Historically one of Europe’s cultural capitals, today it is a flourishing city with amazing sights and a vivacity that make it unique.
Florence’s fascination is in its streets, its inhabitants, its culture and in its romantic atmosphere, made up of secluded places, works of art, excellent restaurants, luxury hotels and fantastic museums.
The best way to explore Florence is to walk around it, the best way to tiptoe into a city of ancient stones, rewarding the attentive visitor with artworks everywhere that never seem to finish, no matter how many times one visits.
Few other places in the world so need a good tourist guide, but who, in the case of Florence, could be any elderly person born and brought up in this magnificent city.
Florentines love their city and nobody could be better to pass on and to reveal its secrets.
Set in the center of Tuscany, and surrounded by the typical Tuscan countryside, Florence is just a short distance from other important Tuscan historical and artistic centers such as Siena, Prato, Arezzo and Pistoia.
Through the city runs the River Arno, crossed by one of the world’s most famous bridges, the "Ponte Vecchio".
Hordes of tourists flock daily to this very special bridge made up of goldsmiths’ workshops, making it a focal point of a visit to Florence.
Thousands of couples from all over the world have promised undying love on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Florence is internationally known for its top jewelry, leatherwork, fashion, craftwork, its manufactories and, naturally, for being one of the world’s most romantic cities.
The mist that wraps Florence on winter mornings is truly magical, immortalized by photographers from all over the world, and the liveliness of its people in summer is a characteristic that impresses every visitor.
Since ancient roman times, the old "Florentia" has enjoyed economic riches initially derived from agriculture, but then thanks to mercantile families that made the city a focal point for art and culture.
The city of Florence has been home to many great artists: painters such as Giotto, Cimabue, and Caravaggio, writers like Dante Alighieri and luminaries like Michelangelo, to mention but a few.
Of particular interest and importance to the city of Florence was the De Medici Family, wealthy merchants who made the city the pivotal place for culture and art.
The Medicis founded an "exchange bank" that is considered the first European bank.
Among the most prominent members of the family is Lorenzo De Medici, known as "Il Magnifico", who used his gifts as a politician to create one of the most glorious periods in Italian art and civilization, so much so that Florence was known as the ¨second Athens¨.
All arts and doctrines, from painting to philosophy, music to sculpture, were cultivated at the court of the “Magnifico”.
For those seeking to discover Tuscany, Florence is its capital and must be visited for at least two days, that being just enough to get an idea of the magnificence and beauty of this city of the arts.
A curiosity: the origin of the name Florence
The foundation of Florence (in Latin “Florentia”) coincided with the Roman celebrations for the onset of spring, honoring the goddess Flora. These celebrations were called Ludi Florales and, from the games and public competitions for the Floralia, the name of the city of Florentia was apparently derived.
Florence Tourist Information
Florence Tourist Bureau
Via A. Manzoni, 16
Tel.: +39 055 23320
Fax.: +39 055 2346286