Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy. The city is considered a cultural, Renaissance art and architectural gem. Besides being well-known for its monuments, churches and buildings, Florence boasts of outdoor artworks, piazzas, bridges and elegant side streets. Its walls tell stories of a turbulent past – from the powerful Medici family and feudal battles to philandering kings and Renaissance masters.
The list of Florence’s famous residents goes on and on, and are not limited to the following:-
- Antonio Meucci (inventor of the telephone),
- Dante Alighieri (poet and author of the masterpiece, Divine Comedy),
- Donatello (sculptor),
- Enrico Coveri (fashion designer),
- Florence Nightingale (pioneer of modern nursing),
- Galileo Galilei (Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher),
- Giotto (early 14th-century painter, sculptor and architect),
- Guccio Gucci (founder of the Gucci label),
- Leonardo da Vinci (polymath),
- Lorenzo Ghiberti (sculptor),
- Michelangelo Buonarroti (sculptor, painter, author of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and David),
- Niccolò Machiavelli (poet, philosopher and political thinker, author of The Prince and The Discourses),
- Raphael (painter),
- Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (19th century English poets),
- Robert Lowell (poet),
- Roberto Cavalli (fashion designer),
- Salvatore Ferragamo (fashion designer and shoemaker), and
- Sandro Botticelli (painter),
Florence is also regarded by some as the birthplace of modern fashion in Italy. It has served as home to fashion label, Salvatore Ferragamo since 1928. Other luxury fashion houses like Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Emilio Pucci are also headquartered in Florence. Prada and Chanel have set up large stores here, while brands such as Armani and Bulgari showcase their jewelry in elegant boutiques.
Florence’s has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.
In spite of engaging in many battles with each other, Florence and its neighbouring rival, Siena, have upheld their elegant appearance throughout the years. Their skylines of medieval towers, russet rooftops, lofty domes, striking buildings, exquisite galleries and treasure-filled churches are befitting testaments toward Italy’s beginnings, struggles and legacy.
Photographed in June 2014.