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“The history of Florence begins in 59 BC, with the founding of a village called Florentia for former Roman soldiers. Seat of a diocese from the fourth century, the city passed through periods of Byzantine domination, Ostrogoths, Lombard and Franca. A From the High Middle Ages, the rapid economic growth and commercial center of Florence, combined with the military superiority, ended up in a political supremacy in Tuscany. continuous wars against other Tuscan cities of Florence consolidated prosperity, with the rise of corporations Arts and Crafts, and the financial power of the banks.’s bitter conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, was stabilized in favor of the Guelphs when Matilde of Canossa decided in favor of Pope Gregory VII.
Consolidated the power of Guelph, was founded the Florentine Republic, which entrusted the government of the city consoles together with a city council and the European Parliament, one of the first examples of civil and democratic institutions in Europe. economic growth of Florence grew by generating a strong influence on foreign policy, an expansion controlled territory, but it was also due to a considerable complexity of domestic politics, which however did not prevent the city to grow up to become one of the most powerful and prosperous in Europe. Florence minted its own gold currency, the forint, conquered by Pisa in 1406, already defeated by Genoa in 1284. A major source of tension was represented by the division of the Guelphs into two factions of blacks, more related to the papacy and supported mercantile and financial elite and the white moderate. The period of unrest ended with the expulsion of whites, including Dante Alighieri.
The fourteenth century Florence was a period of economic crisis in the context of the wider European crisis, of alternations of power, riots by the people, of which we remember the Ciompi uprising of 1378, harshly repressed.
After the suppression of the Ciompi, political power back in the hands of a small number of banking families, including the family Albizi, that a government of oligarchic (1382-1434), tried to prevent Florence from turning into a lordship . The transition was gradual and culminated in the fifteenth century, with the rule of Cosimo de ‘Medici.
Cosimo continued to be, officially, a private citizen, while ruling, in fact, Florence.
With wise alliances, Cosimo was able to avoid the dominance of Milan or Venice in northern Italy and to consolidate the rule of Florence in Tuscany. Lorenzo the Magnificent, Cosimo’s grandson, was the greatest Renaissance prince. He continued the policy of Cosimo, exercising lordship without deleting the republican institutions.
In 1478 he was hatched a conspiracy, conspiracy of the Pazzi against Lorenzo, in which he lost his life his brother Giuliano, the people rose up in favor of Lorenzo and made the rough justice of the conspirators. The pope, who had supported the conspirators, among whom was his nephew, launched the interdict on the city.
Lorenzo was able to avoid the support of the King of Naples to the Pope, who was forced to remove the interdict.
The diplomatic skills of Lorenzo de ‘Medici built a long period of peace in Italy.
Piero de ‘Medici, son of Lorenzo, was banished from Florence because of his surrender to Charles VIII.
The Florentines restored the republic and turned to Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican who had a strong influence on the people for its reputation for preaching and moralizing.
Savonarola in Florence began a two-part reform: religious, against the corruption of society and the Church, and against the political rule of the Medici, trying to establish an oligarchic republic and theocratic.
The reforms failed, and the opposition political parties, and for the reaction of Pope Alexander VI, who forbade Savonarola’s preaching, and since he did not obey, excommunicated him, threatening an interdict in Florence.
Savonarola and two other Dominicans were arrested and after a long process in the presence of envoys from the Pope, hanged and burned.
The Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and re-established a republic May 16, 1527.
Put in their place twice, through the intervention of the Emperor is that of the Pope, the Medici in 1537 became hereditary dukes of Florence, and in 1569 Grand Dukes of Tuscany, reigning for two centuries.
In 1555 Florence conquered Siena, secular opponents, the peace of Cateau Cambrésis in 1559 sanctioned the annexation of the Republic of Siena to the rule of the Medici. The extinction of the Medici dynasty and the accession in 1737 of Francis Stephen, duke of Lorraine and husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, led to Tuscany in the territories of the Austrian crown.
The kingdom of the Austrians came to the hands of France and the Kingdom of Sardinia and Piedmont in 1859, and Toscna became a province of the Kingdom of Italy joined in 1861. Florence took place in Turin as Italy’s capital in 1865, hosting the first parliament of the nation, the capital was moved to Rome six years later, when it was annexed to the kingdom.
In the nineteenth century the population of Florence doubled and tripled in the twentieth with the growth of tourism, trade, financial services and industry. During the Second World War the city was occupied by the Germans for a year (1943-1944).
In November 1966 most of the town was flooded by the Arno, damaging many art treasures. “
The museum is famous all over the world, boasts a fine collection of paintings and ancient statues. These works of artists such as Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Mantegna, Leonardo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo. There are also collections of works by important artists of German, Dutch and Flemish. The Uffizi Gallery is located in the building designed by Giorgio Vasari to house the administrative offices of the Tuscan State. The art collection was made up in time with the support of the Medici family, who were great collectors of antiquities.
This gallery is known as host of several sculptures by Michelangelo, including the famous David. Other works on display come from the Academy of Design, Academy of Fine Arts and convents.
The paintings are more religious theme, stands a collection of panels painted with a gold background, unique in the world.
Recently, the gallery has expanded hosting the Department of Musical Instruments with ancient and important tools of the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence.
The Bargello Museum
This museum, housed in an impressive building became the National Museum in 1865 and is home to masterpieces by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo, Cellini. Following the museum is also enriched with objects “minor arts” as tapestries, seals, textiles, bronzes, ceramics, wax, medals, originating in the Medici collections and private individuals.
The Medici Chapels
The history of these chapels is linked to that of the Church of San Lorenzo where they belong. The museum is made up of the New Sacristy, designed by Michelangelo, the Cappella dei Principi, mausoleum stones, and the Crypt Lorraine where the tomb of Cosimo the Elder Pater Patrie.
In the museum there are also ancient shrines and sacred vestments.
Palazzo Pitti was born as the residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and later the kings of Italy. It houses several collections of various kinds, paintings, sculptures, porcelain and a gallery of costume. Adjacent to it is the beautiful Boboli Gardens among the first Italian gardens.
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