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Key city information

Population: 370 k
Area: 102 km2
Time zone: UTC+1/+2
Local date/time:


Florence must to see places:

  • Florence Cathedral
  • Ponte Vecchio (bridge)
  • Palazzo Vecchio


Florence or Firenze in Italian is a city in Northern Italy called the cradle of Renaissance. Its museums, palaces, and churches contain some of best  artistic treasures in the world.

It was the Romans in the first century BC that modeled a colony, which they called Florentia, with a square of the castrum, the military camp closed by a fortified wall. The choice fell on a point where the river is less wide and therefore more easily crossed; and where the natural artery formed by the Arno valley crosses the path that goes from Rome to the Po Valley.
For hundreds of years, the city was a center of secondary importance until after the dark ages, it came in the twelfth century to develop as a free commune. In the following century the trade of wool and fabrics, supported by a wealthy banking system, fueled the growth of Florence, which became one of the most important centers in Italy.
The government passed from the small power groups to teams with strong popular participation, with the great influence exercised by the merchant guilds and crafts. A powerful banking dynasty ruled Florence and Tuscany for more than three centuries, during which time the city became one of the most important artistic and cultural centers of Europe, especially during the rule of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-92) and of Cosimo I the Great (1519-74). In 1737, the Medici took over the Habsburg-Lorraine and ruled with prudence and foresight the city and the region until 1860, the year in which Tuscany became part of the Kingdom of Italy of which Florence from 1865 to 1871 was the provisional capital.
Profound urban transformations marked this important historical period. The fate of the city was then tied to the rest of the country. The twentieth century, with the masses of workers entering the social and political scene, the major economic, colonial wars, the two world wars separated by fascism. Florence is among the Italian cities which went thru the most significant changes.
The city suffered during the Second World War considerable damage, both to the Anglo-American bombing, and during the German retreat. In 1966 a great flood of the Arno caused enormous damage to the housing, and especially to the artistic and historical heritage, attracting a rush of national and international solidarity for the city.

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