Fun Facts about Florence

Fun Facts about Florence

The upright keyboard fortepiano eventually known as the Piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori for the Medici family at the Pitti Palace in Florence. Only three original Cristofori pianos still exist today and can be found in Rome, Leipzeig and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The piano invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori.

Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico a violent hybrid of football and rugby was invented in Florence in the late 1400s. Originally Calcio was a game reserved for rich aristocrats during the renaissance that died out in the 1700s. Revived by Mussolini it is still played today in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence. The modern version of Calcio has not changed much from its historical roots, with tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking; historically fatalities were common, today sucker punches and kicks to the head are prohibited and no more than one man can attack at a time.

Florence was once the Capital of Italy! Since Roman times the peninsula of Italy had been divided by other nations, local aristocratic nobles and the papalcy. When the ‘kingdom of Italy’ was founded in 1861 ‘The Capital’ was moved to Florence from 1865-1870. Once the pope was deposed in Rome, it took over as the capital of Italy.

A picture of players playing Calcio Storico

Eggs Florentine, Sole Florentine and Quiche Florentine

Eggs Florentine, Sole Florentine and Quiche Florentine do NOT come from Florence! These French dishes eaten worldwide today all contain spinach and are named after Catherine de’ Medici who apparently loved spinach. When she married King Henry II in 1533, she took her cooks with her to France they combined spinach with French cooking to satisfy the Florentine princess.

Eggs Florentine, Sole Florentine and Quiche Florentine

Ice cream was invented in Florence in the 16th Century

Ice cream was invented in Florence in the 16th Century. Catherine de’ Medici enjoyed her favourite sweet perfumed iced dessert so much she served it to the French Court at her wedding.

A portrait of Catherine de'Medici

Florence was founded by Caesar

Florence was founded by Caesar. Florence began as Florentia, first mentioned in 59BC when Caesar was looking for somewhere to settle his military veterans.

Staue of Caesar

The Italian Language is from Florence


The Italian Language is from Florence. When the Unification of Italy happened in 1861, the language (vernacular or dialect) of Tuscany was chosen out of 20 regional languages to become ‘Italian’ the official language.

Aerial view of Florence on a cloudy day.

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei the Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer who invented the telescope was born in Pisa and worked in Florence under the patronage of the Medici. Galileo has been called the ‘father of observational astronomy’ and the ‘father of modern physics and the scientific method’.

Galileo Galilei telescope invention