FLORENCE (FIRENZE)

Recent research shows that the Florence City’s Etruscan origins, as originally believed, are unfounded, whilst it definitely contains a Roman Town Hall (Florentia).

A Byzantine stronghold during the Greek-Gothic war (535-53), then part of the Tuscia-Longobard, during the 9th Century, it was ruled by the Marquis’s of Tuscany, despite the presence of an Imperial Count. The constitution of the Town Hall (12th Century) signalled a rapid economic and political evolution of the City: the government, initially in the hands of a restricted faction of nobility, passed successively to the middle-class merchants and financial institutions, organized in the branches (today’s corporations). This passage is witnessed by the changes in the supreme state office: consul (1134), Podestà, Head of the Nation (1251), until the accession of power by the Prior of the Major Branches (1282). Towards the middle of the 14th Century, the City, involved in the wars between factions (Guelphs and Ghibellines), shaken by the bankruptcy of bankers Bardi and Peruzzi (1342), subdued by the Duke of Athens (1342-43), decimated by the Pestilence and the famine (the first was the famous epidemic of 1347-48, the second was the obvious consequences of the disease, which hit the City between 1347 and ’48), went into decay.
After the Riots of the Ciompi (1379; Ciompi is the common name to indicate wool workers), the communal institutions ceased to exist and a restricted oligarchy of noble families assumed the governing of the City. The Medici Family emerged from amongst them, and established their dominion in 1434. With the downfall in Italy of Charles VIII of France (1494) and the subsequent expulsion of the Medici Family, a new period of political instability began: at the restoration of the Republic, through the initiative of G. Savonarola, the Medici Family returned, (1512), seeing a second Republic (1527) and a new restoration of the higher classes. First taking the title of Duchy (1530), then of Grand Duchy (1569), the Medici Family governed until the arrival of the dynasty of Francesco Stefano di Lorena, husband of Maria Teresa of Austria. The Lorena Family promised an extraordinary cultural development of the City. It became part of the Reign of Italy (1860), and became Capital from 1865 to 1870. From that time, it has always been an important cultural and artistic pole of the nation, also overcoming the most tragic moment in its recent history, that is, the floods of 4.11.1966, which left a profound mark on the City, but which, in some way, also signalled the beginning of a new “Rebirth”.

An enormous amount of religious and civil monuments, testify the rich artistic history of the City. In the historical centre, we can find the Cathedral complex – in the homonymous square, containing the church of S. Maria del Fiore (Gothic masterpiece of the 13th-14th Centuries, from an initial project by Arnolfo di Cambio and constructed on the ruins of the previous church of Santa Reparata, of which you can still visit its foundations in the underground part of the actual Cathedral – a little curiosity about the façade in its present day appearance, is that it dates back to 1875/87) surmounted by a dome by Brunelleschi (from 1419), the Baptistery completes the number of buildings present (a splendid example of Romanesque-Florentine architecture from the 11th Century, characterized by the bi-chromatics of the marmoreal inlays) and by its bell tower, said to be by Giotto (1334; height 84,7).

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FLORENCE
Art City

Tuscany region of Italy
Photo Tour

Duomo

Giotto's Bell Tower

"Ponte Vecchio"
(Old Bridge)

 


 

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ART TRAVEL LINK - SELECTED WEB SITES

Oh-Florence - http://www.oh-florence.com/en/florence-apartments/
While visiting the city, take advantage of well located apartments in Florence to rent with no hidden costs.
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In Florence Today - http://www.inflorencetoday.com
Florence Italy Guide to discover museums and exhibitions, hotels and restaurants.
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Charming Hotels in Florence Italy - http://www.inflorencehotels.com
Florence hotels guide to choose your hotel, B&B and apartment in Florence by location, fee or category: secure bookings.
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Florence Apartments - http://www.florencebooky.com
Flornce apartments for short rental period in all the districts of Venice and Lido: secure on line bookings.
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Home in Florence B&B B&B Home in Florence - http://www.bedandbreakfastinflorence.net

Rooms and apartments in the historical Florence.

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About Florence - http://www.aboutflorence.com
Information about the town of Florence, from the history of the city, passing by the art and the culture.
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