The History of Florence Between Art and Progress

Historicalfacts.netThe History of Florence - Florence is one of most famous cities in the world, this famous Italian city is famous all over the world due to its Renaissance sculptures, paintings of great value and majestic buildings built by master builders of the past. For centuries Florence was one of the richest and most important cities of the West, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance Florence was known for being the ideal place for artists and masters of all kinds.

The History of Florence Between Art and Progress

The city is the capital of the province Florence of Italy located within the region of Tuscany. River Arno is the actual and exact location of Florence. Florence also was named as the capital city of Italy in 1865 but it only acted as the capital for 5 years. Florence was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. As the reason for being included in the list is the number of people visiting Florence throughout the year. According to a survey conducted among tourists, they say that the city attracts the people towards itself. Florence is recognized as one of the most beautiful cities of world.

Florence experiences highest temperatures in the months of June, July and August. It mostly reaches up to 40 degrees. So the summer season lasts mainly from May to October. Winters are from November till the middle of March. Near the end of March the temperature starts to rise again. Florence mostly receives the rainfall season in its winter. Winter nights are very cold and beautiful inside Florence as the city has a very attractive nightlife. The city comes in the category of the cities which have Mediterranean climate.
The History of Florence
The History of Florence Between Art and Progress
Florence is normally known for its churches, buildings, architectures and monuments. The most commonly known structure in Florence is the "Santa Maria del Fiore" which is famous by the name of "The Duomo". The doom has an international reputation and is considered as one of the landmarks of manmade buildings. It has been 600 years since the doom was built but still it is regarded as the largest doom in the world made by bricks. Also the museums of Florence are considered world class as these represent a lot related to history of the city.

Florence mostly generates its revenue from the tourism sector as the city continuously receives millions of tourists from all around the world throughout the year. So Florence is a strong city economically which contributes heavily in the total GDP of the country as a whole.

According to statistics of 2008 Florence city has a population of about 365,744 people and the percentage of males were 47 % while females were 53% according to 2007 statistics. The population mostly is Italian.

Florence has an excellent reputation in arts and music, as many of notable personalities in these fields were from Florence. Painting is another field in which the city has excelled as compared to other cities of the country. The famous painter and also a famous name in literature "Leonardo Da Vinci" is one of those personalities.

Florence in the past for centuries has enjoyed an excellent economic situation arising from flourishing trade and the creation of the first banks, thanks to the good business relations with other foreign states.Florence was able to achieve excellent earnings.

The economic success of Florence in the past was that its currency: the Florine For centuries it has been accepted and imitated in all countries in Europe, we can say that the Florine was what the dollar is in the contemporary world.

Thanks to the great wealth that people accumulated in Florence and thanks to a stable political situation, rather than the big wars that were fought in Europe, Florence was the ideal place for the development and for new discoveries in every field.

The art in Florence was supported and encouraged by the wealth of the great noble families and great people of the church, the architecture with majestic works such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, the Vasari Corridor and many other monuments. They changed the physiognomy of the city making it an immortal city.

Like the great architectural works they created frescoes, paintings and sculptures of absolute value that embellished buildings such as the Uffizi. The Uffizi were projected by Vasari for Cosimo I Medici. They were initially used for the government of the time but soon it became the first museum in Europe. In the Uffizi are great works of art owned by the Medici family. These Works of art are still present in this museum where they are visited by millions of tourists.

In addition to art for centuries Florence was one of the most important for the progress in many other fields. In this place scientists like Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei became famous. These great scientists together with many other less-known scientists made discoveries and advances that laid the foundation for the development of the modern world.

Since medieval times Florence was a city that in addition to great wealth it could also count on a high number of residents, which made Florence one of the most populated urban centers of the ancient era. From a political point of view Florence played a central role thanks to the excellent relationship with the ecclesiastical power that the rulers of the city had since the early Middle Ages.

Florence and the Birth of the Renaissance

If there is one city which can be credited for leading Europe out of the dark ages, that city is Florence. Although it's population never exceeded 60,000 during this period, Florence was Europe's center of culture and commerce for over 250 years, and its currency, the gold florin, fueled the continent's emergence into the Renaissance. From the early 1300s, the florin was the currency that made trade and industry possible. It funded the Papacy, and the wars of English kings. Florentine writers such as Dante and Boccaccio were instrumental in the evolution of ancient Latin into modern Italian. Renaissance and neoclassical architecture were invented in Florence, as was opera. Perhaps the most important family in the history of the European continent, the Medici, were Florentine.

The Medici married into the royal families of Europe and were instrumental in ruling the continent during the Renaissance. Their patronage of the arts in Florence and across Europe led to the rise of artistic geniuses such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo Da Vinci. At the beginning of the dominance of Florence, Pope Boniface VIII paid the city the ultimate compliment when he postulated that a fifth element must be added to Aristotle's list of the building stones of the universe. To earth, air, fire and water the Pope added the Florentines.

Florence's Duomo

Towards the end of the dark ages, the citizens of Florence set out to build a cathedral which would dominate the skyline of their city. It was to have a dome that would become the symbol of Florence, and they invited the world's greatest architects to bid for the task of its design. Architect after architect came before the committee in Florence to explain how he would solve the problems inherent in the dome's design. Finally a young creative genius, Brunelleschi, stepped forward. He took an egg out of his pocket, and smashed it down on the Florence committee's table. As he did so, the bottom of the egg cracked and flattened, and an "egg" dome appeared before them. Brunelleschi was hired on the spot.

Florence And The Birth Of The Modern Gelato

The Medici, the lords of Florence, decided to organise a competition amongst the Tuscan cooks to award the most talented one. They would award the cook who would create the most original dish. Ruggeri, a poultry merchant whose 'hobby' was cooking, won the competition with an ice cream-based dessert that drove the Florentine court literally crazy. The poultry merchant became so popular that Caterina de' Medici, who was about to get married, wanted him at her wedding banquet.

This is also how the recipe invented by Ruggeri, simply called 'sugar-flavoured and scented water', conquered the French. After a few years of glory and gelato in all flavours, Ruggeri decided that he had had enough. The Parisian cooks were jealous and he missed his previous, simple life. So he revealed his very secret recipe to Queen Caterina and went back to his poultry. There is no need to say that, thanks to Ruggeri's recipe, the gelato fashion spread all across Europe.

Florence had just begun producing its very famous gelatai. The most popular one, which is also known for other duties, was certainly Bernardo Buontalenti. Buontalenti lived between 1536 and 1608 and was a painter and a court architect who, amongst others works, completed Palazzo Pitti, the Uffizi gallery and the Boboli gardens, were he built the 'Grotta Grande', a masterpiece of painting, sculpture and architecture of the 'manieristic' period. Buontalenti, in perfect accordance with his surname (whose translation in English could be something like 'greatly talented' ) was so multiple-skilled that he was successful in many different disciplines. He was a urbanist as well as a court event manager, a plumber, a goldsmith, a ceramist, a scenographer, and theatre dresser. Amongst his many works, the Grotta grande is certainly one of the most famous.

Bernardo was a really great personality in the Florentine court life of that period and, amongst his many jobs, he was also a popular court banquet organizer-and we are talking about banquets attended by the most important people of that time. On one of these occasions he created something very special: a cream made of egg white, honey, milk, lemon and a drop of wine. The invention of this Florentine crème represented the birth of the modern gelato and distinguished it from the less tasty 'sorbet' or icicle.

Once in heaven, the eclectic Florentine artist must have smiled when, in 1979, the gelateria Badiani invented a new, tasty gelato flavour called Buontalenti. The sweet memory of Bernardo's invention, preserved for over four centuries and until our days, still reminds us today of one of the most important talents and discoveries of the Florentine Renaissance.

The History of Florence Between Art and Progress