We entered Florence from Pisa by train around 11am on May 15th. While the train was gradually approaching the platform in Firenze S.M.N station, my eyes didn’t make a blink. Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Renaissance, so many renowned words are related to this city, moreover, this city center itself is a world heritage site! Florence, I’ve been adoring you for so long!
The history of Florence is known from 59 BC. The Roman empire built this village to settle retired soldiers. In the 4th century, it became one of the centers of the Roman Catholic church. Since then it was conquered by the Byzantine Empire, East Goths, Lombards and Franks. The population declined to 1000 at the lowest.
In 1115, Florence had special permission to become a self managed city by the Roman emperor. Since the 13th Century, this city was suffering conflict because of the fight between religious and political powers. However, domestic conflict didn’t stop this city expanding to be one of the strongest and the most bustling cities in Europe. It even issued its own currency, Fiorino, in 1252 and conquered its competitor Pisa in 1406. During hundreds of years, Florence ruled almost the whole of Tuscany apart from Republic of Lucca. And it retained being independent until Napoleon merged it into Italy in the 8th century.
From the 14th century to the 16th century, with the enormously wealthy Medici Family, as a culture protector, the development of arts was encouraged. Meanwhile, Roman Catholic was facing a crisis. Appointing another Pope in Avignon by France made the religion to split apart. Also, the plague spread in Europe in 1348 and caused many people to die. All these made medieval Values being criticized and ancient Greek Roman culture became popular again. Humanism appeared. Eventually, Florence became the cradle for renaissance. Afterwards, renaissance spread out to Europe rapidly.
Already in need of oxygen after staring at their arts in Uffizi, in the street I was mesmerised by the vision of locals at effortlessly strutting, flirting and doubtlessly enjoying life. It seems nothing much has changed since the time of Medici.