Florence (Italian: Firenze) is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany.
Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his military veterans. During World War II the city endured a year long German occupation and was declared an open city. Much of the city was destroyed by the Germans as the Allies advanced, including its bridges, other than the Ponte Vecchio which Hitler intervened to save. Since then the city and bridges have been restored.
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and the world. It is not possible to explain every monument, painting or concept originating from this fascinating city with a short article. Florence was the Renaissance’s main epicentre and from there it reached the rest of Europe. Florentine artists and sculptors, which were supported by the Medici and other wealthy families, embellished the city with their works. These artists included Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Giotto, Botticelli, and a host of others. Grand galleries such as the Uffizi, Pitti and Accademia house many of their works.
When it comes to shopping, with houses such as Gucci and Ferragamo, there isn’t much else to say. Florence means one thing, style, with fine boutiques interspersed among the galleries and palazzi. And Florentines dine as well as they dress. The food and the wine are both superlative. Choose a restaurant wisely and you are guaranteed a meal and memory to last a lifetime.
Florence is a safe city and the normal precautions suffice.
Florence is very cold in the winter, and very hot in the summer and rainy in the fall. In the winter it may snow and the temperature can well go below 0 C (low twenties F). The summer is really hot with average temperatures in the 30s C (high 80s F).
Florence is served by Amerigo Vespucci Airport. Public transportation is urban rail, bus and taxi.
Florence population is 366,488 (2006).
+39 is the international calling code for Italy
55 is the area code for Florence
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