Florence is one of the most beautiful and famous cities of the world. He was for many years the cradle of culture and art; in Florence were born or have lived and worked many of the greatest artists of the Renaissance and of all human history.
The city’s history begins with the Etruscan civilization. The Etruscans, arrived from Asia Minor, settled in the area where now stands Florence. The first evidence of the Etruscan civilization date from the ninth century. C. (tombs, tomb paintings, tablets and statues).
In the Archaeological Museum of Florence they are preserved priceless relics of Etruscan art (such as the famous Bronze of the Chimera).
Only in the year 395 A.D. the Roman influence finally subdued the Etruscan civilization. The Romans founded Florentia on the ruins of the ancient Etruscan settlement along the Via Cassia, and the city became increasingly important as a center of communication and trade for the rich and numerous agricultural settlements of the surrounding area.
Following Florence became a bishopric. With the advent of Charlemagne the city he gained prestige and independence, becoming a county.
But Florence reached the apex of its glory in the late Middle Ages, becoming the cradle of the Renaissance – Humanism, establishing itself on the political, economic and cultural development as the most important city in Europe, and remained so for over two centuries, from 1300 to 1550. It was the Florentines to reinvent the money, coining the gold florin, Florence became the engine that drove Europe out of the dark period of the Middle Ages. It was the Florentine bankers, in those centuries rich and lucky, to finance largely the flourishing economic development all over Europe .
Thanks to great writers such as Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, and excelled artists as Botticelli, Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Raffaello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florence he reached a flourishing era of cultural, artistic and scientific works that the world had never known before and then that it would never again revived in the history. The man at the center of the world, the man master of his fate. It was amazing the atmosphere present in Renaissance Florence, optimism, hope and great force and energy behind of every idea.
Even the Age of Discoveries , seems again to be started from Florence. The rich Florentine banks were able to finance the Portuguese explorers in Africa and the Far East. A Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci, gave his name to the new continent. Prominent personalities like Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Galileo, made a fundamental contribution to give the world new borders artistics, architectural, political, geographic and scientific.
A great contribution was given to Florence by the family de’ Medici, who with his decisions has affected the entire European history of the period. Beside the role of patrons of the arts and sciences, the Medici were also skilled politicians and statesmen, able by themselves to influence the fate of the other kingdoms in Europe. Anna Maria Luisa, Catherine, Lorenzo the Magnificent and the great dean of the family, Cosimo the Elder, are just some of the names from always linked to the name of the family De ‘Medici to Florence. Then was fundamental the contribution of Anna Maria Luisa de ‘Medici, who with his political gesture has saved forever the artistic Florence.
Anna Maria Luisa was the last heir of the glorious dinasty and in the year 1737 stipulated with his successors (the Asburgo-Lorena), the famous “Family Pact” by establishing that no one could carry out of the city; Paintings, statues, libraries, jewelry and any other wealth. This pact was respected by the Habsburg-Lorraine, and allowed to the city of do not miss neither of its art works and preserve its entire heritage, preserving intact one of the greatest treasures of humanity that has crowned Florence undisputed homeland of Art.