In the early morning of November 4 1966, after seventeen inches of rain had fallen earlier at the Arno’s source near Monte Falterona, the Arno spilled over into Florence and flooded the city, at some spots rising more than 20 feet above street level. The flood devastated the city, killing more than 100 people and ruining countless of works of art and historical texts and papers.
Galileo was a prominent Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. He was born in Pisa in 1564, but his family moved to Florence when he was eight. Educated at the University of Pisa as a physician, he later became chair of the mathematics department at Pisa, a professor at the University of Padua, and for a short period of time in his early career was an instructor at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.
Giorgio Vasari is known less for his art than for his involvement in Medici affairs and his work Lives of Artists.
Girolamo Savonarola was a controversial Dominican friar who became, for short period of time in the late fifteenth-century, a powerful religious and cultural figure within Florentine politics.
Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in 1475 in Caprese, a Tuscan town near Arezzo. His father was a former Florentine banker.
Nicollo Machiavelli was born in Florence in 1469. He is the author of The Prince and many other works, including comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. He died in 1527 at the age of 58 and is buried in a tomb at the Church of Santa Croce.
Lorenzo de’ Medici, known more popularly as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was the grandson of Cosimo the Elder and was an influential statesman, diplomat, and political figure in Florence from 1469 until his death in 1492.
Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici, or Piero the Gouty (Piero “il Gottoso”), was the son of Cosimo the Elder and father of Lorenzo the Magnificent. He was born in 1416 in Florence to Cosimo and his wife, Contessina de’ Bardi. Piero was the de facto ruler of Florence for six years, 1464 to 1470. He died in 1470 due to gout and lung disease, and is buried in the Church of San Lorenzo, next to his brother Giovanni.
Còsimo di Giovanni degli Mèdici, more popularly known as Cosimo the Elder (“il Vecchio”), was born in Florence in 1389 and is considered the founder of the Medici political dynasty in Florence and Tuscany. His father founded the Medici bank and was one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Cosimo died in 1464 and his […]
Donatello was an influential painter and sculptor, known for his work with bas-relief and for numerous statues on many important buildings in the city. Some of his major works in Florence are the Magdalene Penitent (formerly in the Baptistery and now in the Museo di Duomo), the bronze David (now in the Bargello), and statues of St. George and St. Mark in the niches of Orsanmichele.