Published On: Sun, Jun 5th, 2016

A-Z of Florence

This A-Z of Florence will help you on your way if you’re going for a short break or if you’ve been hundreds of times and didn’t know that Florence used to be the capital city of Italy!

A-Z


Arno

The river which snakes its way through central Florence is 241m
long and flows from Monte Falterona
all the way to the Ligurian Sea.

FlorenceArnoRiver©iStock


B

Botticelli
The prolific Florentine artist was born Alessandro Filipepi in 1445. His masterpieces include Primavera (left) and The Birth of Venus, which are both housed in the Uffizi.

Screen shot 2016-06-01 at 14.31.28


C

Capital City
In 1865 Florence replaced Turin as the Italian capital, but just five years later the honour was given to Rome.

60

60


D

Dante Aligheri
The Florentine writer and
poet is best remembered for his
14th century literary masterpiece,
The Divine Comedy.


E

Erboristeria Inglese
The famous, luxurious herbalists, situated on Via Tornabuoni, was
founded in 1843 by the Englishman Henry Roberts.


F

Flooding
Prone to flooding, the River Arno did so with devastating effect on 4 November 1966, killing over 30 people and damaging countless works of art.

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G

Galileo Galilei
The scientific genius, who was persecuted by the Catholic Church,
died under house arrest in Arcetri,
just outside Florence, in 1642.


H

Hannibal
The follow-up to The Silence
of the Lambs
was filmed in Florence
and many of the city’s landmarks
appear in the movie.


I

Isolotto
The island and lake in Florence’s picturesque Boboli Gardens were designed in the 17th century by Giulio and Alfonso Parigi.

Isolotto-Boboli-Perseus


J

Julius Caesar
Considered the father of Florence, he founded the settlement of ‘Florentia’ for retired soldiers at the narrowest point of the Arno in 59BC.


K

Kyoto
Florence was twinned with this historic, temple-filled city and former capital of Japan in 1965. Other sister cities include Edinburgh and Sydney.


L

Leonardo da Vinci
The celebrated artist, engineer, scientist and all-round genius spent his youth in Florence as
an apprentice to Verrocchio.
Their joint work, The Baptism
of Christ
, hangs in the Uffizi.

Monna Lisa, detta La Gioconda, dipinto di Leonardo da Vinci conservato nel Museo del Louvre a Parigi


M

Medici
The dynasty – which produced three popes and two French queens – ruled Florence from 15th-18th centuries.

Clarissa Strozzi (Clarissa de' Medici)


N

Nutria
Not giant rats, but vegetarian, semi-aquatic rodents. Also known as coypu, they were introduced to Italy in 1928 and can often be spotted swimming in the Arno.


O

Oltrarno
This characterful Florentine district is situated just south of the River Arno, on the opposite side
to the Duomo.

lovely-street-fountain


P

Plague
The Black Death devastated Florence in 1348, killing over half the city’s population. It was the inspiration behind Boccaccio’s The Decameron.


Q

Quartieri Monumentali
Housed in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence’s centro storico, and filled with some incredible works of art, the Quartieri Monumentali were the main quarters of the Medici family.

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R

Renaissance
This major 14th-century cultural movement which revised and revisited classical themes is closely associated with Florence and is considered by many to have started in the Tuscan region.


S

Stendhal Syndrome
Named after the pseudonym of French author Henri-Marie Beyle who visited the city in 1817, the syndrome causes palpitations and dizziness, and is brought on by excessive exposure to beautiful works of art.


T

Trippai
These stalls across the city sell dishes of tripe and lampredotto (made from the cow’s fourth stomach).


U

Uffizi museum iStock

The famous art museum is packed full of priceless works of art, including treasures by Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio and Raphael.


V

Violet

Considered to be lucky in Florence, this colour is worn by the city’s football team, ACF Fiorentina.


W

World Heritage Site
In 1982, the historical centre of Florence was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Florence sunset from The Duomo 2


X

X-Rated
The infamous Bonfire of the Vanities, which took place in 1497 under the direction of the monk Savonarola, saw the city’s excesses burned in a giant bonfire.


Y

Yarn
During the 14th century the wool trade was a major economic force in the city employing thousands of people.


Z

Zuccone, Lo
Translated as ‘Marrowhead’, it’s the Florentine nickname for Donatello’s Habakkuk in the Museo dell’Opera.

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