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By Franco Cardini

L'autore ricerca i 'caratteri originali' della grande città d'arte attraverso un viaggio nel suo passato, dalle origini ai tempi della florentina libertas, dai fasti del Principato mediceo e asburgo-lorenese, according to giungere alla Firenze del XX secolo con i suoi problemi e le sue crisi, ma anche con los angeles sua carica inventiva e los angeles sua spinta al rinnovamento. Il volumea ha lo scopo di cogliere in pochi, forti tratti della città, di rivisitare il passato alla luce del presente in keeping with comprendere i caratteri originali.

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Extra resources for A Short History of Florence

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The two ridges which run north and south of the Arno narrow, when they reach the mid-point of its course, to form two gorges through which it flows narrow and deep: Incisa to the east and Gonfolina to the west. Between these two points, the line of hills - Monte Albano to the west, Monte Giovi to the north, and to the south the hills which further down become the Chianti chain - broaden out into an amphitheatre until they form, on the right bank of the river, a fairly broad plain, roughly fifty metres above sea level.

Family groups got together in actual “associations” (the statutes of some of them have survived) based on marriage, business dealings, friendship and neighbourhood. The neighbourhood concerned would be fortified by means of such connections between buildings as wooden galleries or passages which could be used or taken down at need. The towers that crowned these fortifications could be as much as 130 “arms” (that is, 75 metres) in height. By the middle of the thirteenth century, Florence contained more than 150 of them.

In 1553 the prior of the beautiful little Romanesque church of the Holy Apostles (SS. Apostoli), between the Arno and the remains of the ancient buildings of the thermal baths, put up a marble stone which, though its position has been changed, can still be read on the façade of his church. It tells how on 6 April 805, in the presence of Turpinus, Roland and Oliver, Charlemagne - falling back on Florence from Rome - had founded the church, which Archbishop Turpinus had consecrated in person. Another legend, even less clear in its constituent elements, appeared in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, concerning a horshoe of Charlemagne’s or else of Roland’s, or at the very least its imprint, on the door of the splendid church of Santo Stefano in Ponte, not far from SS.

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