitors and has been recognized since the 12-13th centuries; and handcrafted and traditional folk art. Florence's skyline is dominated by several buildings which can be seen from any area, being points of orientation on the historic streets and markets: Since 1982, the historical center of the city of Florence was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Link to the Municipality of Florence: en.comune.fi.it


The earliest archaeological finds are the pre-Etruscan tombs of the 1000 years B.C. Through the years 200 B.C. the area was occupied by the Etruscans, which around the 9th - 8th century BC formed a small settlement called "Fiesole". In the year 59 B.C. it was transformed into a Roman colony named "Fluentia", and later renamed "Florentia" (meaning "flowering"), which being on Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, became very fast an important economic and cultural centre. The language spoken in Florence during the 14th century became the foundation for the Italian language. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, it became one of the most important cities in Europe politically, economically, and culturally. Florence was among the first cities to have a sophisticated banking system, and Florentine bankers financially supported the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary, the English kings, and the papacy, as well as the reconstruction of Rome during Renaissance. Florentine money, the gold florin, was the strongest currency in Europe at the time, used in international trading. On one side, the coin featured Florence's patron saint, John the Baptist, wearing a belted robe and rough, goatskin cape and a halo surrounding his head, and the reverse side featuring a Florentine lily. The Golden Age of Florentine art began around 1000 AD, and around the 14th century, it was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which then spread to the rest of Italy and Europe. From 1865, Florence was Italy's capital, only being replace with Rome in 1871. Although it is no longer Italy's capital, it remains one of the most important cities in the country.


It is located in the northern part of peninsular Italy, and it is the residence of the Tuscany Region. During the 1870s Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. The city is located on the river Arno, at an altitude of 55 m above sea level. Its population was 382,258 inhabitants as of 2017.


Some of the events celebrated in Florence: