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Florence History

Florence became the centre of artistic patronage in Italy under the Medici family, who made their fortune in banking and ruled the city as an independent state for almost three centuries, most auspiciously during the years of Lorenzo de´ Medici, tagged "Il Magnifico", who held fiercely onto Florentine independence in the face of papal resentment.

Later, in the late eighteenth century, Florence fell under Austrian and then French rule, and in the nineteenth century was for a short time the capital of the kingdom of Italy. The story of Florence since then has been fairly low-key, and nowadays the monuments and paintings of the city´s Renaissance heyday are the basis of its survival.

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