The origins of Florence, like many great Italian cities stems back to the Roman era, as a settlement for Caesar’s Colonies. For the sake of defence, the city was set and the meeting point of 2 streams, the Arno and The Mugnone, where the oldest locations had previously been located. The invasion of the Barbarians decreased the importance of Florence as a stronghold for the Romans, however in 405, the city managed to halt the hordes of Radagaisus, but succumbed to the Gotho-Byzantine war.
This lead to a feudal system being implemented in the 8th Century, and the city grew on this, where in the 11th century it became more important in the region of Tuscany because of the cities involvement in the reform of the church. During this period between the 13th and 14th centuries, the lower and middle classes were accentuated, while the wealthy merchants had a stronger grip on the power within the city. Towards the end of the 14th Century, the lower class managed to broadened the base of democracy.
In 1859, Tuscany became part of Unified Italy and Florence was the capital city of Italy for 5 years between 1865 to 1870, after the Second Italian War of Independence. The historical part of Florence underwent extensive reconstruction and renovation, which unfortunately completely destroyed the Old Market and the Jewish Quarter, which is located near to the present day Piazza della Republica. This square can be seen to represent the urban stratification which the city suffered during the 19th Century. This lead to an anonymous geometrical layout of the buildings. Fortunately though, some monuments have been left intact and we can still see them today, except with no connection to the buildings around them.
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