Florence

Florence (/ˈflɒrəns/ FLORR-ənss; Italian: Firenze [fiˈrɛntse] (listen))[4] is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.[5]

Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era.[6] It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages".[7] A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions.[8] From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy[9] due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini.

The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.[10] The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics.[11] Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.[12]

Florence is an important city in Italian fashion,[11] being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world;[13] furthermore, it is a major national economic centre,[11] as well as a tourist and industrial hub. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.[14]

Florence

Firenze
Comune di Firenze
A collage of Florence showing the Galleria degli Uffizi (top left), followed by the Palazzo Pitti, a sunset view of the city and the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria.
A collage of Florence showing the Galleria degli Uffizi (top left), followed by the Palazzo Pitti, a sunset view of the city and the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria.
Flag of Florence
Flag
Coat of arms of Florence
Coat of arms
Location of Florence
Florence is located in Italy
Florence
Florence
Location of Florence in Tuscany
Florence is located in Tuscany
Florence
Florence
Florence (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 43°47′N 11°15′E / 43.783°N 11.250°ECoordinates: 43°47′N 11°15′E / 43.783°N 11.250°E
CountryItaly
RegionFlag of Tuscany.svg Tuscany
Metropolitan cityFlorence (FI)
Government
 • MayorDario Nardella (PD)
Area
 • Total102.32 km2 (39.51 sq mi)
Elevation
50 m (160 ft)
Population
(2018-01-01)[2]
 • Total380,948
 • Density3,700/km2 (9,600/sq mi)
DemonymsFiorentino (man), fiorentini (men), fiorentina (woman), fiorentine (women)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
50121–50145
Dialing code055
ISTAT code048017
Patron saintJohn the Baptist
Saint day24 June
WebsiteOfficial website

History

Colored woodcut town view of Florence
View of Florence by Hartmann Schedel, published in 1493

Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically, economically, and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries.[10]

The language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, and still is, accepted as the Italian language. Almost all the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading ultimately to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.[15]

Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War. They similarly financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome.

Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married king Henry II of France and, after his death in 1559, reigned as regent in France. Marie de' Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future king Louis XIII. The Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de' Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737.

Roman origins

0092 - Wien - Kunsthistorisches Museum - Gaius Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar established Florence in 59 BC
Totila fa dstruggere la città di Firenze
The Goth King Totila razes the walls of Florence during the Gothic War: illumination from the Chigi manuscript of Villani's Cronica

The Etruscans initially formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole (Faesulae in Latin),[16] which was destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named originally Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, which was later changed to Florentia ("flowering").[17] It was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, and within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement quickly became an important commercial centre.

In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was often troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital. The population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county.[18]

Second millennium

Firenze-sanminiato01
The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD. The Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte. The exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune", meaning a city state. The city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry (mainly textile industry), and access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community. The Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation (e.g. bill of exchange,[19] double-entry bookkeeping system) to medieval fairs. This period also saw the eclipse of Florence's formerly powerful rival Pisa (defeated by Genoa in 1284 and subjugated by Florence in 1406), and the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice (1293).

Middle Ages and Renaissance

Rise of the Medici

Of a population estimated at 94,000 before the Black Death of 1348,[20] about 25,000 are said to have been supported by the city's wool industry: in 1345 Florence was the scene of an attempted strike by wool combers (ciompi), who in 1378 rose up in a brief revolt against oligarchic rule in the Revolt of the Ciompi. After their suppression, Florence came under the sway (1382–1434) of the Albizzi family, who became bitter rivals of the Medici.

In the 15th century, Florence was among the largest cities in Europe, considered rich and economically successful. Life was not idyllic for all residents though, among whom there were great disparities in wealth.[21] Cosimo de' Medici was the first Medici family member to essentially control the city from behind the scenes. Although the city was technically a democracy of sorts, his power came from a vast patronage network along with his alliance to the new immigrants, the gente nuova (new people). The fact that the Medici were bankers to the pope also contributed to their ascendancy. Cosimo was succeeded by his son Piero, who was, soon after, succeeded by Cosimo's grandson, Lorenzo in 1469. Lorenzo was a great patron of the arts, commissioning works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Lorenzo was an accomplished poet and musician and brought composers and singers to Florence, including Alexander Agricola, Johannes Ghiselin, and Heinrich Isaac. By contemporary Florentines (and since), he was known as "Lorenzo the Magnificent" (Lorenzo il Magnifico).

Following Lorenzo de' Medici's death in 1492, he was succeeded by his son Piero II. When the French king Charles VIII invaded northern Italy, Piero II chose to resist his army. But when he realised the size of the French army at the gates of Pisa, he had to accept the humiliating conditions of the French king. These made the Florentines rebel and they expelled Piero II. With his exile in 1494, the first period of Medici rule ended with the restoration of a republican government.

Savonarola, Machiavelli, and the Medici Popes

Hanging and burning of Girolamo Savonarola in Florence
Girolamo Savonarola being burnt at the stake in 1498

During this period, the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola had become prior of the San Marco monastery in 1490. He was famed for his penitential sermons, lambasting what he viewed as widespread immorality and attachment to material riches. He blamed the exile of the Medici as the work of God, punishing them for their decadence. He seized the opportunity to carry through political reforms leading to a more democratic rule. But when Savonarola publicly accused Pope Alexander VI of corruption, he was banned from speaking in public. When he broke this ban, he was excommunicated. The Florentines, tired of his extreme teachings, turned against him and arrested him. He was convicted as a heretic and burned at the stake on the Piazza della Signoria on 23 May 1498.

A second individual of unusually acute insight was Niccolò Machiavelli, whose prescriptions for Florence's regeneration under strong leadership have often been seen as a legitimisation of political expediency and even malpractice. In other words, Machiavelli was a political thinker, perhaps most renowned for his political handbook, titled The Prince, which is about ruling and the exercise of power. Commissioned by the Medici, Machiavelli also wrote the Florentine Histories, the history of the city. Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and re-established a republic on 16 May 1527. Restored twice with the support of both Emperor Charles V and Pope Clement VII (Giulio de Medici), the Medici in 1532 became hereditary dukes of Florence, and in 1569 Grand Dukes of Tuscany, ruling for two centuries. In all Tuscany, only the Republic of Lucca (later a Duchy) and the Principality of Piombino were independent from Florence.

18th and 19th centuries

Wenceslaus Werlin-Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and his family
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and his family. Leopold was, from 1765 to 1790, the Grand Duke of Tuscany

The extinction of the Medici dynasty and the accession in 1737 of Francis Stephen, duke of Lorraine and husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, led to Tuscany's temporary inclusion in the territories of the Austrian crown. It became a secundogeniture of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, who were deposed for the House of Bourbon-Parma in 1801. From 1801 to 1807 Florence was the capital of the Napoleonic client state Kingdom of Etruria. Bourbon-Parma were deposed in December 1807 when Tuscany was annexed by France. Florence was the prefecture of the French département of Arno from 1808 to the fall of Napoleon in 1814. The Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty was restored on the throne of Tuscany at the Congress of Vienna but finally deposed in 1859. Tuscany became a region of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Florence replaced Turin as Italy's capital in 1865 and, in an effort to modernise the city, the old market in the Piazza del Mercato Vecchio and many medieval houses were pulled down and replaced by a more formal street plan with newer houses. The Piazza (first renamed Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, then Piazza della Repubblica, the present name) was significantly widened and a large triumphal arch was constructed at the west end. This development was unpopular and was prevented from continuing by the efforts of several British and American people living in the city. A museum recording the destruction stands nearby today.

The country's second capital city was superseded by Rome six years later, after the withdrawal of the French troops made its addition to the kingdom possible.

20th century

SanMiniatoAlMonte-Cimetiere
Porte Sante cemetery, burial place of notable figures of Florentine history.

After doubling during the 19th century, Florence's population was to triple in the 20th, resulting from growth in tourism, trade, financial services and industry.

During World War II the city experienced a year-long German occupation (1943–1944). Hitler declared it an open city on July 3 1944 as troops of the British 8th Army closed in.[22] In early August, the retreating Germans decided to demolish all the bridges along the Arno linking the district of Oltrarno to the rest of the city, making it difficult for troops of the 8th Army to cross. However, at the last moment Charles Steinhauslin, at the time consulate of 26 countries in Florence, convinced the German general in Italy that the Ponte Vecchio was not to be destroyed due to its historical value. Instead, an equally historic area of streets directly to the south of the bridge, including part of the Corridoio Vasariano, was destroyed using mines. Since then the bridges have been restored to their original forms using as many of the remaining materials as possible, but the buildings surrounding the Ponte Vecchio have been rebuilt in a style combining the old with modern design. Shortly before leaving Florence, as they knew that they would soon have to retreat, the Germans executed many freedom fighters and political opponents publicly, in streets and squares including the Piazza Santo Spirito.

Florence was liberated by New Zealand, South African and British troops on 4 August 1944. The Allied soldiers who died driving the Germans from Tuscany are buried in cemeteries outside the city (Americans about nine kilometres (5.6 miles) south of the city, British and Commonwealth soldiers a few kilometres east of the centre on the right bank of the Arno).

At the end of World War II in May 1945, the US Army's Information and Educational Branch was ordered to establish an overseas university campus for demobilised American service men and women in Florence, Italy. The first American University for service personnel was established in June 1945 at the School of Aeronautics in Florence, Italy. Some 7,500 soldier-students were to pass through the University during its four one-month sessions (see G. I. American Universities).[23]

In November 1966, the Arno flooded parts of the centre, damaging many art treasures. Around the city there are tiny placards on the walls noting where the flood waters reached at their highest point.

21st century

On 25 May 2016 the BBC reported that a sinkhole, thought to have been caused by a bursting of a water pipe, opened up a 200-metre (660 ft) hole on the Arno river bank in Florence.[24]

Geography

Florence view from Piazzale Michelangelo - Florence, Italy - panoramio
November 2005 view of the city and Arno valley, with the Apennine mountains in the background

Florence lies in a basin formed by the hills of Careggi, Fiesole, Settignano, Arcetri, Poggio Imperiale and Bellosguardo (Florence). The Arno river, three other minor rivers (Mugnone, Ema and Greve) and some streams flow through it.

Climate

Florence with snow cover in December 2009
Florence with snow cover in December 2009

Florence has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), tending to Mediterranean (Csa).[25] It has hot summers with moderate or light rainfall and cool, damp winters. As Florence lacks a prevailing wind, summer temperatures are higher than along the coast. Rainfall in summer is convectional, while relief rainfall dominates in the winter. Snow flurries happen almost every year,[26] but often result in no accumulation.[27] The highest officially recorded temperature was 42.6 °C (108.7 °F) on 26 July 1983 and the lowest was −23.2 °C (−9.8 °F) on 12 January 1985.[28]

Government

Quartieri storici Firenze

The traditional boroughs of the whole comune of Florence

Quartieri di Firenze

The 5 administrative boroughs of the whole comune of Florence

The legislative body of the municipality is the City Council (Consiglio Comunale), which is composed of 36 councillors elected every five years with a proportional system, contextually to the mayoral elections. The executive body is the City Committee (Giunta Comunale), composed by 7 assessors, that is nominated and presieded over by a directly elected Mayor. The current mayor of Florence is Dario Nardella.

The municipality of Florence is subdivided into five administrative Boroughs (Quartieri). Each Borough is governed by a Council (Consiglio) and a President, elected contextually to the city Mayor. The urban organisation is governed by the Italian Constitution (art. 114). The Boroughs have the power to advise the Mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics (environment, construction, public health, local markets) and exercise the functions delegated to them by the City Council; in addition they are supplied with an autonomous founding in order to finance local activities. The Boroughs are:

All of the five boroughs are governed by the Democratic Party.

The former Italian Prime Minister (2014-2016), Matteo Renzi, served as mayor from 2009 to 2014.

Main sights

Florence Cathedral
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
1835 S.D.U.K. City Map or Plan of Florence or Firenze, Italy - Geographicus - Florence-SDUK-1835
1835 City Map of Florence, still largely in the confines of its medieval city centre.
Ponte Vecchio Firenze
Ponte Vecchio, which spans the Arno river

Florence is known as the "cradle of the Renaissance" (la culla del Rinascimento) for its monuments, churches, and buildings. The best-known site of Florence is the domed cathedral of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore, known as The Duomo, whose dome was built by Filippo Brunelleschi. The nearby Campanile (partly designed by Giotto) and the Baptistery buildings are also highlights. The dome, 600 years after its completion, is still the largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world.[32] In 1982, the historic centre of Florence (Italian: centro storico di Firenze) was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.[33] The centre of the city is contained in medieval walls that were built in the 14th century to defend the city. At the heart of the city, in Piazza della Signoria, is Bartolomeo Ammannati's Fountain of Neptune (1563–1565), which is a masterpiece of marble sculpture at the terminus of a still functioning Roman aqueduct.

The layout and structure of Florence in many ways harkens back to the Roman era, where it was designed as a garrison settlement.[10] Nevertheless, the majority of the city was built during the Renaissance.[10] Despite the strong presence of Renaissance architecture within the city, traces of medieval, Baroque, Neoclassical and modern architecture can be found. The Palazzo Vecchio as well as the Duomo, or the city's Cathedral, are the two buildings which dominate Florence's skyline.[10]

The river Arno, which cuts through the old part of the city, is as much a character in Florentine history as many of the people who lived there. Historically, the locals have had a love-hate relationship with the Arno – which alternated between nourishing the city with commerce, and destroying it by flood.

Cityscape of Florence in the Night
Florence at night from Piazzale Michelangelo

One of the bridges in particular stands out — the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. The bridge also carries Vasari's elevated corridor linking the Uffizi to the Medici residence (Palazzo Pitti). Although the original bridge was constructed by the Etruscans, the current bridge was rebuilt in the 14th century. It is the only bridge in the city to have survived World War II intact. It is the first example in the western world of a bridge built using segmental arches, that is, arches less than a semicircle, to reduce both span-to-rise ratio and the numbers of pillars to allow lesser encumbrance in the riverbed (being in this much more successful than the Roman Alconétar Bridge).

Vechio Ponte Santa Trinita with the Oltrarno district
Ponte Santa Trinita with the Oltrarno district

The church of San Lorenzo contains the Medici Chapel, the mausoleum of the Medici family—the most powerful family in Florence from the 15th to the 18th century. Nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest art museums in the world – founded on a large bequest from the last member of the Medici family.

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill
Florence Duomo as seen from Michelangelo hill.

The Uffizi is located at the corner of Piazza della Signoria, a site important for being the centre of Florence's civil life and government for centuries. The Palazzo della Signoria facing it is still home of the municipal government. Many significant episodes in the history of art and political changes were staged here, such as:

  • In 1301, Dante Alighieri was sent into exile from here (commemorated by a plaque on one of the walls of the Uffizi).
  • On 26 April 1478, Jacopo de' Pazzi and his retainers tried to raise the city against the Medici after the plot known as La congiura dei Pazzi (The Pazzi conspiracy), murdering Giuliano di Piero de' Medici and wounding his brother Lorenzo. All the members of the plot who could be apprehended were seized by the Florentines and hanged from the windows of the palace.
  • In 1497, it was the location of the Bonfire of the Vanities instigated by the Dominican friar and preacher Girolamo Savonarola
  • On 23 May 1498, the same Savonarola and two followers were hanged and burnt at the stake. (A round plate in the ground marks the spot where he was hanged)
  • In 1504, Michelangelo's David (now replaced by a replica, since the original was moved in 1873 to the Galleria dell'Accademia) was installed in front of the Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo Vecchio).

The Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria is the location of a number of statues by other sculptors such as Donatello, Giambologna, Ammannati and Cellini, although some have been replaced with copies to preserve the originals.

Monuments, museums and religious buildings

Galeri
Piazzale degli Uffizi

Florence contains several palaces and buildings from various eras. The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence and also an art museum. This large Romanesque crenellated fortress-palace overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti. It is linked to the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti through the Corridoio Vasariano.

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo for Cosimo il Vecchio, of the Medici family, is another major edifice, and was built between 1445 and 1460. It was well known for its stone masonry that includes rustication and ashlar. Today it is the head office of the Metropolitan City of Florence and hosts museums and the Riccardiana Library. The Palazzo Strozzi, an example of civil architecture with its rusticated stone, was inspired by the Palazzo Medici, but with more harmonious proportions. Today the palace is used for international expositions like the annual antique show (founded as the Biennale dell'Antiquariato in 1959), fashion shows and other cultural and artistic events. Here also is the seat of the Istituto Nazionale del Rinascimento and the noted Gabinetto Vieusseux, with the library and reading room.
There are several other notable places, including the Palazzo Rucellai, designed by Leon Battista Alberti between 1446 and 1451 and executed, at least in part, by Bernardo Rossellino; the Palazzo Davanzati, which houses the museum of the Old Florentine House; the Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali, designed in the Neo-Renaissance style in 1871; the Palazzo Spini Feroni, in Piazza Santa Trinita, a historic 13th-century private palace, owned since the 1920s by shoe-designer Salvatore Ferragamo; as well as various others, including the Palazzo Borghese, the Palazzo di Bianca Cappello, the Palazzo Antinori, and the Royal building of Santa Maria Novella.

Florence contains numerous museums and art galleries where some of the world's most important works of art are held. The city is one of the best preserved Renaissance centres of art and architecture in the world and has a high concentration of art, architecture and culture.[34] In the ranking list of the 15 most visited Italian art museums, ⅔ are represented by Florentine museums.[35] The Uffizi is one of these, having a very large collection of international and Florentine art. The gallery is articulated in many halls, catalogued by schools and chronological order. Engendered by the Medici family's artistic collections through the centuries, it houses works of art by various painters and artists. The Vasari Corridor is another gallery, built connecting the Palazzo Vecchio with the Pitti Palace passing by the Uffizi and over the Ponte Vecchio. The Galleria dell'Accademia houses a Michelangelo collection, including the David. It has a collection of Russian icons and works by various artists and painters. Other museums and galleries include the Bargello, which concentrates on sculpture works by artists including Donatello, Giambologna and Michelangelo; the Palazzo Pitti, containing part of the Medici family's former private collection. In addition to the Medici collection, the palace's galleries contain many Renaissance works, including several by Raphael and Titian, large collections of costumes, ceremonial carriages, silver, porcelain and a gallery of modern art dating from the 18th century. Adjoining the palace are the Boboli Gardens, elaborately landscaped and with numerous sculptures.

Il Duomo di Firenze
The façade of the Cathedral
Cityscape of Florence in the Night
Florence in the evening

There are several different churches and religious buildings in Florence. The cathedral is Santa Maria del Fiore. The San Giovanni Baptistery located in front of the cathedral, is decorated by numerous artists, notably by Lorenzo Ghiberti with the Gates of Paradise. Other churches in Florence include the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, located in Santa Maria Novella square (near the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station) which contains works by Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Filippino Lippi and Domenico Ghirlandaio; the Basilica of Santa Croce, the principal Franciscan church in the city, which is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres (2,600 feet) south east of the Duomo, and is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie); the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which is one of the largest churches in the city, situated at the centre of Florence's main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III; Santo Spirito, in the Oltrarno quarter, facing the square with the same name; Orsanmichele, whose building was constructed on the site of the kitchen garden of the monastery of San Michele, now demolished; Santissima Annunziata, a Roman Catholic basilica and the mother church of the Servite order; Ognissanti, which was founded by the lay order of the Umiliati, and is among the first examples of Baroque architecture built in the city; the Santa Maria del Carmine, in the Oltrarno district of Florence, which is the location of the Brancacci Chapel, housing outstanding Renaissance frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale, later finished by Filippino Lippi; the Medici Chapel with statues by Michelangelo, in the San Lorenzo; as well as several others, including Santa Trinita, San Marco, Santa Felicita, Badia Fiorentina, San Gaetano, San Miniato al Monte, Florence Charterhouse, and Santa Maria del Carmine. The city additionally contains the Orthodox Russian church of Nativity, and the Great Synagogue of Florence, built in the 19th century.

Florence contains various theatres and cinemas. The Odeon Cinema of the Palazzo dello Strozzino is one of the oldest cinemas in the city. Established from 1920 to 1922[36] in a wing of the Palazzo dello Strozzino, it used to be called the Cinema Teatro Savoia (Savoy Cinema-Theatre), yet was later called Odeon. The Teatro della Pergola, located in the centre of the city on the eponymous street, is an opera house built in the 17th century. Another theatre is the Teatro Comunale (or Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), originally built as the open-air amphitheatre, the Politeama Fiorentino Vittorio Emanuele, which was inaugurated on 17 May 1862 with a production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and which seated 6,000 people. There are several other theatres, such as the Saloncino Castinelli, the Teatro Puccini, the Teatro Verdi, the Teatro Goldoni and the Teatro Niccolini.

Squares, streets and parks

Firenze panorama from the Giardino Bardini
Panorama composite, overview of Firenze, taken from the Giardino Bardini viewpoint.

Aside from such monuments, Florence contains numerous major squares (piazze) and streets. The Piazza della Repubblica is a square in the city centre, location of the cultural cafés and bourgeois palaces. Among the square's cafés (like Caffè Gilli, Paszkowski or the Hard Rock Cafè), the Giubbe Rosse café has long been a meeting place for artists and writers, notably those of Futurism. The Piazza Santa Croce is another; dominated by the Basilica of Santa Croce, it is a rectangular square in the centre of the city where the Calcio Fiorentino is played every year. Furthermore, there is the Piazza Santa Trinita, a square near the Arno that mark the end of the Via de' Tornabuoni street.

Replica of David, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
Replica of David and other statues, Piazza della Signoria

Other squares include the Piazza San Marco, the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, the Piazza Beccaria and the Piazza della Libertà. The centre additionally contains several streets. Such include the Via Camillo Cavour, one of the main roads of the northern area of the historic centre; the Via Ghibellina, one of central Florence's longest streets; the Via dei Calzaiuoli, one of the most central streets of the historic centre which links Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Signoria, winding parallel to via Roma and Piazza della Repubblica; the Via de' Tornabuoni, a luxurious street in the city centre that goes from Antinori square to ponte Santa Trinita, across Piazza Santa Trinita, characterised by the presence of fashion boutiques; the Viali di Circonvallazione, 6-lane boulevards surrounding the northern part of the historic centre; as well as others, such as Via Roma, Via degli Speziali, Via de' Cerretani, and the Viale dei Colli.

Florence also contains various parks and gardens. Such include the Boboli Gardens, the Parco delle Cascine, the Giardino Bardini and the Giardino dei Semplici, amongst others.

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1200 50,000—    
1300 120,000+140.0%
1500 70,000−41.7%
1650 70,000+0.0%
1861 150,864+115.5%
1871 201,138+33.3%
1881 196,072−2.5%
1901 236,635+20.7%
1911 258,056+9.1%
1921 280,133+8.6%
1931 304,160+8.6%
1936 321,176+5.6%
1951 374,625+16.6%
1961 436,516+16.5%
1971 457,803+4.9%
1981 448,331−2.1%
1991 403,294−10.0%
2001 356,118−11.7%
2011 358,079+0.6%
Source: ISTAT 2011

In 1200 the city was home to 50,000 people.[37] By 1300 the population of the city proper was 120,000, with an additional 300,000 living in the Contado.[38] Between 1500 and 1650 the population was around 70,000.[39][40]

As of 31 October 2010, the population of the city proper is 370,702, while Eurostat estimates that 696,767 people live in the urban area of Florence. The Metropolitan Area of Florence, Prato and Pistoia, constituted in 2000 over an area of roughly 4,800 square kilometres (1,853 sq mi), is home to 1.5 million people. Within Florence proper, 46.8% of the population was male in 2007 and 53.2% were female. Minors (children aged 18 and less) totalled 14.10 percent of the population compared to pensioners, who numbered 25.95 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Florence resident is 49 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Florence grew by 3.22 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent.[41] The birth rate of Florence is 7.66 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2009, 87.46% of the population was Italian. An estimated 6,000 Chinese live in the city.[42] The largest immigrant group came from other European countries (mostly Romanians and Albanians): 3.52%, East Asia (mostly Chinese and Filipino): 2.17%, the Americas: 1.41%, and North Africa (mostly Moroccan): 0.9%.[43]

Economy

Tourism is, by far, the most important of all industries and most of the Florentine economy relies on the money generated by international arrivals and students studying in the city.[10] The value tourism to the city totalled some €62.5 billion in 2015 and the number of visitors had increased by 5.5% from the previous year.[44]

In 2013, Florence was listed as the second best world city by Condé Nast Traveler.[45]

Manufacturing and commerce, however, still remain highly important. Florence is also Italy's 17th richest city in terms of average workers' earnings, with the figure being €23,265 (the overall city's income is €6,531,204,473), coming after Mantua, yet surpassing Bolzano.[46]

Industry, commerce and services

Florence is a major production and commercial centre in Italy, where the Florentine industrial complexes in the suburbs produce all sorts of goods, from furniture, rubber goods, chemicals, and food.[10] However, traditional and local products, such as antiques, handicrafts, glassware, leatherwork, art reproductions, jewellery, souvenirs, elaborate metal and iron-work, shoes, accessories and high fashion clothes also dominate a fair sector of Florence's economy.[10] The city's income relies partially on services and commercial and cultural interests, such as annual fairs, theatrical and lyrical productions, art exhibitions, festivals and fashion shows, such as the Calcio Fiorentino. Heavy industry and machinery also take their part in providing an income. In Nuovo Pignone, numerous factories are still present, and small-to medium industrial businesses are dominant. The Florence-Prato-Pistoia industrial districts and areas were known as the 'Third Italy' in the 1990s, due to the exports of high-quality goods and automobile (especially the Vespa) and the prosperity and productivity of the Florentine entrepreneurs. Some of these industries even rivalled the traditional industrial districts in Emilia-Romagna and Veneto due to high profits and productivity.[10]

In the fourth quarter of 2015, manufacturing increased by 2.4% and exports increased by 7.2%. Leading sectors included mechanical engineering, fashion, pharmaceutics, food and wine. During 2015, permanent employment contracts increased by 48.8 percent, boosted by nationwide tax break.[44]

Tourism

Florencja Il Porcelino RB
Tourists flock to the Fontana del Porcellino.

Tourism is the most significant industry in central Florence. From April to October, tourists outnumber local population. Tickets to the Uffizi and Accademia museums are regularly sold out and large groups regularly fill the basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, both of which charge for entry. Tickets for The Uffizi and Accademia can be purchased online prior to visiting.[47] In 2010, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine ranked the city as their third favourite tourist destination.[48] In 2015, Condé Nast Travel readers voted Florence as the best city in Europe.[49]

Studies by Euromonitor International have concluded that cultural and history-oriented tourism is generating significantly increased spending throughout Europe.[50]

Florence is believed to have the greatest concentration of art (in proportion to its size) in the world.[51] Thus, cultural tourism is particularly strong, with world-renowned museums such as the Uffizi selling over 1.93 million tickets in 2014.[52] The city's convention centre facilities were restructured during the 1990s and host exhibitions, conferences, meetings, social forums, concerts and other events all year.

Restaurant in the Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy
Tourists and restaurant in the Piazza del Duomo

In 2016, Florence had 20,588 hotel rooms in 570 facilities. International visitors use 75% of the rooms; some 18% of those were from the U.S.[53] In 2014, the city had 8.5 million overnight stays.[54] A Euromonitor report indicates that in 2015 the city ranked as the world's 36th most visited in the world, with over 4.95 million arrivals for the year.[55]

Tourism brings revenue to Florence, but it creates certain problems. The Ponte Vecchio, The San Lorenzo Market and Santa Maria Novella are plagued by pickpockets.[56] The province of Florence receives roughly 13 million visitors per year[57] and in peak seasons, that can lead to over crowding at popular locations.[58] Mayor Dario Nardella is particularly concerned about visitors who arrive on buses, stay only a few hours, spend little money but contribute significantly to overcrowding. "No museum visit, just a photo from the square, the bus back and then on to Venice... We don’t want tourists like that," he said.[59]

Some tourists are less than respectful of the city's cultural heritage, according to Nardella. In June 2017, he instituted a programme of spraying church steps with water to prevent tourists from using such areas as picnic spots. While he values the benefits of tourism, there has been "an increase among those who sit down on church steps, eat their food and leave rubbish strewn on them," he explained.[60] To boost the sale of traditional foods, the mayor had introduced legislation (enacted in 2016) that requires restaurants to use typical Tuscan products and rejected McDonald's application to open a location in the Piazza del Duomo.[61]

Food and wine production

Fiaschi of basic Chianti
Fiascos of basic Chianti.

Food and wine have long been an important staple of the economy. The Chianti region is just south of the city, and its Sangiovese grapes figure prominently not only in its Chianti Classico wines but also in many of the more recently developed Supertuscan blends. Within 32 km (20 mi) to the west is the Carmignano area, also home to flavourful sangiovese-based reds. The celebrated Chianti Rufina district, geographically and historically separated from the main Chianti region, is also few kilometres east of Florence. More recently, the Bolgheri region (about 150 km (93 mi) southwest of Florence) has become celebrated for its "Super Tuscan" reds such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia.[62]

Culture

Art

Sandro Botticelli - La nascita di Venere - Google Art Project - edited
Botticelli's Venus, stored in the Uffizi

Florence was the birthplace of High Renaissance art, which lasted from 1450-1527. While Medieval art focused on basic story telling of the Bible, Renaissance art focused on naturalism and human emotion.[63] Medieval art was abstract, formulaic, and largely produced by monks whereas Renaissance art was rational, mathematical, individualistic, consisted of linear perspective and shading (Chiaroscuro)[63] and produced by specialists (Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael). Religion was important, but with this new age came the humanization[64][65] of religious figures in art, such as Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Ecce Homo (Bosch, 1470s), and Madonna Della Seggiola; People of this age began to understand themselves as human beings, which reflected in art.[65] The Renaissance marked the rebirth of classical values in art and society as people studied the ancient masters of the Greco-Roman world;[64] Art became focused on realism as opposed to idealism.[65]

Sculptures in the Loggia dei Lanzi
Sculptures in the Loggia dei Lanzi
'David' by Michelangelo JBU05
Michelangelo's David

Cimabue and Giotto, the fathers of Italian painting, lived in Florence as well as Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renewers of architecture and sculpture; Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, forefathers of the Renaissance, Ghiberti and the Della Robbias, Filippo Lippi and Angelico; Botticelli, Paolo Uccello and the universal genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.[66][67]

Their works, together with those of many other generations of artists, are gathered in the several museums of the town: the Uffizi Gallery, the Palatina gallery with the paintings of the "Golden Ages",[68] the Bargello with the sculptures of the Renaissance, the museum of San Marco with Fra Angelico's works, the Academy, the chapels of the Medicis[69] Buonarroti's house with the sculptures of Michelangelo, the following museums: Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Romano, Corsini, The Gallery of Modern Art, the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, the museum of Silverware and the museum of Precious Stones.[70] Several monuments are located in Florence: the Florence Baptistery with its mosaics; the Cathedral with its sculptures, the medieval churches with bands of frescoes; public as well as private palaces: Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati; monasteries, cloisters, refectories; the "Certosa". In the archaeological museum includes documents of Etruscan civilisation.[71] In fact the city is so rich in art that some first time visitors experience the Stendhal syndrome as they encounter its art for the first time.[72]

Uffizi Hallway
Uffizi hallway

Florentine architects such as Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1466) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) were among the fathers of both Renaissance and Neoclassical architecture.[73]

The cathedral, topped by Brunelleschi's dome, dominates the Florentine skyline. The Florentines decided to start building it – late in the 13th century, without a design for the dome. The project proposed by Brunelleschi in the 14th century was the largest ever built at the time, and the first major dome built in Europe since the two great domes of Roman times – the Pantheon in Rome, and Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The dome of Santa Maria del Fiore remains the largest brick construction of its kind in the world.[74][75] In front of it is the medieval Baptistery. The two buildings incorporate in their decoration the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In recent years, most of the important works of art from the two buildings – and from the nearby Giotto's Campanile, have been removed and replaced by copies. The originals are now housed in the Museum dell'Opera del Duomo, just to the east of the Cathedral.

Florence has large numbers of art-filled churches, such as San Miniato al Monte, San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Trinita, Santa Maria del Carmine, Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, the Annunziata, Ognissanti and numerous others.[10]

Firenze Palazzo della Signoria, better known as the Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo della Signoria, better known as the Palazzo Vecchio (English: The Old Palace)

Artists associated with Florence range from Arnolfo di Cambio and Cimabue to Giotto, Nanni di Banco, and Paolo Uccello; through Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Donatello and Massaccio and the della Robbia family; through Fra Angelico and Botticelli and Piero della Francesca, and on to Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Others include Benvenuto Cellini, Andrea del Sarto, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Filippo Lippi, Bernardo Buontalenti, Orcagna, Pollaiuolo, Filippino Lippi, Verrocchio, Bronzino, Desiderio da Settignano, Michelozzo, the Rossellis, the Sangallos, and Pontormo. Artists from other regions who worked in Florence include Raphael, Andrea Pisano, Giambologna, Il Sodoma and Peter Paul Rubens.

Dome of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence)
Brunelleschi's dome

Picture galleries in Florence include the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Two superb collections of sculpture are in the Bargello and the Museum of the Works of the Duomo. They are filled with the creations of Donatello, Verrochio, Desiderio da Settignano, Michelangelo and others. The Galleria dell'Accademia has Michelangelo's David – perhaps the best-known work of art anywhere, plus the unfinished statues of the slaves Michelangelo created for the tomb of Pope Julius II.[76][77] Other sights include the medieval city hall, the Palazzo della Signoria (also known as the Palazzo Vecchio), the Archeological Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, the Garden of Archimedes, the Palazzo Davanzatti, the Stibbert Museum, St. Marks, the Medici Chapels, the Museum of the Works of Santa Croce, the Museum of the Cloister of Santa Maria Novella, the Zoological Museum ("La Specola"), the Bardini, and the Museo Horne. There is also a collection of works by the modern sculptor, Marino Marini, in a museum named after him. The Strozzi Palace is the site of special exhibits.[78]

Language

Florentine (fiorentino), spoken by inhabitants of Florence and its environs, is a Tuscan dialect and the immediate parent language to modern Italian.

Its vocabulary and pronunciation are largely identical to standard Italian, though the hard c [k] between two vowels (as in ducato) is pronounced as a fricative [h], similar to an English h. This gives Florentines a highly recognisable accent (the so-called gorgia toscana). Other traits include using a form of the subjunctive mood last commonly used in medieval times, a frequent usage in everyday speech of the modern subjunctive, and a shortened pronunciation of the definite article, [i] instead of "il".

Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio pioneered the use of the vernacular[79] instead of the Latin used for most literary works at the time.

Literature

Decamaron intro
The introduction of the Decameron (1350–1353) by Giovanni Boccaccio.

Despite Latin being the main language of the courts and the Church in the Middle Ages, writers such as Dante Alighieri[79] and many others used their own language, the Florentine vernacular descended from Latin, in composing their greatest works. The oldest literary pieces written in Florentine go as far back as the 13th century. Florence's literature fully blossomed in the 14th century, when not only Dante with his Divine Comedy (1306–1321) and Petrarch, but also poets such as Guido Cavalcanti and Lapo Gianni composed their most important works.[79] Dante's masterpiece is the Divine Comedy, which mainly deals with the poet himself taking an allegoric and moral tour of Hell, Purgatory and finally Heaven, during which he meets numerous mythological or real characters of his age or before. He is first guided by the Roman poet Virgil, whose non-Christian beliefs damned him to Hell. Later on he is joined by Beatrice, who guides him through Heaven.[79]

In the 14th century, Petrarch[80] and Giovanni Boccaccio[80] led the literary scene in Florence after Dante's death in 1321. Petrarch was an all-rounder writer, author and poet, but was particularly known for his Canzoniere, or the Book of Songs, where he conveyed his unremitting love for Laura.[80] His style of writing has since become known as Petrarchism.[80] Boccaccio was better known for his Decameron, a slightly grim story of Florence during the 1350s bubonic plague, known as the Black Death, when some people fled the ravaged city to an isolated country mansion, and spent their time there recounting stories and novellas taken from the medieval and contemporary tradition. All of this is written in a series of 100 distinct novellas.[80]

In the 16th century, during the Renaissance, Florence was the home town of political writer and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, whose ideas on how rulers should govern the land, detailed in The Prince, spread across European courts and enjoyed enduring popularity for centuries. These principles became known as Machiavellianism.

Music

Teatro della Pergola, Firenze 1
The Teatro della Pergola.

Florence became a musical centre during the Middle Ages and music and the performing arts remain an important part of its culture. The growth of Northern Italian Cities in the 1500s likely contributed to its increased prominence. During the Renaissance, there were four kinds of musical patronage in the city with respect to both sacred and secular music: state, corporate, church, and private.[73] It was here that the Florentine Camerata convened in the mid-16th century and experimented with setting tales of Greek mythology to music and staging the result—in other words, the first operas, setting the wheels in motion not just for the further development of the operatic form, but for later developments of separate "classical" forms such as the symphony and concerto. After the year 1600, Italian trends prevailed across Europe, by 1750 it was the primary musical language. The genre of the Madrigal, born in Italy, gained popularity in Britain and elsewhere. Several Italian cities were "larger on the musical map than their real-size for power suggested. Florence, was once such city which experienced a fantastic period in the early seventeenth Century of musico-theatrical innovation, including the beginning and flourishing of opera.[81]

Opera was invented in Florence in the late 16th century when Jacobo Peri's Dafne an opera in the style of monody, was premiered.[74] Opera spread from Florence throughout Italy and eventually Europe. Vocal Music in the choir setting was also taking new identity at this time. At the beginning of the 17th century, two practices for writing music were devised, one the first practice or Stile Antico/Prima Prattica the other the Stile Moderno/Seconda Prattica. The Stile Antico was more prevalent in Northern Europe and Stile Moderno was practiced more by the Italian Composers of the time.[82]

Composers and musicians who have lived in Florence include Piero Strozzi (1550 – after 1608), Giulio Caccini (1551–1618) and Mike Francis (1961–2009). Giulio Caccini's book Le Nuove Musiche was significant in performance practice technique instruction at the time.[81] The book specified a new term, in use by the 1630s, called monody which indicated the combination of voice and basso continuo and connoted a practice of stating text in a free, lyrical, yet speech-like manner. This would occur while an instrument, usually a keyboard type such as harpsichord, played and held chords while the singer sang/spoke the monodic line.[83]

Cinema

Florence has been a setting for numerous works of fiction and movies, including the novels and associated films, such as Light in the Piazza, Calmi Cuori Appassionati, Hannibal, A Room with a View, Tea with Mussolini, Virgin Territory and Inferno. The city is home to renowned Italian actors and actresses, such as Roberto Benigni, Leonardo Pieraccioni and Vittoria Puccini.

Cuisine

Bistecca alla fiorentina-01
Florentine steak in Florence

Florentine food grows out of a tradition of peasant eating rather than rarefied high cooking. The majority of dishes are based on meat. The whole animal was traditionally eaten; tripe (trippa) and stomach (lampredotto) were once regularly on the menu and still are sold at the food carts stationed throughout the city. Antipasti include crostini toscani, sliced bread rounds topped with a chicken liver-based pâté, and sliced meats (mainly prosciutto and salame, often served with melon when in season). The typically saltless Tuscan bread, obtained with natural levain frequently features in Florentine courses, especially in its soups, ribollita and pappa al pomodoro, or in the salad of bread and fresh vegetables called panzanella that is served in summer. The bistecca alla fiorentina is a large (the customary size should weigh around 1.2 to 1.5 kg [40 to 50 oz]) – the "date" steak – T-bone steak of Chianina beef cooked over hot charcoal and served very rare with its more recently derived version, the tagliata, sliced rare beef served on a bed of arugula, often with slices of Parmesan cheese on top. Most of these courses are generally served with local olive oil, also a prime product enjoying a worldwide reputation.[84]
Among the desserts, schiacciata alla fiorentina, a white flatbread cake, is one of the most popular; it is a very soft cake, prepared with extremely simple ingredients as typical of Florentine cuisine, and is especially eaten at Carnival.

Research activity

Research institutes and university departments are located within the Florence area and within two campuses at Polo di Novoli and Polo Scientifico di Sesto Fiorentino[85] as well as in the Research Area of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche.[86]

Science and discovery

Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze - paleontology
A display of proboscideans in the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze, or the Natural History Museum of Florence

Florence has been an important scientific centre for centuries, notably during the Renaissance with scientists such as Leonardo da Vinci.

Florentines were one of the driving forces behind the Age of Discovery. Florentine bankers financed Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese explorers who pioneered the route around Africa to India and the Far East. It was a map drawn by the Florentine Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, a student of Brunelleschi, that Christopher Columbus used to sell his "enterprise" to the Spanish monarchs, and which he used on his first voyage. Mercator's "Projection" is a refined version of Toscanelli's – taking into account the Americas, of which the Florentine was, obviously, ignorant.

Galileo and other scientists pioneered the study of optics, ballistics, astronomy, anatomy, and so on. Pico della Mirandola, Leonardo Bruni, Machiavelli, and many others laid the groundwork for our understanding of science.

Fashion

Via de Tornabuoni 07
Luxury boutiques along Florence's prestigious Via de' Tornabuoni.

By the year 1300 Florence had become a centre of textile production in Europe. Many of the rich families in Renaissance Florence were major purchasers of locally produced fine clothing, and the specialists of fashion in the economy and culture of Florence during that period is often underestimated.[87] Florence is regarded by some as the birthplace and earliest centre of the modern (post World War Two) fashion industry in Italy. The Florentine "soirées" of the early 1950s organised by Giovanni Battista Giorgini were events where several Italian designers participated in group shows and first garnered international attention.[88] Florence has served as the home of the Italian fashion company Salvatore Ferragamo since 1928. Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci are also headquartered in Florence. Other major players in the fashion industry such as Prada and Chanel have large offices and stores in Florence or its outskirts. Florence's main upscale shopping street is Via de' Tornabuoni, where major luxury fashion houses and jewellery labels, such as Armani and Bulgari, have their elegant boutiques. Via del Parione and Via Roma are other streets that are also well known for their high-end fashion stores.[89]

Historical evocations

Scoppio del Carro

The Scoppio del Carro ("Explosion of the Cart") is a celebration of the First Crusade. During the day of Easter, a cart, which the Florentines call the Brindellone and which is led by four white oxen, is taken to the Piazza del Duomo between the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist (Battistero di San Giovanni) and the Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore). The cart is connected by a rope to the interior of the church. Near the cart there is a model of a dove, which, according to legend, is a symbol of good luck for the city: at the end of the Easter mass, the dove emerges from the nave of the Duomo and ignites the fireworks on the cart.

Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico Corteo
Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico Fiorentino ("Historic Florentine Football"), sometimes called Calcio in costume, is a traditional sport, regarded as a forerunner of soccer, though the actual gameplay most closely resembles rugby. The event originates from the Middle Ages, when the most important Florentine nobles amused themselves playing while wearing bright costumes. The most important match was played on 17 February 1530, during the siege of Florence. That day Papal troops besieged the city while the Florentines, with contempt of the enemies, decided to play the game notwithstanding the situation. The game is played in the Piazza di Santa Croce. A temporary arena is constructed, with bleachers and a sand-covered playing field. A series of matches are held between four teams representing each quartiere (quarter) of Florence during late June and early July.[90] There are four teams: Azzurri (light blue), Bianchi (white), Rossi (red) and Verdi (green). The Azzurri are from the quarter of Santa Croce, Bianchi from the quarter of Santo Spirito, Verdi are from San Giovanni and Rossi from Santa Maria Novella.

Sport

In association football Florence is represented by ACF Fiorentina, which plays in Serie A, the top league of Italian league system. ACF Fiorentina has won two Italian Championships since their formation in 1926. They play their games at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, which currently holds 47,282. The female squad of ACF Fiorentina have won the women's association football Italian Championship of the 2016-17 season.

The city is home of Coverciano, the main training ground of the Italian national team, and the technical department of the Italian Football Federation.

Florence was selected to host the 2013 UCI World Road Cycling Championships.

Since 2017 Florence is also represented in Eccellenza, the top tier of rugby union league system in Italy, by I Medicei, which is a club established in 2015 by the merging of the senior squads of I Cavalieri (of Prato) and Firenze Rugby 1931. I Medicei won the Serie A Championship in 2016-17 and were promoted to Eccellenza for the 2017-18 season.

Rari Nantes Florentia is a successful water polo club based in Florence; both its male and female squads have won several Italian championships and the female squad has also European titles in their palmarès.

Transportation

Firenze - mappa rete tranviaria
Route map of the tramway

Cars

The centre of Florence is closed to through-traffic, although buses, taxis and residents with appropriate permits are allowed in. This area is commonly referred to as the ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato), which is divided into several subsections.[91] Residents of one section, therefore, will only be able to drive in their district and perhaps some surrounding ones. Cars without permits are allowed to enter after 7.30 pm, or before 7.30 am. The rules shift during the tourist-filled summers, putting more restrictions on where one can get in and out.[92]

Buses

Tramvia firenze sirio
Tramway Sirio in Florence

The principal public transit network in the city is run by the ATAF and Li-nea bus company. Individual tickets, or a pass called Carta Agile with multiple rides, should be purchased in advance and are available at local tobacconists, bars and newspaper stalls and must be validated once on board. These tickets may be used on ATAF and Li-nea buses, Tramvia and second-class local trains only within city railway stations. Train tickets must be validated before boarding.The main bus station is next to Santa Maria Novella railway station. Trenitalia runs trains between the railway stations within the city, and to other destinations around Italy and Europe. The central railway station, Santa Maria Novella, is about 500 m (1,600 ft) northwest of the Piazza del Duomo. There are two other important stations: Campo di Marte and Rifredi. Most bundled routes are Firenze—Pisa, Firenze—Viareggio and Firenze-Arezzo (along the main line to Rome). Other local railways connect Florence with Borgo San Lorenzo in the Mugello area (Faentina railway) and Siena.

Long distance 10 km (6.21 mi) buses are run by the SITA, Copit, CAP companies. The transit companies also accommodate travellers from the Amerigo Vespucci Airport, which is 5 km (3.1 mi) west of the city centre, and which has scheduled services run by major European carriers.

Trams

In an effort to reduce air pollution and car traffic in the city, a multi-line tram network called Tramvia is under construction. The first line began operation on 14 February 2010 and connects Florence's primary intercity railway station (Santa Maria Novella) with the southwestern suburb of Scandicci. This line is 7.4 km (4.6 mi) long and has 14 stops. The construction of a second line began on 5 November 2011, construction was stopped due to contractors' difficulties and restarted in 2014, completion is now scheduled for 2018. This second line will connect Florence's airport with the city centre. A third line (from Santa Maria Novella to the Careggi area, where are the most important hospitals of Florence) is also under construction.[93][94][95]

Florence public transport statistics

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Firenze, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 59 min. 13% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 14 min, while 22% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 4.1 km, while 3% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.[96]

Railway station

Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station is the main national and international railway station in Florence and is used by 59 million people every year.[97] The building, designed by Giovanni Michelucci, was built in the Italian Rationalism style and it is one of the major rationalist buildings in Italy. It is located in Piazza della Stazione, near the Fortezza da Basso (a masterpiece of the military Renaissance architecture[98]) and the Viali di Circonvallazione, and in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella's apse from which it takes its name. As well as numerous high speed trains to major Italian cities Florence is served by international overnight sleeper services to Munich and Vienna operated by Austrian railways ÖBB.

A new high-speed rail station is under construction and is contracted to be operational by 2015.[99] It is planned to be connected to Vespucci airport, Santa Maria Novella railway station, and to the city centre by the second line of Tramvia.[100] The architectural firms Foster + Partners and Lancietti Passaleva Giordo and Associates designed this new rail station.[101]

Airport

The Florence Airport, Peretola, is one of two main airports in the Tuscany region though it is not widely used by popular airlines. The other airport in the Tuscany region is the Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa.

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Florence is twinned with:[102]

Other partnerships

Notable residents

In popular culture

Florence appears in the video games Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and was often called Firenze.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Bilancio demografico anno 2015 e popolazione residente al 31 dicembre; Comune: Firenze". ISTAT. Select: Italia Centrale/Toscana/Firenze/Firenze.
  4. ^ Alternative obsolete form: Fiorenza [fjoˈrɛntsa]; Latin: Florentia
  5. ^ Bilancio demografico anno 2013, dati ISTAT
  6. ^ "Economy of Renaissance Florence, Richard A. Goldthwaite, Book – Barnes & Noble". Search.barnesandnoble.com. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  7. ^ Spencer Baynes, L.L.D., and W. Robertson Smith, L.L.D., Encyclopædia Britannica. Akron, Ohio: The Werner Company, 1907: p.675
  8. ^ Brucker, Gene A. (1969). Renaissance Florence. New York: Wiley. p. 23. ISBN 978-0520046955.
  9. ^ "storia della lingua in "Enciclopedia dell'Italiano"". Treccani.it. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Florence (Italy)". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Britannica.com. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "FASHION: Italy's Renaissance". TIME. 4 February 1952. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  12. ^ Tim Kiladze (22 January 2010). "World's Most Beautiful Cities". Forbes. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Paris Towers Over World of Fashion as Top Global Fashion Capital for 2015". Languagemonitor.com. 2017-07-06. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  14. ^ "La classifica dei redditi nei comuni capoluogo di provincia". Il Sole 24 ORE. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  15. ^ "History of the Italian Language". italian.about.com. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  16. ^ Planet, Lonely. "History of Florence – Lonely Planet Travel Information". lonelyplanet.com.
  17. ^ Leonardo Bruni, History of the Florentine People I.1, 3
  18. ^ Bleek, Ulrike. Explore the World Nelles Pocket: Florence - Fiesole, Prato, Pistoia, San Gimignano, Voltera, Siena. Munich: Gunter Nelles. p. 13.
  19. ^ "Cradle of capitalism". The Economist. 16 April 2009. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Decameron Web, Boccaccio, Plague". Brown University.
  21. ^ Pallanti, Giuseppe (2006). Mona Lisa Revealed: The True Identity of Leonardo's Model. Florence, Italy: Skira. pp. 17, 23, 24. ISBN 978-88-7624-659-3.
  22. ^ July 3, 1944 newspaper archive
  23. ^ "University Study Center, Florence « The GI University Project". Giuniversity.wordpress.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Huge sinkhole swallows cars in Florence". Bbc.com. 25 May 2016.
  25. ^ "World map of Köppen – Geiger Climate Classification". koeppen-geiger.vu-wien.ac.at. April 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  26. ^ "Clima en Firenze / Peretola Históricos desde 1964 hasta 2016 (METAR)". tutiempo.net (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  27. ^ Borchi, Emilio; Macii, Renzo (2011). La neve a Firenze (1874-2010) [Snow in Florence (1874–2010)] (in Italian). Florence: Pagnini Editore. ISBN 978-88-8251-382-5.
  28. ^ MeteoAM.it! Il portale Italiano della Meteorologia (20 May 2005). "MeteoAM.it! Il portale Italiano della Meteorologia". Meteoam.it. Archived from the original on 8 October 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  29. ^ "FIRENZE/PERETOLA" (PDF). Servizio Meteorologico. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  30. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Florence". Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  31. ^ a b "Florence, Italy - Monthly weather forecast and Climate data". Weather Atlas. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  32. ^ Ross King, Brunelleschi's Dome, The Story of the great Cathedral of Florence, Penguin, 2001
  33. ^ Centre, UNESCO. "Historic Centre of Florence – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  34. ^ Miner, Jennifer (2 September 2008). "Florence Art Tours, Florence Museums, Florence Architecture". Travelguide.affordabletours.com. Archived from the original on 29 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  35. ^ "Touring Club Italiano – Dossier Musei 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  36. ^ "Gruppo Cine Hall". Cinehall.it. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  37. ^ Spruyt, H. (1996). The Sovereign State and Its Competitors: An Analysis of Systems Change. Princeton University Press. p. 132. ISBN 9780691029108. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  38. ^ Bruce, S.G. (2010). Ecologies and Economies in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Studies in Environmental History for Richard C. Hoffmann. Brill. p. 48. ISBN 9789004180079. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  39. ^ Chant, C.; Goodman, D. (2005). Pre-Industrial Cities and Technology. Taylor & Francis. p. 141. ISBN 9781134636204. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  40. ^ Tellier, L.N. (2009). Urban World History: An Economic and Geographical Perspective. Presses de l'Universite du Quebec. p. 311. ISBN 9782760522091. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  41. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  42. ^ Chinese immigrants to Italy build no ordinary Chinatown, Chicago Tribune, 1 January 2009
  43. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  44. ^ a b "Economy of Florence twice the national average - The Florentine". Theflorentine.net. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  45. ^ "The world best cities are..." CNN. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  46. ^ "La classifica dei redditi nei comuni capoluogo di provincia". Il Sole 24 ORE. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  47. ^ "Florence, Italy: Tourist Travel Guide for Holidays in Florence, Firenze, Italy". www.visitflorence.com. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  48. ^ "Travel + Leisure". Travelandleisure.com. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
  49. ^ "15 Best Things to Do in Florence, Italy". Cntraveler.com. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  50. ^ Tourists spend more than ever before on cultural destinations Archived 9 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine (for 2004–2005) at Euromonitor International
  51. ^ "Study Abroad in Florence Italy – Florentine artisan courses for school groups". Florenceart.net. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  52. ^ "Florence's Uffizi leading the pack in terms of visitors' numbers, after the Colosseum and Pompeii". Florence’s Uffizi leading the pack in terms of visitors’ numbers, after the Colosseum and Pompeii. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  53. ^ https://hvs.com/Print/In-Focus-Florence-Italy?id=7942
  54. ^ Bill.Alen@tourism-review.com, Bill Alen,. "Florence: A Record Year for the Tourism Industry - .TR". Tourism-review.com. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  55. ^ "Euromonitor International's Top City Destinations Ranking". Euromonitor.com. 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  56. ^ "Where in Europe are you Most Likely to be a Victim of Pickpocketing?". Yourcoffeebreak.co.uk. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  57. ^ Bill.Alen@tourism-review.com, Bill Alen,. "Florence: A Record Year for the Tourism Industry - .TR". Tourism-review.com. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  58. ^ "Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'". Thelocal.it. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  59. ^ Kirchgaessner, Stephanie (6 December 2015). "Florence seeks a better class of tourist to share its besieged medieval treasures". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  60. ^ Giuffrida, Angela (31 May 2017). "Florence mayor aims to keep picnicking tourists at bay with hosepipes". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  61. ^ "Florence is hosing down monuments to deter tourists". Independent.co.uk. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  62. ^ Oxford Companion to Wine. "Bolgheri". Archived from the original on 8 August 2008.
  63. ^ a b Kagan, Donald (2013). The Western Heritage. Pearson. p. 296. ISBN 9780205393923.
  64. ^ a b Kleiner, Fred (2013). Art Through the Ages. Boston: Clark Baxtor. pp. 417, 421. ISBN 978-0-495-91542-3.
  65. ^ a b c "The Power of the Past with Bill Moyers: Florence". 1990.
  66. ^ "Art in Florence". learner.org. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  67. ^ "Renaissance Artists". library.thinkquest.org. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  68. ^ "Uffizi Gallery Florence • Uffizi Museum • Ticket Reservation". Virtualuffizi.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  69. ^ Peter Barenboim, Sergey Shiyan, Michelangelo: Mysteries of Medici Chapel, SLOVO, Moscow, 2006. ISBN 5-85050-825-2
  70. ^ "Palace of Bargello ( Bargello's Palace ), Florence Italy – ItalyGuides.it". ItalyGuides.it. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  71. ^ "Inner court of Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti), Florence Italy – ItalyGuides.it". ItalyGuides.it. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  72. ^ "Auxologia: Graziella Magherini: La Sindrome di Stendhal (book)". Archived from the original on 12 October 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2006. (excerpts in Italian)
  73. ^ "Why Was Florence Considered Important For Culture And Arts? – Essay – Michellekim". StudyMode.com. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  74. ^ "The Duomo of Florence | Tripleman". www.tripleman.com. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  75. ^ "brunelleschi's dome – Brunelleschi's Dome". Brunelleschisdome.com. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  76. ^ "Florence, Tuscany Region, Italy – The Duomo, Statue Of David, Piazza Dell Signoria". Europe.travelonline.com. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  77. ^ "Florence Art Gallery: Art Galleries and Museums in Florence Area, Italy". Florence.world-guides.com. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  78. ^ "Become a friend of Palazzo Strozzi – Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi – Firenze". Palazzostrozzi.org. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  79. ^ a b c d "Literature in Florence, Florentine Writers and Poets". Florenceholidays.com. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  80. ^ a b c d e "Literature in Florence – Petrarch and Boccaccio, Florentine Writers and Poet: Petrarch and Boccaccio". Florenceholidays.com. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  81. ^ a b .Hanning, Barbara Russano, J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. Concise History of Western Music. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.pg. 182.
  82. ^ Grout, Donald Jay, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1973.
  83. ^ Bonds, Mark E.,Etd. Kassell, Richard. A History of Music in Western Culture. Combined Volume.3rd edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. ISBN 0-205-64531-3.
  84. ^ welcometuscany.it. "Tuscany italy tuscany tourists guide, travel tips extra virgin olive oil wines and foods of the most beautiful land in the world". welcometuscany.it. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  85. ^ "Polo Scientifico di Sesto Fiorentino". Polosci.unifi.it. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  86. ^ "Florence CNR Research Area". Area.fi.cnr.it. Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  87. ^ Frick, Carole Collier. Dressing Renaissance Florence: Families, Fortunes, and Fine Clothing. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.
  88. ^ "The birth of italian fashion". Gbgiorgini.it. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  89. ^ "Conde Nast Traveller's guide to shopping in Florence". Cntraveller.com. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  90. ^ Calcio Storico Fiorentino (Official site) (in Italian)
  91. ^ "The ZTL - Avoid Restricted Traffic Zones & Fines in Italy - Italy Perfect Travel Blog". Italy Perfect Travel Blog. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  92. ^ "Florence Driving Map, the ZTL explained : Florence On Line". www.florence-on-line.com. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  93. ^ "Arriva La Tramvia (in Italian)". GEST. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  94. ^ "Tramvia – Il Sistema Tramviario Fiorentino". Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011., Tramvia page of Florence's city government web site (in Italian).
  95. ^ Trams in Florence, Wikipedia article "Florence tramway"
  96. ^ "Firenze Public Transportation Statistics". Global Public Transit Index by Moovit. Retrieved 19 June 2017. CC-BY icon.svg Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  97. ^ "Grandi Stazioni – Firenze S. Maria Novella". Grandistazioni.it. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  98. ^ "Florence travel information | Holiday apartment near Ducati Museum". city-getaway.com. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  99. ^ "Report Quindiciale N. 17" (PDF). Rete Ferroviaria Italiana. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  100. ^ "Descrizione Della Linea 2" (PDF). Comune di Firenze. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  101. ^ "Florence TAV Station". Foster + Partners. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  102. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae "Gemellaggi, Patti di amicizia e di fratellanza" (in Italian). Comune di Firenze. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  103. ^ "Bethlehem Municipality". www.bethlehem-city.org. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  104. ^ "Dresden – Partner Cities". Landeshauptstadt Dresden. Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  105. ^ "Twin and Partner Cities". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  106. ^ "Sister Cities of Kyoto City". City of Kyoto. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  107. ^ "Florence, Italy". Ivc.org. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  108. ^ "Twin cities of Riga". Riga City Council. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  109. ^ "Twinning Cities: International Relations (NB Florence is listed as 'Firenze')" (PDF). Municipality of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  110. ^ "Kraków – Miasta Partnerskie" [Kraków -Partnership Cities]. Miejska Platforma Internetowa Magiczny Kraków (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  111. ^ "Vänorter" (in Swedish). Malmö stad. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  112. ^ "Special Note : Professor Silpa Bhirasri's Life and Works". journal.su.ac.th. Retrieved 27 October 2014.

Sources

  • Niccolò Machiavelli. Florentine Histories
  • Brucker, Gene A. (1983). Renaissance Florence.
  • Brucker, Gene A. (1971). The Society of Renaissance Florence: A Documentary Study.
  • Chamberlin, Russell (22 May 2008). Travellers Florence & Tuscany, 3rd: Guides to Destinations Worldwide. Thomas Cook Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84157-844-6. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  • Chaney, Edward (2003), A Traveller's Companion to Florence.
  • Goldthwaite, Richard A. (1982). The Building of Renaissance Florence: An Economic and Social History.
  • Hibbert, Christopher (1999). The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall.
  • Lewis, R.W.B. (1996). The City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings.
  • Najemy, John (2006). A History of Florence 1200–1575.
  • Schevill, Ferdinand (1936). History of Florence: From the Founding of the City Through the Renaissance.
  • Trexler, Richard C. (1991). Public Life in Renaissance Florence.
  • Ferdinand Schevill, History of Florence: From the Founding of the City Through the Renaissance (Frederick Ungar, 1936) is the standard overall history of Florence.
  • Sciacca, Christine (2012). Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300–1500. Getty Publications. ISBN 978-1-60606-126-8. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2016.

External links

ADX Florence

The United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) is an American federal prison that provides a higher level of custody than a maximum security prison. It is classed as a supermax, or "control unit" prison, where the safety of inmates and staff is paramount. Located in Fremont County, Colorado, and opened in 1994, it is known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons had declared a need for a unit designed specifically for the secure housing of those prisoners most liable to murder staff or other inmates. Prisoners spend 23 hours per day in single, soundproof cells with facilities made of poured concrete to deter self-harm, and 24-hour supervision, carried out intensively with high staff-inmate ratios. Phones are generally banned and only limited broadcast entertainment permitted. After three years in 'maximum' confinement, some prisoners may be transferred to a less restrictive prison. The aim is to encourage "reasonably peaceful behavior" from the most violent 'career' prisoners.

The high standard of security has been noted by many, though there is some concern about the impact of extended confinement and isolation on mental health.

Cosimo de' Medici

Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici, called "the Elder" (Italian: il Vecchio) and posthumously "Father of the Fatherland" (Latin: pater patriae) (27 September 1389 – 1 August 1464), was an Italian banker and politician, the first member of the Medici political dynasty that served as de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance. Despite his influence, his power was not absolute; Florence's legislative councils at times resisted his proposals throughout his life, and he was always viewed as primus inter pares ("first among equals") rather than an autocrat. His power derived from his wealth as a banker, and he was a great patron of learning, the arts and architecture.

Dante Alighieri

Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri (Italian: [duˈrante deʎʎ aliˈɡjɛːri]; Latin: Dantes), commonly known by his name of art Dante Alighieri or simply as Dante (Italian: [ˈdante]; English: , UK also ; c. 1265 – 1321), was an Italian poet during the Late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is widely considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.In the late Middle Ages, most poetry was written in Latin, making it accessible only to the most educated readers. In De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular), however, Dante defended the use of the vernacular in literature. He would even write in the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life (1295) and the Divine Comedy; this highly unorthodox choice set a precedent that important later Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would follow.

Dante was instrumental in establishing the literature of Italy, and his depictions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven provided inspiration for the larger body of Western art. He is cited as an influence on John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Tennyson, among many others. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, or the terza rima, is attributed to him. In Italy, he is often referred to as il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet") and il Poeta; he, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called "the three fountains" or "the three crowns".

David (Michelangelo)

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created in marble between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo. David is a 5.17-metre (17.0 ft) marble statue of the Biblical hero David, a favoured subject in the art of Florence.David was originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roofline of the east end of Florence Cathedral, but was instead placed in a public square, outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of civic government in Florence, in the Piazza della Signoria where it was unveiled on 8 September 1504. The statue was moved to the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, in 1873, and later replaced at the original location by a replica.

Because of the nature of the hero it represented, the statue soon came to symbolize the defence of civil liberties embodied in the Republic of Florence, an independent city-state threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the hegemony of the Medici family. The eyes of David, with a warning glare, were turned towards Rome.

Donatello

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello (Italian: [donaˈtɛllo]), was an Italian sculptor of the Renaissance. Born in Florence, he studied classical sculpture and used this to develop a complete Renaissance style in sculpture, whose periods in Rome, Padua and Siena introduced to other parts of Italy a long and productive career. He worked with stone, bronze, wood, clay, stucco and wax, and had several assistants, with four perhaps being a typical number. Though his best-known works were mostly statues in the round, he developed a new, very shallow, type of bas-relief for small works, and a good deal of his output was larger architectural reliefs.

Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Italian pronunciation: [katteˈdraːle di ˈsanta maˈriːa del ˈfjoːre]; in English "Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower"), is the cathedral of Florence, Italy (Italian: Duomo di Firenze). It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.

The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is Giuseppe Betori.

Florence Griffith Joyner

Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner (born Florence Delorez Griffith; December 21, 1959 – September 21, 1998), also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete. She is considered the fastest woman of all time based on the fact that the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 m and 200 m still stand. During the late 1980s she became a popular figure in international track and field because of her record-setting performances and flashy personal style. Griffith-Joyner was born and raised in California. She was athletic from a young age. She attended California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she participated in track and field. Griffith-Joyner qualified for the 100 m 1980 Olympics, although she did not actually compete due to the U.S. boycott. She made her Olympic debut four years later winning a silver medal. At the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, Griffith set a new world record in the 100 m. She went on to win three gold medals at the 1988 Olympics. Shortly after the 1988 games, she abruptly retired. After her retirement from athletics, Griffith-Joyner remained a pop culture figure through endorsement deals, acting, and designing. She died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure in 1998 at the age of 38.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, (; 12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.

Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of "The Lady with the Lamp" making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.Recent commentators have asserted Nightingale's Crimean War achievements were exaggerated by media at the time, but critics agree on the importance of her later work in professionalising nursing roles for women. In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world, and is now part of King's College London. In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday. Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were harsh for women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce.

Nightingale was a prodigious and versatile writer. In her lifetime, much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge. Some of her tracts were written in simple English so that they could easily be understood by those with poor literary skills. She was also a pioneer in the use of infographics, effectively using graphical presentations of statistical data. Much of her writing, including her extensive work on religion and mysticism, has only been published posthumously.

Florence Welch

Florence Leontine Mary Welch (born 28 August 1986) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. She is the vocalist and songwriter of the indie rock band Florence and the Machine.

Florence and the Machine's debut album, Lungs, was released in 2009; on 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position in the UK after being on the chart for 28 consecutive weeks. Lungs won the Brit Award for Best British Album in 2010. The group's second studio album, Ceremonials, released in October 2011, debuted at number one in the UK and number six in the US. The band's third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was released in 2015 to positive reviews from critics, and topped the UK and US charts. The band's fourth album High As Hope was released in 2018.

In 2018, Welch released a book titled Useless Magic, a collection of lyrics and poems written by Welch, along with illustrations.

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine (stylised as Florence + the Machine) are an English indie rock band that formed in London in 2007, consisting of vocalist Florence Welch, keyboardist Isabella Summers, and a collaboration of other musicians. The band's music received praise across the media, especially from the BBC, which played a large part in their rise to prominence by promoting Florence and the Machine as part of BBC Introducing. At the 2009 Brit Awards they received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" award. The band's music is renowned for its dramatic and eccentric production and also Welch's powerful vocal performances.

The band's debut studio album, Lungs, was released on 6 July 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK Albums Chart. On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive weeks. As of October 2010, the album had been in the top forty in the United Kingdom for sixty-five consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010. The group's second studio album, Ceremonials, released in October 2011, entered the charts at number one in the UK and number six in the US. The band's third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, was released on 2 June 2015. It topped the UK charts, and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, their first to do so. The album reached number one in a total of eight countries and the top ten of twenty. Also in 2015, the band was the headlining act at Glastonbury Festival, making Florence Welch the first British female headliner this century.Florence and the Machine's sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul. Lungs won the Brit Award for Best British Album in 2010. Florence and the Machine have been nominated for six Grammy Awards including Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. Additionally, the band performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

House of Medici

The House of Medici (English: MED-i-chee or UK: mə-DEE-chee, Italian: [ˈmɛːditʃi]) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany, and prospered gradually until it was able to fund the Medici Bank. This bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, and it facilitated the Medicis' rise to political power in Florence, although they officially remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century.

The Medici produced four Popes of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X (1513–1521), Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), Pope Pius IV (1559–1565) and Pope Leo XI (1605)—and two queens regent of France—Catherine de' Medici (1547–1559) and Marie de' Medici (1600–1610). In 1532, the family acquired the hereditary title Duke of Florence. In 1569, the duchy was elevated to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany after territorial expansion. The Medicis ruled the Grand Duchy from its inception until 1737, with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici. The grand duchy witnessed degrees of economic growth under the early grand dukes, but was bankrupt by the time of Cosimo III de' Medici (r. 1670-1723).

The Medicis' wealth and influence was initially derived from the textile trade guided by the wool guild of Florence, the Arte della Lana. Like other families ruling in Italian signorie, the Medicis dominated their city's government, were able to bring Florence under their family's power, and created an environment in which art and humanism flourished. They and other families of Italy inspired the Italian Renaissance, such as the Visconti and Sforza in Milan, the Este in Ferrara, and the Gonzaga in Mantua.

The Medici Bank, from when it was created in 1397 to its fall in 1494, was one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe, and the Medici family was considered the wealthiest in Europe for a time. From this base, they acquired political power initially in Florence and later in wider Italy and Europe. They were among the earliest businesses to use the general ledger system of accounting through the development of the double-entry bookkeeping system for tracking credits and debits.

The Medici family bankrolled the invention of Piano and Opera, funded the construction of Saint Peter Basilica and Santa Maria del Fiore, and patronized Leonardo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo. They were also protagonists of the counter-reformation, from the beginning of the reformation through the Council of Trent and the French wars of religion.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Italian: [leoˈnardo di ˌsɛr ˈpjɛːro da (v)ˈvintʃi] (listen); 15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, drawing, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and he is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter, and tank, he epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal.

Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the "Universal Genius" or "Renaissance Man", an individual of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination", and he is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent in recorded history, and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, while the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci notes that, while there is much speculation regarding his life and personality, his view of the world was logical rather than mysterious, although the empirical methods he employed were unorthodox for his time.Leonardo was born out of wedlock to notary Piero da Vinci and a peasant woman named Caterina in Vinci in the region of Florence, and he was educated in the studio of Florentine painter Andrea del Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna, and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded to him by Francis I of France.

Leonardo is renowned primarily as a painter. The Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most parodied portrait, and The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time. His drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, textbooks, and T-shirts. His painting Salvator Mundi sold for $450.3 million at a Christie's auction in New York on 15 November 2017, the highest price ever paid for a work of art. Perhaps 15 of his paintings have survived. Nevertheless, these few works compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary Michelangelo, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting.

Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, as the modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance. Some of his smaller inventions, however, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. A number of his most practical inventions are displayed as working models at the Museum of Vinci. He made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, geology, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science.

Lorenzo de' Medici

Lorenzo de' Medici (Italian pronunciation: [loˈrɛntso de ˈmɛːditʃi], 1 January 1449 – 8 April 1492) was an Italian statesman, de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. Also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo il Magnifico [loˈrɛntso il maɲˈɲiːfiko]) by contemporary Florentines, he was a magnate, diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets. As a patron, he is best known for his sponsorship of artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo. He held the balance of power within the Italic League, an alliance of states that stabilized political conditions on the Italian peninsula for decades, and his life coincided with the mature phase of the Italian Renaissance and the Golden Age of Florence. The Peace of Lodi of 1454 that he helped maintain among the various Italian states collapsed with his death. He is buried in the Medici Chapel in Florence.

Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more commonly known by his first name Michelangelo (; Italian: [mikeˈlandʒelo di lodoˈviːko ˌbwɔnarˈrɔːti siˈmoːni]; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci.A number of Michelangelo's works of painting, sculpture and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in these fields was prodigious; given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches and reminiscences, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. He sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty. Despite holding a low opinion of painting, he also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall. His design of the Laurentian Library pioneered Mannerist architecture. At the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. He transformed the plan so that the western end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification, after his death.

Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. In fact, two biographies were published during his lifetime. One of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that Michelangelo's work transcended that of any artist living or dead, and was "supreme in not one art alone but in all three".In his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino ("the divine one"). His contemporaries often admired his terribilità—his ability to instil a sense of awe. Attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned, highly personal style resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.

Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (, Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ mmakjaˈvɛlli]; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political science. For many years he was a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned by Italian scholars. He was secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his best-known work The Prince (Il Principe) in 1513, having been exiled from city affairs.

Machiavellianism is widely used as a negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described most famously in The Prince. Machiavelli described immoral behavior, such as dishonesty and the killing of innocents, as being normal and effective in politics. He even encouraged it in some situations. The book gained notoriety due to claims that it teaches "evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their power".The term Machiavellian is often associated with political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik. On the other hand, many commentators, such as Baruch Spinoza, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, have argued that Machiavelli was actually a republican, even when writing The Prince, and his writings were an inspiration to Enlightenment proponents of modern democratic political philosophy. In one place, for example, he noted his admiration for the selfless Roman dictator Cincinnatus.

Renaissance

The Renaissance (UK: , US: ) is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages.The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the very first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.

As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch; the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in painting; and gradual but widespread educational reform. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, and in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man".The Renaissance began in the 14th century in Florence, Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, and the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks. Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Genoa, Milan, Bologna, and finally Rome during the Renaissance Papacy.

The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation. The art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance":

It is perhaps no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments, political and religious situations, and, most particularly, natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly ever by historians of Art.

Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians, especially of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".The word Renaissance, literally meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word also occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France. The word Renaissance has also been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century.

Republic of Florence

The Republic of Florence, also known as the Florentine Republic (Italian: Repubblica Fiorentina, pronounced [reˈpubblika fjorenˈtiːna], or Repubblica di Firenze), was a medieval and early modern state that was centered on the Italian city of Florence in Tuscany. The republic originated in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon the death of Matilda of Tuscany, a woman who controlled vast territories that included Florence. The Florentines formed a commune in her successors' place. The republic was ruled by a council known as the Signoria of Florence. The signoria was chosen by the gonfaloniere (titular ruler of the city), who was elected every two months by Florentine guild members.

The republic had a checkered history of coups and counter-coups against various factions. The Medici faction gained governance of the city in 1434 under Cosimo de' Medici. The Medici kept control of Florence until 1494. Giovanni de' Medici (later Pope Leo X) re-conquered the republic in 1512.

Florence repudiated Medici authority for a second time in 1527, during the War of the League of Cognac. The Medici re-assumed their rule in 1531 after an 11-month siege of the city. The republican government was disestablished in 1532, when Pope Clement VII appointed Alessandro de' Medici "Duke of the Florentine Republic", making the "republic" a hereditary monarchy.

Tuscany

Tuscany ( TUSK-ə-nee; Italian: Toscana, pronounced [toˈskaːna]) is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 square miles) and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).

Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy, and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, and contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation".

Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Versilia, Maremma and Chianti. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for approximately 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Siena, Lucca, the Chianti region, Versilia and Val d'Orcia are also internationally renowned and particularly popular spots among travellers.

Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence (1982); the Cathedral square of Pisa (1987); the historical centre of San Gimignano (1990); the historical centre of Siena (1995); the historical centre of Pienza (1996); the Val d'Orcia (2004), and the Medici Villas and Gardens (2013). Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals.

Uffizi

The Uffizi Gallery (Italian: Galleria degli Uffizi, pronounced [ɡalleˈriːa deʎʎ ufˈfittsi]) is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865.Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world.

Climate data for Florence
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.6
(70.9)
23.4
(74.1)
28.5
(83.3)
28.7
(83.7)
33.8
(92.8)
40.0
(104.0)
42.6
(108.7)
39.5
(103.1)
36.4
(97.5)
30.8
(87.4)
25.2
(77.4)
20.4
(68.7)
42.6
(108.7)
Average high °C (°F) 10.9
(51.6)
12.5
(54.5)
15.7
(60.3)
18.5
(65.3)
23.7
(74.7)
27.7
(81.9)
31.4
(88.5)
31.5
(88.7)
26.7
(80.1)
20.9
(69.6)
14.7
(58.5)
11.1
(52.0)
20.4
(68.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.5
(43.7)
7.5
(45.5)
10.3
(50.5)
13.0
(55.4)
17.7
(63.9)
21.4
(70.5)
24.6
(76.3)
24.6
(76.3)
20.5
(68.9)
15.5
(59.9)
9.9
(49.8)
6.8
(44.2)
14.9
(58.7)
Average low °C (°F) 2.0
(35.6)
2.5
(36.5)
4.9
(40.8)
7.5
(45.5)
11.6
(52.9)
15.0
(59.0)
17.7
(63.9)
17.7
(63.9)
14.4
(57.9)
10.1
(50.2)
5.1
(41.2)
2.6
(36.7)
9.3
(48.7)
Record low °C (°F) −23.2
(−9.8)
−9.9
(14.2)
−8.0
(17.6)
−2.2
(28.0)
3.6
(38.5)
5.6
(42.1)
10.2
(50.4)
9.6
(49.3)
3.6
(38.5)
−1.4
(29.5)
−6.0
(21.2)
−8.6
(16.5)
−23.2
(−9.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 60.5
(2.38)
63.7
(2.51)
63.5
(2.50)
86.4
(3.40)
70.0
(2.76)
57.1
(2.25)
36.7
(1.44)
56.0
(2.20)
79.6
(3.13)
104.2
(4.10)
113.6
(4.47)
81.3
(3.20)
872.6
(34.34)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.3 7.1 7.5 9.7 8.4 6.3 3.5 5.4 6.2 8.5 9.0 8.3 88.2
Mean daily sunshine hours 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 9.0 7.0 5.0 3.0 3.0 6.0
Percent possible sunshine 33 40 42 46 53 60 67 64 58 45 30 33 48
Source #1: Servizio Meteorologico [29]
Source #2: World Meteorological Organization (United Nations) [30] Weather Atlas [31]
Climate data for Florence
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily daylight hours 9.0 10.0 12.0 13.0 15.0 15.0 15.0 14.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 9.0 12.1
Average Ultraviolet index 1 2 4 5 7 8 8 7 5 3 2 1 4.4
Source: Weather Atlas [31]
Tourism in Florence
Museums, galleries
and palaces
Religious sites
Towers (Torri)
Library
Landmarks
Theatres
Squares
Streets
Forts
Gardens and parks
Villas
Events and traditions
Regional capitals of Italy
Northwest
Northeast
Central
South
Islands
Countrywide
Cities in Italy by population
1,000,000+
500,000+
200,000+
100,000+

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.