Chapter 32

Arno River– Located in northern Italy, the Arno River runs through the heart of Florence, and connects it to the Ligurian Sea, in the northern region of the Mediterranean Sea. The location of Florence on the River gave it access to the trade routes of the Mediterranean region, and allowed it to become a major cultural center of the Renaissance. However, the access to the sea through the Arno allowed the Black Death to spread quickly throughout the city, and northern Italy.

Uffizi Gallery

-Built by the Medici family in the late 16th century, and designed by Giorgio Vasari, the Gallery was intended for office space and meeting rooms, not to hold art, as it does today. (History of the Uffizi Gallery). Granduca Francisco de’ Medici built it near the Medici palace, indicative of its original purpose as diplomatic and state offices (History of the Uffizi Gallery). The gallery connects to the Vasari Corridor, which is located above the Ponte Vecchio. It houses a collection of art.

The Ponte Vecchio, which spans the Arno River in the heart of Florence. The Uffizi Gallery connects to the Vasari Corridor, the white section located on the top of the bridge.

The Guelfs and Ghibellines– The political atmosphere of Florence in the thirteenth century revolved around two political parties- The Guelfs and Ghibellines (Guelfs and Ghibellines). The citizens of Florence held that the feud originated with two rival families, the Buondelmontes and the Amideis. Buondelmonte dei’ Buondelmonte, according to legend, refused to marry a woman of the Amidei clan, leaving her at the altar and causing her family great embarassment. Several months later, other members of the Amidei family ambushed Buondelmonte of the Ponte Vecchio, where they brutally murdered him.

The Medici Family

– The Medici family occupied a prominent place in Florentine politics and culture throughout the Renaissance. Much of the artisic and cultural development that occurred in Florence during the Renaissance was due to support from the Medici Family. The family was part of  neither the nobility nor the government. As private citizens of the patrician class, they rose to power through banking (The Medici Family).

Vatican City’s Passetto



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