Brief history of Florence

Questions about the Vatican
5 giugno 2011
The Etruscans
8 giugno 2011

Brief history of Florence

The city of art with a few pictures

In the 5th century B.C., the Etruscans lived on the hills around Florence, and they founded Fièsole (the hill above Florence).
In 59 B.C. Julius Caesar founded a Roman colony in a very fertile area on the river Arno: Florentia (healthy place), which owns its name to the fertility of its soil.
Florentia, through the centuries, became Fiorenza, then Firenze (Florence Italy).

Christianity was introduced by Saint Miniato, who was martyred here in the year 250 A.C.

In the Middle Ages, it reached its peak in the year 1300, when Florence was the 2nd most populated city in the whole Occidental world, with its own 100.000 inhabitants.
Only London England had more people. It was now that the Florentine started building the Duomo.
It was the moment of not only Dante, Giotto, but also Arnolfo di Cambio, who will be the first architect of the Duomo, Santa Croce, and Palazzo della Signoria.

Then, a century later, so in the 1400, it started the artistic period that will give everlasting fame to Florence: the Renaissance. With the patronage of the wealthiest Florentine families, most of all the Medici family, we attend an explosion of genial minds who all worked to make Florence elegant, refined, unique and so impossible to reproduce.
This way, they made Florence conquer immortality.

In 1555, Cosimo 1st de Medici conquered definitely Siena, ending this way the wars between Florence and Siena, which had been lasted for 4 centuries, especially for the Chianti area. In 1569, from the Vatican, the Pope Pius the 5th gave Cosimo the title of granduke of Tuscany.

In 1737, Anna Maria Luisa, the last of the Medici, donated to the Lorena all the Medici art collections, just under the condition to remain in Florence and to be of public enjoyment. In 1743, in her testament, she donated to the city of Florence all the artistic treasures which were contained in the Pitti palace, with the precise condition, once again, to remain in Florence. Both Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler tried to violate this condition.

Between 1865 and 1870 Florence was the Capital of Italian State, before the Capital was definitely moved to Rome Italy.

Today, in some moments of the daytime, Florence has become a city overwhelmed by the frantic “hustle and bustle” of the window shopping, quick pictures, fast food, and where many of the artisan shops have been substituted with a shop belonging to a big international chain.

Yet, at nightfall, when finally silence comes, in Florence you can still hear the echo of the voices of Dante, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raffaello (Raphael), Lorenzo de’ Medici, Machiavelli, and all those genial characters who made Florence be known all over the world.
Their souls cross each other, talk, discuss… Maybe argue. For ever.

 

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