Castello di Volpaia
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Florence was originally established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers. The settlement quickly became an important commercial center. In the ensuing centuries the city was often troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany. Florence came under control of the Albizzi family between 1382 and 1434. Cosimo de' Medici was the first Medici family member to essentially control the city from behind the scenes. Technically the city was a democracy. His power came from a vast patronage network. Cosimo was succeeded by his son Piero, who was, soon after, succeeded by Cosimo's grandson, Lorenzo in 1469. Following the death of Lorenzo de' Medici in 1492, he was succeeded by his son Piero II. In 1494, the first period of Medici rule ended with the restoration of a republican government. Florentines drove out the Medici again and re-established a republic on May 16, 1527. Restored twice with the support of both Emperor and Pope, the Medici in 1537 became hereditary dukes of Florence, and in 1569 Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The extinction of the Medici dynasty and the accession in 1737 of Francis Stephen, duke of Lorraine and husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, led to Tuscany's temporary inclusion in the territories of the Austrian crown. Tuscany became a province of the United Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Florence replaced Turin as Italy's capital in 1865 which in turn was moved to Rome. During World War II the city experienced a year-long German occupation (1943–1944).
Neither the Galleria Dell'Accademia nor the Medici Chapel allow pictures.
Identifier: 397, Last Accessed: 2017-09-20 18:36:21
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Last Modified: Fri Jul 29 2016 09:10:20.