Main events




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A center of medieval European trade and finance, the city is often considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and was long ruled by the Medici family. Florence is also famous for its fine art and architecture. It is said that, of the 1,000 most important European artists of the second millennium, 350 lived or worked in Florence. In fact, the city has also been called the Athens of the Middle Age.
The historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1982.


"Florentia", the florid, was the name given by the Romans to this small settlement located at the foot of the ancient Etruscan Fiesole and founded in the first century BC. The Etruscans, an ancient and mysterious race, of whom we know very little, but who left numerous testimonies around about Florence, had settled on the hills surrounding the plain of the river Arno as far back as the VII-VI centuries BC. At first erected as a Roman "castrum", Florentia soon assumed the appearance of a real town with a Forum (now Piazza della Repubblica), thermal baths (via delle Terme), and amphitheater (via Tòrta).
Then the period of the decline of the Empire arrived , with the political fragmentation from which the feudal system sprang up. The town, constituted as a Commune at the beginning of the twelfth century, began to expand until it spread over half of Arno valley and surrounding hillsides.
Despite the internal struggles, first between rival families and then between the Guelfs (loyal to the Pope) and the Ghibellines (loyal to the Emperor), from the thirteenth century onwards it began to flourish as a city of art, culture and international trading, reaching its zenith in the fifteenth century under the Signoria of Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici. After Lorenzo’s death in 1492, Florence witnessed a long period of wars that led to the end of the Florentine Republic and saw the birth of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, ruled first by a younger branch of the Medici family and following, by the Hapsburg-Lorena family. Despite alternating events the Grand Duchy survived up until the political unification of Italy, of which Florence was capital from 1865 to 1871. This marked the beginning of a profound restructuring of the city that led to the knocking down of the walls and the erasing of several ancient quarters in the center that endowed Florence with its present-day appearance.

Main attractions

Centre - East
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Piazza del Duomo
- Cathedral
- Giotto belltower
- Baptistery
- Museum of the Opera del Duomo
- Loggia of Bigallo
Piazza della Signoria
- Palazzo Vecchio
- Orsanmichele
Gli Uffizi
S. Croce
- Piazza S. Croce
- S. Croce
- Museo dell'Opera di S. Croce
- Cappella dei Pazzi

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- S. Spirito
- S. Maria del Carmine
- Cappella Brancacci
- Palazzo Pitti
- Boboli Gardens
- S. Miniato al Monte

Centre - West
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S. Maria Novella
- S. Maria Novella
- The Museum and Monumental Cloisters of Santa Maria Novella
- Ognissanti
Piazza Repubblica
- Palazzo Strozzi
- S. Trinita
- Palazzo Davanzati
- Santi Apostoli
Ponte vecchio

Centre - north
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San Lorenzo
- St. Lorenzo
- Cloisters of St. Lorenzo
- Medici Chapels
- Medici Riccardi Palace
San Marco
-S. Marco
- Museum of S. Marco
- Cenacolo of Sant' Apollonia
- Ss. Annunziata
- InnocentiHospital
- Museo Archeologico
- Archaeological Museum