Florence

Florence is located in central Italy. Florence was built on both sides of the Arno River,

which causes flooding from time to time. Florence has many hills there hills which cause a very

changeable type of climate with the help of the Arno River. Summers are hot and humid, and

winters cool and wet.

There are many advantages to having the city where it is at. The city was about 145

miles northwest of Rome, which is an important city to trade with. The Arno river gives Italy

easy access to water and trade from the river to the Meditarian sea. The hills of the city

offered some protection from outside invasions.

Florence started out in 59 B.C. as a colony for soldiers for the Roman armies . In the

3rd century Florence became a provincial capital of the Roman Empire and a prosperous commercial

center. In the medieval centuries, Florence was occupied by outsiders, first by Ostrogoths in the

5th century, then by Byzantines in the 6th century, and then by the Langobards. From the late

10th century onward Florence prospered, and, under the rule of Countess Matilda of Tuscany

(1069-1115) In 1293 Florence adopted a constitution that required frequent changes of office to

make sure that no group or individual could take over it(once every two months) During the 12th

and 13th century the political as well as economic powers grew. Florentine woolen cloth industry

and of banking grew. Since there was a balance between the leading merchant families, Florence

was ruled by its guilds, which were divided into seven major guilds and a number of minor ones.

The city's podesta, or chief magistrate and police chief, could be selected only from the major

guilds. Right before the middle of the 14th century, Florence had become a metropolis of about

90,000 people, which made it one of the great cities in Europe (with Paris, Venice, Milan, and

Naples). But, in 1348 the Black Death struck, killing half the people. And also the bankruptcies

of the Bardi and the Peruzzi a couple of years before the Black Death had also brought down the

city, and it never fully recovered from these disasters. Successful merchants and bankers, such as

Cosimo de' Medici and Giovanni Rucellai in the 15th century, were able to reshape politics and

culture in Florence.

The French Medicis, which was an Italian family that ruled Florence from 1434 to 1737,

(except from 1494 till 1512 and from 1527 till 1530). they had four popes (Leo X, Clement VII,

Pius IV, and Leon XI) and married the royal families of Europe.

There are many great universities and academies in Florence, such as The Crusca Academy,

which is an Italian literary academy founded in Florence in 1582 to study Tuscan, which was the

literary language of the Italian Renaissance. The Platonic Academy, started out as a group of

scholars in mid-15th-century Florence who met under the leadership of Platonic philosophy Marsilio

Ficino to study and discuss philosophy and the classics. And also the University of Florence

dates founded around 1859.

There were also many great people (artists, inventors, scientists....) that came out of

Florence. One of them was Leonardo da Vinci, he was a great artist, yet was so more then just an

artist, he was a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, inventor, designer, and engineer. Among

Leonardo's most famous paintings were The Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper. He made many accurate

drawings and sketches of human organs. Another famous person from Florence was Michelangelo

who is considered to be the greatest living artist in his lifetime and now he is one of the

greatest artists of all times. A lot of his paintings, sculptures, and architecture are among

the most famous in existence. He thought of himself primarily as a sculptor. He is famous for

painting the Sistine Chapel and doing David. Florence was at this time regarded as the leading

center of art, producing the best painters and sculptors in Europe, and there was great competition

among artists The city was, however, less able than before to offer large commissions, and

Florentine artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Leonardo's teacher, Verrocchio, had moved away

for better opportunities in different cities. And then in the middle of political turmoil

Michelangelo left.

I would of loved to live in this city during the renaissance, there were many great artists,

architects, buildings, and many other signifigant