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A short history of Florence

A short history of Florence

If you want the entire package: history, culture, fun and beauty, then Italy is definitely the place for you. A short history of Florence will convince you that this amazing city is a must on every travel list.

The city we now know as Florence (or Firenze in Italian) has most probably been inhabited since time immemorial. In 59 BC, it began its development under the Roman rule.

During the early Byzantine age, the city withstood the attacks of barbarian invaders. Tuscany was seized by the Lombards in 570 AD, only to be annexed by the Holy Roman Empire during the Carolingian 8th century. In this century, Florence underwent great development. The first ecclesiastic school was built over the river Arno in the 9th century and the new walls of the city were rebuilt and reinforced. Hugo, a Tuscan nobleman, greatly contributed to the further development of Florence, which soon became a great trading and administrative center.

Today, Florence is renowned for its rich history and impressive buildings. It was also home to great thinkers and artists. Dante Alighieri was born here in 1265 and Machiavelli was born in 1469. Another great son of Florence is Michelangelo, whose art is present in several places in town.

The Medicis, great patrons of art, were responsible for the artistic flowering of the city. For a short while, between 1865 and 1870, under King Vittorio Emmanuele, Florence became the capital city of the newly united Italy.

The city suffered greatly during the Second World War, when all its bridges were destroyed by the Germans, with the only exception of the Ponte Vecchio. They were later rebuilt, but Ponte Vecchio remains the most beautiful one. It used to house shops and stores during the Renaissance.

Florence will make you fall in love in an instant! To make your trip even better, you can take a ride around the piazzas and cobblestone streets in a Florence car rental.