Florence exists since 600 BCE and is the epitome and genesis of much European history in any manifestation. The names of Florentine artists, architects, politicians and their patrons is astounding. The city layout is typical of a Roman garrison town, but most of the architecture is from the Renaissance with traces of medieval, Baroque, Neoclassical and modern buildings.

Art & Culture

Florence’s city centre is of course an UNESCO site. History bears most of the weight of Florence’s reputation as an aesthetic wonder of thought, governance, inspiration, enterprise and creativity. It is impossible to escape. Dante, Medici, Boccacio, Michelangelo’s David, Botacelli, DaVinci.


Of the innumerable Florentine architectonic treasures, the 600 year-old Duomo ranks high and still remains the world’s largest dome built of brick and mortar. The iconic Ponte Vecchio is Florence’s only bridge to survive World War Two. Together the structures dominate most vistas from the town’s grand marketplaces and squares. The eye reveals innovation was born here and the bridge still stands because of its novel arches.


Water flows along the streets. There because of the oldest, functioning, medeivel aquaduct. Florence hides in the foothills of the Chianti mountain range. Along the River Arno. A little above is Sienna. The soils underfoot tell whence wine comes.


Florence was first a Roman city dating back to 9th century BCE. Academics refer to it as the medieval Athens and the birthplace of the European Renaissance. The city state was so invaluable as a proven leader in all things commerce, culture and politics between the 14th and 16th centuries that the Florin was used throughout Europe and beyond as standard currency in the middle ages.

Florence briefly replaced Turin in 1865 as Italy’s capital. Napoleonic wars soon forced the capital to Rome, likely in concert with papal influence. Rightfully a UNESCO designation, Europe has few cities to compare with the heritage distinction and reverence Florence garners.