History of Florence, Tuscany | Art and Culture

History of Florence, Tuscany | Art and Culture

Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region. One of the most important cities in Italy with a fascinating past behind it. Let’s retrace the history of Florence in this article!

History of Florence

The first human settlements in the area where the city is now located are lost in the mists of time. What we know for sure is that, like practically all of Tuscany, the area of Florence was, in the first centuries BC, inhabited by the Etruscans. Until 59 BC. Florentia (Latin name for Florence) was conquered by the Romans.
This people settled there with a certain importance and connected it to Rome through the famous Via Cassia, which still exists today.
The city had a fair development between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, until it was elected Roman capital of Etruria and Umbria.

Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Florence was conquered, like the rest of north-central Italy, by “barbarian” peoples descended from Europe.
For several centuries the city suffered invasions and changes of hands, making the period between the 4th and 10th centuries the darkest in its history. At some of these times the population had even reduced to less than 2000 inhabitants.

After the year 1000

Things changed from the 11th century onwards. Florence became an autonomous municipality and in the midst of the struggle between the Guelphs and Ghibellines a strong economic, social and territorial development began. Development that will see its maximum splendor during the period of dominion over the city of the powerful Medici family. In fact, starting from the 15th century until the 17th, Florence and practically all of Tuscany, including the important cities of Siena and Pisa, remained under the dominion of the Medici. This was definitely, among all, the city’s period of maximum splendor. A 360° development, which involved every artistic, cultural, political and economic sector. The city in this historical period grew at an incredible speed. Painters, sculptors, architects and many other artists in this time period filled streets, churches and palaces with some of the greatest works of the Renaissance.
The family of Medici was then succeeded, in the 18th century, by that of Lorraine, which dominated the Tuscan territory with the various Grand Dukes until 1860, the year in which Tuscany joined the rest of the peninsula in the Kingdom of Italy.
The city of Florence, thanks to its great importance maintained even during the unification period, was the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1871.

Florence Today

The history of Florence indelibly distinguishes this beautiful city. In fact, Florence is still one of the world capitals of culture today. Its period of artistic development over the centuries has led it to be one of the most important museum cities on the planet today.
In addition to having an obvious and very important role as a tourist location aimed at showing the whole world the beauties of the historic city and its museums, Florence is also a very important industrial and artisan hub. In fact, there are numerous companies, both Italian and multinational, that have at least one headquarters in the Florentine area. Especially in the “Made in Italy” textile and fashion sector, where the production area between Florence and Prato is among the most important in the world.
The economic development of the area has led Florence to be named “metropolitan city”, with a number of inhabitants that currently exceeds 380 thousand people.

Famous Persons from Florence

In this article which talks about the history of Florence, a necessary mention of illustrious historical figures who had Florence as their hometown could not be missed.
In fact, it is impossible not to remember that the Tuscan capital was the birthplace of the man who, through his “vulgar” masterpiece, contributed to the birth of the Italian language: Dante Alighieri.
Like him, other great artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, Botticelli and pillar writers of Italian literature such as Petrarca and Machiavelli were born in the Tuscan city.

Visit Florence

Here is a list of all the main attractions that cannot fail to be admired during a visit to Florence:

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