One of the famous city in Italy is Florence. It is a city in central Italy and is the capital of the Tuscany region.
Why Florence was famous? Florence was famous the center of medieval European trade and finance and is one of the wealthiest city in the Tuscany region. By most academics, it is known as the center of renaissance that transformed not only Italy but the rest of Europe. They influenced all aspects of life; science, philosophy, art, religion, politics, and literature. Their rise starts since the 1300s, reaching its height by the later 1400s. It all started with middle ages florentine thinkers such as Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, artist Giotto who planted the seed of the movement. Its historic center was inscribed on UNESCO’s world heritage listing 1982. The city is stamped with the work of art.
Florence became the center of Europe art and culture starting from big names such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo and the most known ruler of the Europe monarch, the Medici family. The later then expand their way of thinking to the rest of Europe.
It was a city that was modern and fast forward-thinking for its time. They were abundant in natural resources such as marble quarries from which the building and statues were made and painting that was made from local pigments. The city proved its glory with the embellishment of their churches with paintings, sculpture, and architecture.
The era renaissance means “rebirth” and it refers to the rebirth of two aspects:
- Rebirth of man
The greater importance of human presence on earth, people in Florence began to realize to enjoy themselves on earth rather than merely waiting for the afterlife.
- Rebirth of ancient cultures
This refers to the ancient cultures of greek and the roman who had been lost for more than 1000 years over the middle ages. Florentines were the first ones who embarked on the journey to relearn from past cultures and increase their knowledge of science, mathematics, literature, and arts.
As such, Florence became an important part of human evolution.
History of Florence
Florence was derived from the word Florentia which means the flourishing town. It was founded in 59 BCE as for a colony of a soldier of Rome and was laid out as a rectangular garrison below the hilltop town of Faesulae. By the third century, it became the provincial capital of the roman empire. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the economic and political power of the city grew steadily.
Florence that was situated between two rivers, has an abundant water supply that served as an asset. It became a woolen industry and the financial city. They became the tax collectors for the pope throughout Europe.
In the summer of 1348, the Black Death struck and reduced the population into half. After that the city economy started to dwindled down it was struck by the bankruptcies of the Bardi and the Peruzzi.
During this time, the Medici family falls into the picture. They were able to shape civic politics and culture through a system of oligarchy and patronage.
The main attractions of Florence
Due to the vast and complicated history and influence that the city brought to Europe, there are many interesting sights to see in Florence.
- Famous Galleries
The Uffizi is one of the famous galleries that is located in Florence. It is located at the corner of Piazza Della Signoria, a site of importance for being the center of Florence civil life and government for centuries. They have a large collection of international and Florentine art. They house the work of various famous painters and artist due to the Medici influence.
Another great gallery is Vasari Corridor, built connecting the Pallazzo Vecchio with the Pitti Palace passing by the Uffizi and over the Ponte vecchio. Meanwhile, Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michelangelo collection including David, and the Bargello concentrates on sculpture works including Donatello Giambologna.
- Gorgeous Architecture
Florence rivals many other cities gorgeous cathedral with its crowning jewel, cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. The church is a combination of natural green, red and white marble, with delicate details carved. The city is adorned with gothic and renaissance period architecture making it gorgeous to walk around.
The heart of the city, Piazza Della Signoria is housed the Bartolomeo Ammanati fountain of Neptune which is one of the masterpiece of marble sculpture at the terminus of a still-functioning Roman aqueduct.
Not only famous for piazzas and cathedral, but the ponte vecchio is also a gorgeous bridge that carries Vasari’s elevated corridor. It links the Uffizi to the Medici residence.
- Fashion and Shopping
A lot of famous Italian brands calls the city home. Some of them are Prada, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo whose factories and headquarter are located at. The fashion moguls are here to get their hands on Tuscany famous high-quality leather. Not only making their headquarters in the center of the city, but some of them built their large offices and stores outskirts of the city. One of Florence's main upscale shopping street is Via de’ Tornabuoni where most of the major fashion houses and jewelry label open their elegant boutiques. Aside from Via de’ Tornabuoni, Via del Parione and Via Roma are one of the streets that are well known for their high-end fashion stores.
- Food and wine
The Chianti region located south of the city is one of the top producers of Italian wines. Its Sangiovese grapes predominantly used not only in its super Tuscan blends but also in its chianti Classico. Pairing a chianti Classico and a Florence meat-based dish will definitely make any food trip special!
Italy, home to the world’s greatest work of art, architecture, and gastronomy. In this country, the life they are interwoven so perfectly. Take on a part, then it will not be the Florence that everyone knows and love.