In Florence the word history obtains a new deep meaning. Lots of famous artists, thinkers, poets and sculptors lived in Florence and paid tribute to this beautiful city. Florence was once a home to Dante, Petrarca, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael who created their masterpieces here. The cradle of European Renaissance attracts thousands of people from all over the world, and the world most famous landmarks, beautiful natural sights, the enormous historical heritage and the warm hospitality of people turn this city into a real tourist Mecca.
Florence was the site of an Etruscan settlement and later became a Roman town on the Cassian Way (the modern Piazza della Republica is on the site of the Roman Forum). In the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. the city was controlled, in turn, by the Goths, Byzantines and Lombards. It became an autonomous commune in the 12th century and soon turned into one of the most powerful and rich cities in Europe. It was the capital of the kingdom of Italy from 1865 to 1871. Fortunately, relatively few of the art treasures of Florence were harmed in the World War II. Today, 374,500 people live here. In Florence you can find over thirty art museums and galleries and nine scientific and historical museums. The cultural luxury of the museums in Florence is unbelievable.
Florence is an architectural almanac covering all historical and cultural periods. The tremendous architectural ensemble fascinates not only architects and those interested in the European history and the history of architecture in particular, but all people of different origins and confessions that come here from different countries. Florence museums and churches belong to the mankind, and nobody can stay indifferent to their beauty. In summer it seems like the whole world gathered in Florence with the only desire to touch the treasures of time. Many people are attracted with the opportunity to see one of the greatest and most famous sculptures in the world, which is Michelangelo's David.
Practically all of the main sights in Florence are located in the center of the city. Still, it is simply impossible to see them all at once, and a week in Florence is definitely not enough to see all its attractions. You can spend days exploring the back streets and quiet piazzas, not to mention the museums.
Nevertheless Florence is not only the city of museums but is also an important scientific and educational center. Florence is famous for numerous musical festivals that attract hundreds of musicians from all over the world. You can also visit the oldest botanic garden in Europe which was founded in XVI century.
Today much of Florence's greatness is its history, but the city is still thriving. The city offers wonderful shopping experience, quiet rest in peaceful parks, a wide variety of excellent eating places, an exhilarating atmosphere and breathtaking views. There are cities that easily win your heart, your mind and your spirit, and Florence is certainly one of them.