Interestingly, the city was originally founded by the Roman general Sulla in 80 B.C. as an army colony and named Fluentia, owing its name to the location being between two rivers. Despite initial flourishing and success, in the centuries to pass the city would become stagnant under Gothic and Byzantine rule and would not see prosperity again until the 11th century.
The golden age of Florence began around the 11th century with great construction projects and the stronger patronage of the arts. In the 14th and 15th centuries the city came under the influence of the Medici, the so-called ‘Godfathers’ of the Renaissance. It was the Medici family who gave patronage to almost all the great artists of the time including Michelangelo, Da’Vinci, Botticelli, and so on. Florence, and indeed the western world, would probably not be the same without the near obsessive patronage of the arts and sciences by the Medici’s.
After back and forth power grabs between the Medici and rival families, the city eventually came under the sway of the Austrian crown in the mid-18th century. The city served a brief stint as the capitol of the newly established Kingdom of Italy from 1865-1871. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a boom in economic growth, and despite the obvious setbacks by both World Wars, the city has maintained a healthy level of growth into the modern era.
Far from your average medieval church, the most exquisite spiritual centers in England, Scotland and Wales are a testament to the imagination and meticulous craftsmanship