Coordinates: 43°46′17″N 11°15′15″E / 43.77139°N 11.25417°E / 43.77139; 11.25417
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A collage of Florence showing the Galleria degli Uffizi (top left), followed by the Palazzo Pitti, a sunset view of the city and the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria
A collage of Florence showing the
Galleria degli Uffizi (top left), followed by the Palazzo Pitti, a sunset view of the city and the Fountain of Neptune
in the Piazza della Signoria
Coat of arms of Florence
Location of Florence
Florence is located in Tuscany
Florence (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 43°46′17″N 11°15′15″E / 43.77139°N 11.25417°E / 43.77139; 11.25417
ISTAT code
Patron saintJohn the Baptist[3]
Saint day24 June
WebsiteOfficial website

Florence (/ˈflɒrəns/ FLORR-ənss; Italian: Firenze [fiˈrɛntse] (listen))[a] is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 360,930 inhabitants in 2023, and 984,991 in its metropolitan area.[4]

Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era.[5] It is considered by many academics[6] to have been the birthplace of the Renaissance, becoming a major artistic, cultural, commercial, political, economic and financial center.[7] During this time, Florence rose to a position of enormous influence in Italy, Europe, and beyond.[8] Its turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions.[9] From 1865 to 1871 the city served as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. The Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy[10] due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini.

The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and UNESCO declared the

Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics.[12] Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, Forbes ranked it as the most beautiful city in the world in 2010.[13]

Florence plays an important role in Italian fashion,[12] and is ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world by Global Language Monitor;[14] furthermore, it is a major national economic centre,[12] as well as a tourist and industrial hub.


There are a number of theories as to the origin of the Latin name Florentia from which the name of Florence and Firenze derived:

  • Legend attributes the origin of the name Florentia to Florio (a soldier killed on the spot)
  • It may be related to the Latin word for flowers found in the area
  • It may be related to Flora, since it was founded during the Floralia festival
  • There is a theory that Florentia is a name to convey good luck, "may you be florid"[15]


Timeline of Florence
Historical affiliations

 Roman Republic, 59–27 BC
 Roman Empire, 27 BC–AD 285
 Western Roman Empire, 285–476
 Kingdom of Odoacer, 476–493
 Ostrogothic Kingdom, 493–553
 Eastern Roman Empire, 553–568
 Lombard Kingdom, 570–773
 Carolingian Empire, 774–797
 Regnum Italiae, 797–1001
 March of Tuscany, 1002–1115
Republic of Florence, 1115–1532
Duchy of Florence, 1532–1569
Grand Duchy of Tuscany, 1569–1801
Kingdom of Etruria, 1801–1807
First French Empire, 1807–1815
Grand Duchy of Tuscany, 1815–1859
United Provinces of Central Italy, 1859–1860
Kingdom of Italy, 1861–1943
 Italian Social Republic, 1943–1945
 Italy, 1946–present

Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It was politically, economically, and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries.[11]

The language spoken in the city during the 14th century came to be accepted as the model for what would become the Italian language. Thanks especially to the works of the Tuscans Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, was adopted as the basis for a national literary language.[citation needed]

Starting from the late

florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years' War. They similarly financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon
and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome.

Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families.

Gian Gastone de' Medici
in 1737.

The Kingdom of Italy, which was established in 1861, moved its capital from Turin to Florence in 1865, although the capital was moved to Rome in 1871.

Roman origins

Florence was established by the Romans in 59 BC as a colony for veteran soldiers and was built in the style of an army camp.[16] Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, and within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement quickly became an important commercial centre and in AD 285 became the capital of the Tuscia region.

Early Middle Ages

The Goth King Totila razes the walls of Florence during the Gothic War: illumination from the Chigi manuscript of Villani's Cronica

In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent alternate periods of Ostrogoth and Byzantine rule, during which the city was fought over, helping to cause the population to fall to as low as 1,000 people.[17] Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century and Florence was in turn conquered by Charlemagne in 774 becoming part of the March of Tuscany centred on Lucca. The population began to grow again and commerce prospered.

Second millennium

The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

double-entry bookkeeping system) to medieval fairs. This period also saw the eclipse of Florence's formerly powerful rival Pisa.[19] The growing power of the merchant elite culminated in an anti-aristocratic uprising, led by Giano della Bella, resulting in the Ordinances of Justice[20]
which entrenched the power of the elite guilds until the end of the Republic.

Middle Ages and Renaissance

Rise of the Medici

Uffizi Gallery

At the height of demographic expansion around 1325, the urban population may have been as great as 120,000, and the rural population around the city was probably close to 300,000.

family, who became bitter rivals of the Medici.

In the 15th century, Florence was among the largest cities in Europe, with a population of 60,000, and was considered rich and economically successful.[24] Cosimo de' Medici was the first Medici family member to essentially control the city from behind the scenes. Although the city was technically a democracy of sorts, his power came from a vast patronage network along with his alliance to the new immigrants, the gente nuova (new people). The fact that the Medici were bankers to the pope also contributed to their ascendancy. Cosimo was succeeded by his son Piero, who was, soon after, succeeded by Cosimo's grandson, Lorenzo in 1469. Lorenzo was a great patron of the arts, commissioning works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Lorenzo was an accomplished poet and musician and brought composers and singers to Florence, including Alexander Agricola, Johannes Ghiselin, and Heinrich Isaac. By contemporary Florentines (and since), he was known as "Lorenzo the Magnificent" (Lorenzo il Magnifico).

Following Lorenzo de' Medici's death in 1492, he was succeeded by his son

Piero II. When the French king Charles VIII invaded northern Italy, Piero II chose to resist his army. But when he realised the size of the French army
at the gates of Pisa, he had to accept the humiliating conditions of the French king. These made the Florentines rebel, and they expelled Piero II. With his exile in 1494, the first period of Medici rule ended with the restoration of a republican government.

Savonarola, Machiavelli, and the Medici popes

Girolamo Savonarola being hanged and burned in 1498. The brooding Palazzo Vecchio
is at centre right.

During this period, the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola had become prior of the San Marco monastery in 1490. He was famed for his penitential sermons, lambasting what he viewed as widespread immorality and attachment to material riches. He praised the exile of the Medici as the work of God, punishing them for their decadence. He seized the opportunity to carry through political reforms leading to a more democratic rule. But when Savonarola publicly accused Pope Alexander VI of corruption, he was banned from speaking in public. When he broke this ban, he was excommunicated. The Florentines, tired of his teachings, turned against him and arrested him. He was convicted as a heretic, hanged and burned at the stake on the Piazza della Signoria on 23 May 1498. His ashes were dispersed in the Arno river.[25]

Another Florentine of this period was Niccolò Machiavelli, whose prescriptions for Florence's regeneration under strong leadership have often been seen as a legitimization of political expediency and even malpractice. Machiavelli was a political thinker, renowned for his political handbook The Prince, which is about ruling and exercising power. Commissioned by the Medici, Machiavelli also wrote the Florentine Histories, the history of the city.

In 1512, the Medici retook control of Florence with the help of Spanish and Papal troops.

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the blessings of Pope Clement VII
(Giulio de' Medici).

Florence officially became a monarchy in 1531, when Emperor Charles and Pope Clement named

Cosimo I de Medici, was named Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569; in all Tuscany, only the Republic of Lucca (later a Duchy) and the Principality of Piombino
were independent from Florence.

18th and 19th centuries

Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and his family. Leopold was, from 1765 to 1790, the Grand Duke
of Tuscany.

The extinction of the Medici dynasty and the accession in 1737 of

Napoleon in 1814. The Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty was restored on the throne of Tuscany at the Congress of Vienna
but finally deposed in 1859. Tuscany became a region of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Florence replaced

Piazza della Repubblica, the present name) was significantly widened and a large triumphal arch was constructed at the west end. This development was unpopular and was prevented from continuing by the efforts of several British and American people living in the city.[citation needed
] A museum recording the destruction stands nearby today.

The country's second capital city was superseded by Rome six years later, after the withdrawal of the French troops allowed the capture of Rome.

20th century


British 8th Army closed in.[30] In early August, the retreating Germans decided to demolish all the bridges along the Arno linking the district of Oltrarno to the rest of the city, making it difficult for troops of the 8th Army to cross. However, at the last moment Charles Steinhauslin, at the time consul of 26 countries in Florence, convinced the German general in Italy that the Ponte Vecchio was not to be destroyed due to its historical value.[citation needed] Instead, an equally historic area of streets directly to the south of the bridge, including part of the Corridoio Vasariano, was destroyed using mines. Since then the bridges have been restored to their original forms using as many of the remaining materials as possible, but the buildings surrounding the Ponte Vecchio have been rebuilt in a style combining the old with modern design. Shortly before leaving Florence, as they knew that they would soon have to retreat, the Germans executed many freedom fighters and political opponents publicly, in streets and squares including the Piazza Santo Spirito.[citation needed

Florence was liberated by

South African and British troops on 4 August 1944 alongside partisans from the Tuscan Committee of National Liberation (CTLN). The Allied
soldiers who died driving the Germans from Tuscany are buried in cemeteries outside the city (Americans about nine kilometres or 5+12 miles south of the city, British and Commonwealth soldiers a few kilometres east of the centre on the right bank of the Arno).

At the end of World War II in May 1945, the US Army's Information and Educational Branch was ordered to establish an overseas university campus for demobilised American service men and women in Florence. The first American university for service personnel was established in June 1945 at the School of Aeronautics. Some 7,500 soldier-students were to pass through the university during its four one-month sessions (see

In November 1966, the

Arno flooded
parts of the centre, damaging many art treasures. Around the city there are tiny placards on the walls noting where the flood waters reached at their highest point.


Florence lies in a basin formed by the hills of

Arno river, three other minor rivers (Mugnone,[32] Ema and Greve) and some streams flow through it.[33]


Florence has a

convectional, while relief rainfall dominates in the winter. Snow flurries occur almost every year,[35] but often result in no accumulation.[36] The highest officially recorded temperature was 42.6 °C (108.7 °F) on 26 July 1983 and the lowest was −23.2 °C (−9.8 °F) on 12 January 1985.[37]

Climate data for Florence
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.6
Average high °C (°F) 10.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.7
Average low °C (°F) 1.4
Record low °C (°F) −23.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 60.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.3 7.1 7.5 9.7 8.4 6.3 3.5 5.4 6.2 8.5 9.0 8.3 88.2
Mean daily sunshine hours 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 9.0 7.0 5.0 3.0 3.0 6.0
Percent possible sunshine 33 40 42 46 53 60 67 64 58 45 30 33 48
Source 1: Servizio Meteorologico [38]
Source 2: World Meteorological Organization (United Nations) [39] Weather Atlas [40]
Climate data for Florence
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily daylight hours 9.0 10.0 12.0 13.0 15.0 15.0 15.0 14.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 9.0 12.1
Average Ultraviolet index 1 2 4 5 7 8 8 7 5 3 2 1 4.4
Source: Weather Atlas[41]


Historical population
1200 50,000—    
1300 120,000+140.0%
1500 70,000−41.7%
1650 70,000+0.0%
1861 150,864+115.5%
1871 201,138+33.3%
1881 196,072−2.5%
1901 236,635+20.7%
1911 258,056+9.1%
1921 280,133+8.6%
1931 304,160+8.6%
1936 321,176+5.6%
1951 374,625+16.6%
1961 436,516+16.5%
1971 457,803+4.9%
1981 448,331−2.1%
1991 403,294−10.0%
2001 356,118−11.7%
2011 358,079+0.6%

In 1200 the city was home to 50,000 people.

Contado.[43] Between 1500 and 1650 the population was around 70,000.[44][45]

As of 31 October 2010[update], the population of the city proper is 370,702, while

urban area of Florence. The Metropolitan Area of Florence, Prato and Pistoia, constituted in 2000 over an area of roughly 4,800 square kilometres (1,850 sq mi), is home to 1.5 million people. Within Florence proper, 46.8% of the population was male in 2007 and 53.2% were female. Minors (children aged 18 and less) totalled 14.10% of the population compared to pensioners, who numbered 25.95 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Florence resident is 49 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Florence grew by 3.22 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent.[46] The birth rate
of Florence is 7.66 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2009[update], 87.46% of the population was Italian. An estimated 6,000

Filipino): 2.17%, the Americas: 1.41%, and North Africa (mostly Moroccan): 0.9%.[48]

Much like the rest of Italy most of the people in Florence are


Tourism is, by far, the most important of all industries and most of the Florentine economy relies on the money generated by international arrivals and students studying in the city.[11] The value tourism to the city totalled some €2.5 billion in 2015 and the number of visitors had increased by 5.5% from the previous year.[51]

In 2013, Florence was listed as the second best world city by Condé Nast Traveler.[52]

Manufacturing and commerce, however, still remain highly important. Florence is also Italy's 17th richest city in terms of average workers' earnings, with the figure being €23,265 (the overall city's income is €6,531,204,473), coming after Mantua, yet surpassing Bolzano.[53]

Industry, commerce and services

Florence is a major production and commercial centre in Italy, where the Florentine industrial complexes in the suburbs produce all sorts of goods, from furniture, rubber goods, chemicals, and food.

Emilia-Romagna and Veneto due to high profits and productivity.[11]

In the fourth quarter of 2015, manufacturing increased by 2.4% and exports increased by 7.2%. Leading sectors included mechanical engineering, fashion, pharmaceutics, food and wine. During 2015, permanent employment contracts increased by 48.8 percent, boosted by nationwide tax break.[51]


Tourists flock to the Fontana del Porcellino

Tourism is the most significant industry in central Florence. From April to October, tourists outnumber local population. Tickets to the Uffizi and Accademia museums are regularly sold out and large groups regularly fill the basilicas of

Santa Maria Novella, both of which charge for entry. Tickets for The Uffizi and Accademia can be purchased online prior to visiting.[54] In 2010, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine ranked the city as their third favourite tourist destination.[55] In 2015, Condé Nast Travel readers voted Florence as the best city in Europe.[56]

Studies by Euromonitor International have concluded that cultural and history-oriented tourism is generating significantly increased spending throughout Europe.[57]

Florence is believed to have the greatest concentration of art (in proportion to its size) in the world.[58] Thus, cultural tourism is particularly strong, with world-renowned museums such as the Uffizi selling over 1.93 million tickets in 2014.[59] The city's convention centre facilities were restructured during the 1990s and host exhibitions, conferences, meetings, social forums, concerts and other events all year.

In 2016, Florence had 20,588 hotel rooms in 570 facilities. International visitors use 75% of the rooms; some 18% of those were from the U.S.[60] In 2014, the city had 8.5 million overnight stays.[61] A Euromonitor report indicates that in 2015 the city ranked as the world's 36th most visited in the world, with over 4.95 million arrivals for the year.[62]

Tourism brings revenue to Florence, but also creates certain problems. The Ponte Vecchio, The San Lorenzo Market and Santa Maria Novella are plagued by pickpockets.[63] The province of Florence receives roughly 13 million visitors per year[64] and in peak seasons, popular locations may become overcrowded as a result.[65] In 2015, Mayor Dario Nardella expressed concern over visitors who arrive on buses, stay only a few hours, spend little money but contribute significantly to overcrowding. "No museum visit, just a photo from the square, the bus back and then on to Venice ... We don't want tourists like that", he said.[66]

Some tourists are less than respectful of the city's cultural heritage, according to Nardella. In June 2017, he instituted a programme of spraying church steps with water to prevent tourists from using such areas as picnic spots. While he values the benefits of tourism, he claims that there has been "an increase among those who sit down on church steps, eat their food and leave rubbish strewn on them", he explained.[67] To boost the sale of traditional foods, the mayor had introduced legislation (enacted in 2016) that requires restaurants to use typical Tuscan products and rejected McDonald's application to open a location in the Piazza del Duomo.[68]

In October 2021, Florence was shortlisted for the European Commission's 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism award along with Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Dublin, Ljubljana, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.[69]

Food and wine production

Food and wine have long been an important staple of the economy. The


  • The traditional boroughs of the whole comune of Florence

    The traditional boroughs of the whole comune of Florence

  • The 5 administrative boroughs of the whole comune of Florence

    The 5 administrative boroughs of the whole comune of Florence

The legislative body of the

municipality is the City Council (Consiglio Comunale), which is composed of 36 councillors elected every five years with a proportional system, at the same time as the mayoral elections. The executive body is the City Committee (Giunta Comunale), composed of 7 assessors, nominated and presided over by a directly elected Mayor. The current mayor of Florence is Dario Nardella

The municipality of Florence is subdivided into five administrative Boroughs (Quartieri). Each borough is governed by a Council (Consiglio) and a President, elected at the same time as the city mayor. The urban organisation is governed by the Italian Constitution (art. 114). The boroughs have the power to advise the Mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics (environment, construction, public health, local markets) and exercise the functions delegated to them by the City Council; in addition they are supplied with an autonomous funding in order to finance local activities. The boroughs are:

  • Q1 – Centro storico (Historic Centre); population: 67,170;
  • Q2 –
    Campo di Marte
    ; population: 88,588;
  • Q3 – Gavinana-Galluzzo; population: 40,907;
  • Q4 – Isolotto-Legnaia; population: 66,636;
  • Q5 – Rifredi; population: 103,761.

All of the five boroughs are governed by the Democratic Party.

The former Italian Prime Minister (2014–2016), Matteo Renzi, served as mayor from 2009 to 2014.



Botticelli's Venus, Uffizi

Florence was the birthplace of High Renaissance art, which lasted from about 1500 to 1527. Renaissance art put a larger emphasis on naturalism and human emotion.

Madonna Della Seggiola; People of this age began to understand themselves as human beings, which reflected in art.