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Florence, Italy

General Facts and History on Florence

Florence is the capital city of Tuscany. Florence is mostly known for its art and architecture and sits right on the Arno River. This city is mostly considered the birthplace of Italian Renaissance, people call it the Athens of the Middle Ages. Florence has over a million tourists visit every year and in 1982 it was established a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a very popular tourist attraction destination.

Originally Florence was founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BC just as a settlement for his veteran soldiers. He named it Florentina and built an army camp with the main streets. This settlement became a very important commercial center very quickly. In the 15th century Florence was under the rule of the Medici family. This family later became the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Florence was known to be in its glory at this time in art and culture. In 1860 Tuscany became a part of the Kingdom of Italy and Florence was the capital from 1865 until 1871.

Florence has a big part in their art and culture. The fathers of Italian paintings, Cimabue and Giotto reside in Florence along with Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano who are reformists of architecture and sculpture. All the works of these artists and architects are put into many museums all around Florence.  The city is known as an international cultural center and has many specialized institutes that all represent the city's intense activity.


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Top Attractions of Florence

The Uffizi (Gallerie degli Uffizi) is one of the worlds best galleries. Its collection is of Renaissance paintings withArt Work from The Uffizi in Florence works from Giotto, Masaccio, Paolo Ucello, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, and Caravaggio. The collection is held on the top floor of a building that is designed like the offices of the Medici. There is also Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures that outline the inside of the building. The gallery shows the chronological development of Florentine art that are from the Gothic to High Renaissance and more. There is so much of a collection in this gallery that visitors need to make two trips. Rooms one through fifteen are Florentine Renaissance and rooms sixteen through forty-five are ranging from High Renaissance to later Italian and European paintings.

 

The Sante Croce also known as The Basilica di Santa Croce is a Franciscan church in Florence. It is a minor The Sante Croce in Florencebasilica of the Roman Catholic Church. When this site was first chosen it was outside of the city walls, it is now the burial site for some of the illustrious Italians including Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi. This is also known as the Pantheon of the Italian Glories. It is the largest Franciscan church in the world with sixteen chapels that were designed by Giotto and his pupils. The current building standing was built on May 12th of 1294 by Arnolfo di Cambio. The church was dedicated in 1442 by Pope Eugene IV and the floorplan was a symbol of St. Francis. In 1866 the building became public property by the government after the wars that gained Italian independence and unity.


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Things to do in Florence Italy

The Duomo is a building in Florence that stands above all others. Duomo is a general term for a cathedral church inThe Duomo in Florence Italian and cathedral is catterdale in Italian. The construction for the building began in the 12th century and was not completed until the 15th century after the dome was built. The cathedral was styled as both Roman and Gothic architecture. One of the most popular sites in the building was the polychrome floors which were thought of and worked on by many different artists. Some of the finest art of the building are the frescos, choir stalls, floor mosaics, and stained glass. One of the first stained glass craftsmanship was The Rose Window designed by Duccio di Buoninsegna. The cathedral's Baptistery is also another popular site inside the church that visitors can not miss.

The Boboli Gardens in FlorenceThe Boboli Gardens was owned by the Medici family who had purchased the Pitti Palace and with it came a large park area that had not yet been landscaped. From 1550 until 1558, Niccolo Pericoli worked on the gardens. The gardens became public in 1774. From the top of the hills of the garden visitors can get a great view of the city and when its the right season the rose garden is a beautiful site. The statues in the garden represent an Italian Renaissance garden and make it a beautiful place to visit.

 

The Ponte Vecchio means "Old Bridge" in Italian. This old bridge was built in 972 AD but was then damaged byThe Ponte Vecchio in Florence floods and fire many times throughout history. Since the 12th century, or maybe even before then, there were shops that outlined the bridge that consisted of butchers and tanners. Today the bridge is outlined with some of Florence's best goldsmiths and jewelers. This bridge is one of the most popular places for jewelry shopping in Florence.

 

 


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