The history of Florence Italy is a long and impressive one. Ever since Julius Caesar founded the city in the year 59 BC to be used as a settlement for his war veterans, it has played an important role in the development of culture at large in Europe. When much of the rest of Europe and the world was plunged into the Dark Ages, the Renaissance in Florence was already beginning to flourish. The facts about Florence Italy tell us that the city was instrumental and vastly influential in the development of art and architecture in Italy and beyond. It is referred to as the Jewel of the Renaissance for good reason, as there is more Renaissance art per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
The early Renaissance, or what many people refer to as the Golden Age of Florentine Art, commenced around the year 1000. This is one of the remarkable facts about Florence Italy, when you view it in light of what was going on in much of the rest of the world at the time. For a stretch of approximately 250 years between the 1300s and the 1500s, Florence was arguably the most important city in the entire world.
It was located at the Via Cassia, the main road between northern Italy and Rome in the Arno River valley. This was a fertile area that was well positioned, making it possible for Florence to expand quickly, not only with the arts, but also in trade and finance. In fact, it was the rise in the power of the city that enabled the art history of Florence to play out in such a way as it in fact did. In other words, as the city grew in stature and gained more money, more could be dedicated to the patronage of the arts. The Renaissance in Florence was booming in the 1300s when the Black Plague claimed the lives of many people. This tragedy, combined with fighting against foreign invaders dropped the population of Florence as low as 1,000 people at one time. But by the 1500s, Florence had regained much of its population and much of its stature once again.
It was around this time that the Renaissance in Florence really began to take shape in peoples’ minds and hearts. Serious consideration and money was given in support of the arts. Families such as the Medici clan in Florence came to de facto power in Florence not only because they were financiers and bankers to the papacy, but also because they were patricians of the great early Italian Renaissance artists. The history of Florence Italy was definitively shaped by the influential Medici family. Just one example can be seen in the life of Catherine de Medici, who married Henry II of France. She is credited with bringing the Renaissance to France and being a strong influence in France ultimately becoming Europe’s first nation state. She served as regent to the throne for her three sons who would all become kings of France. As you read further into the facts about Florence Italy, you will find that this is a city unlike many others in Europe. The history of Florence Italy impacted the history of much of the rest of Europe for many centuries. /p>