Built on the site of an Etruscan settlement,
Florence, the symbol of the Renaissance, rose to economic and cultural
pre-eminence under the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its 600
years of extraordinary artistic activity can be seen above all in the
13th-century cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore), the Church of Santa
Croce, the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace, the work of great masters such
as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo.