Firenze / Florence
Italian Language Courses in 50 exciting cities throughout Italy
The centre of the Renaissance , one of the world’s most beautiful
cities, Florence has 403.000 inhabitants and is the capital of Tuscany.
Florence was founded in 59 BC as a settlement for retired Roman
soldiers. Over the next millennium, a small population struggled
under successive Byzantine, Goth, Lombard and Frankish rule. The
population began to grow from the tenth century onwards.
It is during the Renaissance that Florence assumes its crucial
role in European and world history: Skilled in both
trade and banking (The Medici were to finance many of the adventures
that opened up trade routes around the world), the city grew staggeringly
rich. The families liked to flaunt their wealth and money was poured
into patronage of the arts, making of Florence a focus of attraction
for artists, sculptors, architects and musicians.
The 20th century was in many ways disastrous for Florence. The city
was one of Mussolini’s most faithful strongholds and was badly
damaged during the Second World War by the retreating Germans, who
blew up all its bridges except the “Ponte vecchio”.
Devastating floods ravaged the city in 1966 causing inestimable
damage to its buildings and artworks, some of which are still being
Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important museums in the world.
It holds the best collection of Italian Renaissance art, with works
by masters such as Botticelli, Titian and Michelangelo.
The cathedral (“Duomo”), designed by Arnolfo di Cambio
at the end of the 13th century , is the symbol of Florence with
its cupule (Campanile di Giotto) and the Baptistry.
Erected during the Roman times, the “Ponte Vecchio”
is the most ancient and photographed bridge in Florence. It is made
up of three arches and two wide arcades on each side housing the
famous and unusual “botteghe” (jewelleries).
statue of Michelangelo´s “David” is in the Museum
of “Academia”, Europe’s first school of drawing.
This museum is mostly famous for its collection of Michelangelo´s
sculptures and an extensive collection of 15th and 16th century
The church of “Santa Croce” is also worth seeing. lt
was built in 1294 by Arnolfo di Cambio. It holds the tombs of some
famous artists, scientists and writers who were born or lived in
Florence, like Galileo Galilei, Ugo Foscolo, Michelagelo or Gioacchino
Rossini. Its many chapels are beautifully decorated, some of them
with frescoes by Giotto.
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