Information about Florence
Some information about Florence – The Cradle of the Renaissance. Thanks to his masterpieces and superb location, Florence is the pride of Tuscany. Chief Town of the region, it has always been the cultural and artistic hub of Italy. Florence is in a scenic location in the center of a basin like an amphitheater in the south-eastern part of the Florence-Prato-Pistoia plain, surrounded on three sides by the beautiful clay hills of Cercina, just above the Rifredi district and hospital Careggi (north), from the hills of Fiesole (north-east), of Settignano (east), and Arcetri, Poggio Imperiale and Bellosguardo (to the south).
Inhabited since 59 BC with the name Florentia, it was the right resting place for Roman veterans who had fought proudly for Rome. Seat of a diocese from the fourth century, the city passed through periods of Byzantine, Ostrogothic, Lombard and Frankish rule, during which the population dropped to just 1,000 people.
« The city of Florence is very well populated, and generative for a good atmosphere; the citizens arre well mannered, and women are very beautiful and embellished; houses and palaces, filled with much art, as well as other cities in Italy. For the thing which many of distant towns come to see, but not out of necessity, but out of the fine arts and crafts, and for the glory and beauty of the city » (Dino Compagni, chronicle of his time, Book I 1, about 1312) Florence is universally recognized as a city of art, with a priceless architectural/artistic heritage that forms the fabric of the city making the city an outdoor museum.
The heart of Florence is Piazza della Signoria with the majestic Palazzo Vecchio, with its gallery of sculptural masterpieces in the Loggia dei Lanzi and the nearby Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world. Not far away is the religious center of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its majestic dome (the largest ever built) that, at the time of the Grand Duchy, they said that with its shadow would cover the whole of Tuscany, the enormous Cathedral is beautifully accompanied by the Bell Tower, one of the most beautiful in Italy, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, with its famous bronze doors among which is the golden gate of heaven.
The River Arno, which passes through the city, brought alternately the benefits of trade, and the disasters of floods. Among the bridges which cross it, the Ponte Vecchio is unique in the world, with the characteristic jewelery shops in houses built on it. Through by the noble Vasari Corridor, it is the only bridge in the city to have survived the Second World War. In addition to the Uffizi Gallery, Florence has other important world-class museums: the Accademia Gallery, the Bargello, the Pitti Palace with its eight museums, including the Palatine Gallery and many others.One of the prides of the cradle of the Renaissance is having the best example of artistic beauty in both female, with Botticelli’s Venus, and male, with Michelangelo’s David.
The symbol of Florence is the lily, the flower of the same name that during the spring blossoms in the Arno valley.
Scoppio del Carro: is a ceremony that has been taking place for 9 centuries, created to celebrate the deeds of Captain Pazzino Florentine Pazzi during the Crusades and to celebrate the return from the fight against the infidels in the city of Florence in 1101. On Easter morning, two white oxen carry the Cart from Piazzale di Porta al Prato to Florence Cathedral. The Cart is connected to the main altar from a wire along which, with a lit fuse, a fake dove with an olive branch in its beak, has the task to ignite the fireworks contained in the cart and go back toward the altar. According to the beliefs in Florence, if the dove carries the full path and if the explosion is perfect, the Tuscan city will have a good year ahead. The blast of the Cart also symbolizes the distribution of the “holy fire” to the Christians.
Calcio Storico: or “Calcio in Costume”, is a Florentine event that has its origins in ancient times. It ‘s a team game, to be precise 4, distinguished by color: Red, White, Green, Blue, and each team represents a district:the Reds represent Santa Maria Novella, the Whites represent Santo Spirito, the Greens represent San Giovanni and the Blues represent the Santa Croce. It is played on a sandy ground set up in Piazza Santa Croce, the aim of the game is to send a ball full of air in the opposing team’s goal (in the regulation of this event the fundamentals of the gamew of football and rugby can be found ). The matches take place in the costumes of the sixteenth century in memory and to recall a particular moment in the history of Florence: February 17, 1530 the square of Santa Croce in Florence was the scene of one of the most important challenges of the Florentine Republic Emperor Charles V when the population was under siege for many months by the imperial troops, he tried a game of football, giving the impression of not considering the Empire army worthy of attention.
I ”Fochi” di San Giovanni: a fireworks show, on June 24 of each year, all the citizens gather on the banks of the Arno to admire display of light (offered by the City) fired from Piazzale Michelangelo, on the occasion of the Feast of St. John, the patron saint of the city.
Useful Phone Number
City line: (+39) 055-055
Department of Tourism: Via Manzoni 16 – 50121 Florence
Municipal police: Via delle Terme, 2 ; Tel (+39) 055 261 6057
Police Headquarters: Via Zara, 2 ; Tel (+39) 055 49771
Lost Property Office of the City of Florence: Via Veracini, 5 (int. 5) Tel. (+39) 055-334802
|For more information on how to book entrance tickets to the museums in Florence visit the Florence Museum web site or call us at (+39) 055-713655.|
|Available Entrance Tickets, Group Guided Tours, Private Guided Tours.|