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Florence - Boun Giorno - RV Italy Tour Part II
Florence - The Cradle of Renaissance
Florence is a small city rich with lots of beautiful places to discover. It is an open air museum with great masterworks of art and architekture safeguarded by an ancient wall. It is also known as the Italian Athens since 19th century because of its cultural significance - specially for the visual arts. Florence is the capital of Tuscany and Florence province.
Florence lies on the River Arno, which flows through the old town. The river was important for trading the needs of the people, however, the flood caused destruction and suffering of the people. North of Florence extends the range of hills of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in the south, the rolling hills of the Chianti borders the city.
Florence was built after 59thB.C. by Julius Caesar as Colonia named Florentia (after the Roman goddess of flowers and plant growth regulators) in fertile, but sometimes marshy valley of the Arno
In the 14th and 15 Century, the city flourished and set the standard in European art and culture. Many artists and scholars settled here (for example, Donatello,Botticelli, Michelangelo later, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei). It developed into the cultural history of the Renaissance era.
History of Florence
A chronological major events that have played a part in shaping the Florence of today.
59 BC - Florence begins to grow as a Roman town
541-4 AD - Byzantine walls added to the Roman walls, as protection against the Ostrogoths. Walls also built in 9th, 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.
570 - Tuscany is taken by the Lombards, who set up their administration in Pavia and Lucca
781 and 786 - Charlemagne, King of the Franks, visits Florence, which has become part of the Carolingian Empire (later the Holy Roman Empire) ruled by Margraves based in Lucca
1115 - death of the last Margrave, Matilda, followed by the formation of the first Comune (the city-state) in which Florence is run by a 100-strong assembly
1235 - the Florin is first minted in silver, and then in 1252, in gold; the Florin is used as a standard coin in Europe, there is evidence of the pre-eminence of Florence in European finance
1250-60 - the Primo Popolo regime is dominated by the trade guilds
1265 - birth of Dante Alighieri in Florence
1296 - construction of the Duomo, Florence's cathedral, is begun under Arnolfo di Cambio
1302 - Dante is exiled by Charles of Valois
1340s - economic crisis, due in part to the bankruptcy of the Peruzzi and Bardi family bankers by Edward III of England and also partly to the Black Death (plague), after which the population of Florence is reduced by half
1378 - uprising of the Ciompi (wood carders), high point of labor unrest
1406 - Florence captures Pisa, gaining direct access to the sea
1458 - Cosimo de' Medici recognized as ruler of Florence
1469 - birth of Machiavelli
1469-92 - rule of Lorenzo the Magnificent, artistic highpoint
1475 - birth of Michelangelo
1478 - Pazzi conspirators scheme to have Giuliano and Lorenzo de' Medici murdered in the cathedral. Giuliano is killed but Lorenzo escapes by hiding in the sacristy
1494 - surrender of Florence to Charles VIII of France at Sarzana
1498 - Savonarola burned at the stake in Piazza della Signoria after four years of rule
1502 - Republic of Florence retakes Pisa
1570 - Cosimo I creates Tuscan state free from Pope and Holy Roman Empire
1743 - death of Anna Maria Luisa, last of the Medici, the Medici inheritance is bequeathed to Florence and becomes the basis of the Uffizi Gallery collection. Florence is then ruled by the house of Lorraine under Francis Stephen, who becomes Emperor I of Austria.
1799-1814 - Tuscany is occupied by Napoleon's troops
1865-1870 - Florence is made capital of the newly united Kingdom of Italy. King Vittorio Emmanuele is installed in Palazzo Pitti
1944 - on August 4, Germans blow up all the bridges in Florence except Ponte Vecchio
1966 - on November 4, the Arno River bursts its banks and Florence is flooded
1993 - bombing of the Uffizi Gallery
Sunday evening we stayed in a Campground outside Venice and after breakfast we left for Florence.
We arrived Florence late in the afternoon on Monday and stayed in Camping Michaelangelo.
An unforgettable holiday in one of the most beautiful cities in the world; Camping Michelangelo is situated right next to Piazzale Michelangelo square, a fifteen minutes walk away from the centre of the open air gallery that is the city of Florence. It is right next to the Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the old city centre of Florence. It is easy to reach by car, camper or bus and it is open all year round. The location is an excellent starting point for visiting the city centre. From here it takes only 15 minutes to get to the Old Bridge (Ponte Vecchio) by foot. Or if you prefer buses, the numbers 12 and 13 pass the campsite every 10 minutes. The geographical position of Camping Michelangelo is also a perfect starting point for visiting the lesser-known corners of Florence which are off the normal tourist routes but which are of no less historic or artistic interest. The campsite is on a hill side full of olive trees and offers shady pitches with grassy ground and a beautiful view over Florence, all with electricity points and easy access. It also offer clients cheap accomodation in two person housetents, all equiped with real beds, pillows and blankets. You can rent these tents all for yourself or just hire one bedplace in them (mixdorm). The campsite itself contains a snack-bar with a lovely terrace overlooking the city, an Internet Point, a playground for children, a well-stocked supermarket open everyday, restaurant - pizzeria, ATM machine and it also provide laundry facilities. The toilet and shower blocks are all heated and have free warm water. Groups bookings are accepted (min. 20 persons) and offer bus parking facilites. During the winter special package are offered, holidays containing guided tours to the city and museums, visits to exhibitions, special Christmas lunch, Renaissance dinner at the Palace Borghese and much more, all upon booking.
Places to Visit in Florence
The greatest artistic treasures in the world are found in Florence's museums, palaces, and churches.
The most popular and important sites in Florence:
The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are veritable art galleries.
The library of San Lorenzois is a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo's architectural genius.
Walk into some of the oldest streets in the city until you reach the Arno River, cross the Ponte Vecchio, and experience the "newest" area of Florence, the Oltrarno.
Pitti Palace housed the vast and varied art collection.
Boboli Gardens, spend a day here when you grow weary of museums and monuments,
San Miniato al Monte located in the hill, experience an enchanting view of Florence.
Florence and its magnificent treasures await your visit!