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Top 10 Facts about the Magical City of Florence

Panorama of Florence, Italy
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Panorama of Florence, Italy

Every year, Florence is visited by around 10 million tourists. Visitors come here not just to see the city’s spectacular architecture and art, but also to just spend some time in the city of so many famous creators. Over the ages, Florence was a true polestar; a symbol of perfection and modernity. The following ten facts lend some additional support to claims of the city’s importance both in Europe and the entire world.

1. According to UNESCO, Florence has amassed as much as one third of the world’s art heritage!

Sculpture of the Renaissance in Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy. Michelangelo
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Sculpture of the Renaissance in Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy. Michelangelo

2. The city’s spirit of modernity is attested by the fact that in 1339 Florence became the first European city to begin building cobbled streets.

3. One of the world’s most famous artists and inventors, Leonardo da Vinci, was born in the surroundings of Florence. The city was also the birthplace of many other prominent artists and scientists. For instance, Amerigo Vespucci, who lent his name to an entire continent, came into the world just two days after his contemporary Leonardo da Vinci on April 17, 1452.

4. The fairy-tale character Pinocchio, a wooden boy whose nose grew every time he told a lie, also came from Florence. The book Le Avventure di Pinocchio was first published by the Florentine Carlo Lorenzini between 1881 and 1883.

5. In 1786, during the rule of Pietro Leopoldo, Florence became the first modern European country to give up torture and the death penalty.

Florence Cathedral
Photo taken by Florian Hirzinger - wikimedia.org.  Florence Cathedral

6. The building of the city’s cathedral took as many as 140 years. The construction of his church, considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular buildings, began in 1296 and was finished in 1436.

7. During World War II, Florence was besieged by the Germans on more than one occasion. They blew up all of the city’s bridges, except for the Ponte Vecchio, which Hitler found to be too beautiful to be destroyed.

Florence ,Ponte Vecchio, Firenze, Italia
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Florence ,Ponte Vecchio, Firenze, Italia

8. The instrument behind so many magnificent musical compositions, the piano, was also invented in Florence. It was developed from the harpsichord by Bartolomeo Cristofori between 1700 and 1720.

9. The Uffizi Gallery has the largest Renaissance art collection in the world. Most of its artworks were collected by the influential Medici family in 16-17th

10. During its existence, Florence was flooded twice. It’s interesting to note that both of the floods – the first in 1333 and the second in 1966 – happened on November 4th.

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