FLORENCE INTRODUCTION, Introduction

Audio File length: 2.39
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s James, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world: Florence, the capital of Art and the Renaissance.

 

Between 1300 and 1600, the Renaissance spread across Europe. This cultural revolution which influenced the whole of humankind, taking it from the Middle Ages into the Modern Age, took its first steps here in Florence, where the great artists, philosophers and poets of the time were at work. 

Already a flourishing town in the Middle Ages, at the end of the 13th century Florence was one of the richest cities in the world. It had a democratic government and thrived from trade and craft work, and most of the population were merchants or craftsmen, unlike most of Italy and Europe, where most people still worked on the land.

Just think: it was here that the first banks and checks appeared, and the Medici family, the famous dynasty of dukes who took control of the city’s democratic government, were bankers.

This atmosphere of change and of wealth attracted the greatest minds of the age to Florence, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli, who all came here to work, and generations of artists flocked to the city. It was here that the father of modern politics, Niccolò Machiavelli, penned his works.

The three founding fathers of Italian literature - Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio - were all of Florentine origin, and indeed modern Italian derives from the Tuscan dialect.

 

The cultural heritage of Florence can be compared only to that of ancient Athens, and the city offers visitors absolute masterpieces of architecture, such as the Cathedral, the Bell Tower by Giotto, or Ponte Vecchio bridge, as well as museums that together are home to one of the largest collections of absolute masterpieces from the world’s finest artists.

Boasting a wealth of fine buildings and magnificent churches, and with a riverside that is among the most beautiful in the world, Florence is a sight you will never forget if you take a look at the city from the little hill where the famous Boboli Gardens spread out.

Florence is also a modern, elegant city, however, with numerous shops, many of them selling fashion items. It is the second most important city in the Italian fashion sector, and hosts the main shows dedicated to children’s fashion.

 

An interesting fact: Florence is most likely the birthplace of football. It was here that players first began to kick a ball filled with air rather than made from rags.

 

So get ready to visit the wonders of this splendid city. Enjoy your stay!

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