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Florence (Italy)

"Florence on the Elbe" and the Italian original ... such a relationship must surely be an expression of destiny. Raffael's Sistine Madonna resides on the Elbe, and King Johann, a renowned Dante translator, guided Saxony's fate in the 19th century. The two grand centres of art and culture have been cultivating their partnership since 1978.

Population: 380,000

Geographical location: Central Italy, Tuscany, Arno valley

Profile: Florence was founded by the Romans in the second century BC, on the remains of former Etruscan settlements. In the 15th century, it experienced a first heyday. Under the de Medici family, the banking and trading centre on the River Arno became one of the most influential cities in Europe. The de Medici reigned in Tuscany until their line became extinct in 1737. Most of the buildings in the city survived the Second World War unscathed; only the bridges, with the exception of the Ponte Vecchio, were destroyed in 1944. In 1966, Florence suffered a disastrous flood. Many of its art treasures were damaged, but most have been restored in the meantime. Alongside traditional craft arts, such as leatherware, jewellery and drapery, modern high-tech industry and tourism are major pillars of the city's economy. Florence is also one of the most important trade and banking centres in Italy.

Tips: Florence lies embedded in the valley of the River Arno, at the heart of Tuscany, and is one of the most important centres of art in the world. Numerous bridges link the two halves of the city. The most famous of these bridges is without doubt the mediaeval Ponte Vecchio, which is still lined with the shops of gold- and silversmiths. Nowhere else can so much Renaissance art and architecture be admired, in part thanks to the de Medici family, who dominated the political and economic fate of the city over so many years. Jewels of the city centre are the Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Vecchio, the former seat of the Priori delle Arti, and the incomparable cathedral dome, the masterpiece of Filippo Brunelleschi, on the Piazza del Duomo. Besides the famous Uffizi on the Piazza della Signora, many other museums captivate visitors with the finest arts from bygone eras, for example the Galleria dell'Accademia and the Palazzo Pitti. Important historical figures, such as architect Brunelleschi, poet Boccaccio and artists Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci lived in Florence. But the city naturally offers more than just art: Elegant shops, select restaurants and cosy cafés characterise the Via de Tornabuoni. Florence is a showcase for traditional craft arts (leatherware, jewellery, drapery), but at the same time also at the forefront of fashion (shoes, clothing), as proved by the annual "Pitti" fashion fair each January. The music festival "Maggio Musicale Florentino" (annually from April to June) and the historical soccer tournament "Calcio Storico Fiorentino" between teams representing the mediaeval city districts in the second half of June are similarly magnets for tourists.

Florence

City of Florence

Mayor Dario Nardella



Postal address

Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza Signoria
50122 Firenze
ITALY

Office for International Relations

Phone 0039-(0)55-2768614
Fax 0039-(0)55-2616749
Website City of Florence


Postal address

Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza Signoria
50122 Firenze
ITALY

German Artists`House

Villa Romana Florence


Phone 0039-55-221654
Website Villa Romana


Postal address

Instituto Culturale Tedesco
Via Senese 68
50124 Firenze
Italy

German Institute

Phone 0039-55-215993
Fax 0039-55-290226
email info@deutschesinstitut.it
Website German Institute


Postal address

Via degli Orti Oricellari 10
50123 Firenze
Italy

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