"The said city of Florence is very well populated, and the good air promotes generation. The citizens are very courteous, and the women very handsome and well attired. The large houses are very beautiful, and better supplied with comforts and conveniences that those in other cities of Italy. On this account many people come from distant lands to visit the city, not from necessity, but by reason of her flourishing industries, an for the sake of her beauty and adornment."
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and has about 400,000 inhabitants. The city of Florence was raised in a privileged position: located near the center of the Italian peninsula, bordered by the River Arno and surrounded by hills of olive groves and vineyards, it is undoubtedly the most visited city, famous and attractive of Tuscany is the destination of millions of tourists from all over the world to visit Florence in all seasons.
Florence is a city of universal fame for its countless art treasures of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance that it maintains the only evidence, and perhaps unique in the history of mankind. The city is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and is universally recognized as one of the cradles of art, from painting to sculpture and architecture, from literature to music. Florence has been compared all'Atene age of Pericles. In fact, Florence keeps an exceptional artistic heritage, beautiful testimony to its secular civilization. And 'the city of Cimabue and Giotto, the fathers of Italian painting, by Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renovators of architecture and sculpture of Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, the Renaissance, Ghiberti and the Della Robbia, Filippo Lippi and 'Angelico, Botticelli and Paolo Uccello, the universal geniuses Leonardo and Michelangelo. Their works, with those of many other generations of artists up to the masters of our century, are collected in many museums.
World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, the historic center of Florence collects the most important cultural heritage of the city. Visiting Florence means to meet famous monuments, which are the landmarks florentine artistic culture: the Baptistry with its mosaics and the Duomo with its sculptures, the medieval churches with frescoes, the public and private buildings, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati, monasteries and cloisters, monasteries and circles. The town can be appreciated in its entirety from the surrounding hills, especially by Forte Belvedere, from the Piazzale Michelangelo with the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and the hills of Fiesole, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the Arno valley.
But Florence is also famous because it was the birthplace of Dante, the father of Italian poetry. In Florence, with Petrarch and Boccaccio literary studies affirmed, with the philosophy of humanism was renewed and enhanced the classical culture. With Machiavelli modern political science was born, with Guicciardini historical prose. With Galileo and his school, was born and said modern experimental science.
Florence has always combined art and science since the time of Charlemagne, it is home to a university, which today includes dozens of specialized institutes and a Cultural Centre for Foreigners. Activity in these sectors contribute various academies and scientific institutes.
Extensive library collections are preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale and in other famous libraries: the Laurentian, the Riccardiana the Marucelliana. Documents of great value are preserved in the State and Municipal Archives.
During the year, if you are visiting Florence, held numerous events that can meet various needs, we recall here the musical events of the "Maggio Musicale Fiorentino" and the manifestations of the Florence Centre for Italian Fashion. Features traditional events are Football in Costume, the Burst of the Cart (for Easter), the feast of St. John and so on.
Florence is also famous for its handicrafts classy, heir to a centuries-old tradition, and for the elegance and good taste of his creations: from straw, a typical product of Florence, used for a pleasant and original items of clothing and furniture, to works in leather products, known for their excellent and careful execution, from ceramics to glass, from woodwork to those in metal from furniture to knick-knacks. The packaging and garments have, in Florence, a special grace and originality, are well known articles of linen and embroideries. Much sought after in the city that gave birth to Benvenuto Cellini, are the silver and gold, jewels and watermarks, the typical mosaic stones. A particular attraction is exerted by objects large or small antiques.
As early as the thirteenth century, travelers who visited Florence praised the Florentine hospitality, which subsequently developed into an impressive hotel organization, with more than 400 hotels of various categories that reach a capacity of 20,000 beds. Several campsites in the area and youth hostels. Dozens of restaurants and typical trattorias placed in the center and in the surrounding hills, offer the pleasures of a cuisine that makes use of simple and genuine dishes. In this kitchen is Tuscan wines accompany the rightly famous Chianti and the surrounding area: red wine, strong and flavorful, the white wine, more graceful, sweet wines and the "vin santo".