From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"As I emerged from the porch of Santa Croce, I was seized with a fierce palpitation of the heart (that same symptom which, in Berlin, is referred to as an attack of the nerves); the well-spring of life was dried up within me, and I walked in constant fear of falling to the ground." --Stendhal syndrome excerpt in Rome, Naples, and Florence by Stendhal, tr. unidentified.
"If there is one artist, more than another, whose work it is desirable that you should examine in Florence, supposing that you care for old art at all, it is Giotto. You can, indeed, also see work of his at Assisi; but it is not likely you will stop there, to any purpose. At Padua there is much; but only of one period. At Florence, which is his birthplace, you can see pictures by him of every date, and every kind. But you had surely better see, first, what is of his best time and of the best kind. He painted very small pictures and very large—painted from the age of twelve to sixty—painted some subjects carelessly which he had little interest in—some carefully with all his heart. You would surely like, and it would certainly be wise, to see him first in his strong and earnest work,—to see a painting by him, if possible, of large size, and wrought with his full strength, and of a subject pleasing to him. And if it were, also, a subject interesting to yourself,—better still."--Mornings in Florence (1875) by John Ruskin
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area.
Florence is famous for its history. A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was also the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy.
The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and Euromonitor International ranked the city as the world's 72nd most visited in 2009, with 1,685,000 visitors. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the city is noted for its history, culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, amongst others, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics.
Florence is also an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked within the top fifty fashion capitals of the world; furthermore, it is also a major national economic centre, being a tourist and industrial hub. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.
- Sir Harold Acton, author and aesthete.
- John Argyropoulos, scholar
- Leone Battista Alberti, polymath.
- Dante Alighieri, poet.
- Giovanni Boccaccio, poet.
- Baldassarre Bonaiuti, 14th century chronicler
- Sandro Botticelli, painter.
- Aureliano Brandolini, agronomist and development cooperation scholar.
- Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 19th-century English poets.
- Filippo Brunelleschi, architect.
- Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, author of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and David.
- Francesco Casagrande, Cyclist.
- Roberto Cavalli, fashion designer.
- Enrico Coveri, fashion designer.
- Donatello, sculptor.
- Oriana Fallaci, journalist and author.
- Salvatore Ferragamo, fashion designer and shoemaker.
- Mike Francis (musician) born Francesco Puccioni, singer and composer.
- Frescobaldi Family, notable bankers and wine producers.
- Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher.
- Giotto, early 14th century painter, sculptor and architect.
- Lorenzo Ghiberti, sculptor.
- Guccio Gucci, founder of the Gucci label.
- Pietro Pacciani, farmer, starring of the case of the Monster of Florence.
- Robert Lowell, poet.
- Niccolò Machiavelli, poet, philosopher and political thinker, author of The Prince and The Discourses.
- Masaccio, painter.
- Medici family.
- Antonio Meucci, inventor of the telephone.
- Florence Nightingale, pioneer of modern nursing, and a statistician.
- Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione. Early photographic artist, Secret agent and Courtesan.
- Valerio Profondavalle, Flemish painter
- Raphael, painter.
- Girolamo Savonarola
- Adriana Seroni, politic.
- Giovanni Spadolini, politic.
- Giorgio Vasari, painter, architect, and historian.
- Amerigo Vespucci, explorer and cartographer, namesake of the Americas.
- Leonardo da Vinci, polymath
- Girolamo Mei, historian and humanist
- Rose McGowan, Florence-born actress
- Florentine School
- Historical states of Italy
- History of Florence
- Why Save Florence? (Roger Graef, 1968), a documentary about the poor state of the Florence's defences against flooding.