Florence, Central Italy, Italy

Economy | Industry, commerce and services | Tourist Industry | Food and wine production | Fashion | Education

🇮🇹 Florence is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany.

Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era. It is considered by many academics to have been the birthplace of the Renaissance, becoming a major artistic, cultural, commercial, political, economic and financial center. During this time, Florence rose to a position of enormous influence in Italy, Europe, and beyond. Its turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city served as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy (established in 1861). The Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini.

The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and UNESCO declared the Historic Centre of Florence a World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, Forbes ranked it as the most beautiful city in the world in 2010.

Florence plays an important role in Italian fashion, and is ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world by Global Language Monitor; furthermore, it is a major national economic centre, as well as a tourist and industrial hub.


Economy Tourism is, by far, the most important of all industries and most of the Florentine economy relies on the money generated by international arrivals and students studying in the city. The value tourism to the city totalled some €2.5 billion in 2015 and the number of visitors had increased by 5.5% from the previous year.

In 2013, Florence was listed as the second best world city by Condé Nast Traveler.

Manufacturing and commerce, however, still remain highly important. Florence is also Italy's 17th richest city in terms of average workers' earnings, with the figure being €23,265 (the overall city's income is €6,531,204,473), coming after Mantua, yet surpassing Bolzano.


Industry, commerce and services Florence is a major production and commercial centre in Italy, where the Florentine industrial complexes in the suburbs produce all sorts of goods, from furniture, rubber goods, chemicals, and food. However, traditional and local products, such as antiques, handicrafts, glassware, leatherwork, art reproductions, jewellery, souvenirs, elaborate metal and iron-work, shoes, accessories and high fashion clothes also dominate a fair sector of Florence's economy. The city's income relies partially on services and commercial and cultural interests, such as annual fairs, theatrical and lyrical productions, art exhibitions, festivals and fashion shows, such as the Calcio Fiorentino. Heavy industry and machinery also take their part in providing an income. In Nuovo Pignone, numerous factories are still present, and small-to medium industrial businesses are dominant. The Florence-Prato-Pistoia industrial districts and areas were known as the 'Third Italy' in the 1990s, due to the exports of high-quality goods and automobile (especially the Vespa) and the prosperity and productivity of the Florentine entrepreneurs. Some of these industries even rivalled the traditional industrial districts in Emilia-Romagna and Veneto due to high profits and productivity.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, manufacturing increased by 2.4% and exports increased by 7.2%. Leading sectors included mechanical engineering, fashion, pharmaceutics, food and wine. During 2015, permanent employment contracts increased by 48.8 percent, boosted by nationwide tax break.


Tourist Industry Tourism is the most significant industry in central Florence. From April to October, tourists outnumber local population. Tickets to the Uffizi and Accademia museums are regularly sold out and large groups regularly fill the basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, both of which charge for entry. Tickets for The Uffizi and Accademia can be purchased online prior to visiting. In 2010, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine ranked the city as their third favourite tourist destination. In 2015, Condé Nast Travel readers voted Florence as the best city in Europe.

Studies by Euromonitor International have concluded that cultural and history-oriented tourism is generating significantly increased spending throughout Europe.

Florence is believed to have the greatest concentration of art (in proportion to its size) in the world. Thus, cultural tourism is particularly strong, with world-renowned museums such as the Uffizi selling over 1.93 million tickets in 2014. The city's convention centre facilities were restructured during the 1990s and host exhibitions, conferences, meetings, social forums, concerts and other events all year.

In 2016, Florence had 20,588 hotel rooms in 570 facilities. International visitors use 75% of the rooms; some 18% of those were from the U.S. In 2014, the city had 8.5 million overnight stays. A Euromonitor report indicates that in 2015 the city ranked as the world's 36th most visited in the world, with over 4.95 million arrivals for the year.

Tourism brings revenue to Florence, but also creates certain problems. The Ponte Vecchio, The San Lorenzo Market and Santa Maria Novella are plagued by pickpockets. The province of Florence receives roughly 13 million visitors per year and in peak seasons, popular locations may become overcrowded as a result. In 2015, Mayor Dario Nardella expressed concern over visitors who arrive on buses, stay only a few hours, spend little money but contribute significantly to overcrowding. "No museum visit, just a photo from the square, the bus back and then on to Venice … We don’t want tourists like that", he said.

Some tourists are less than respectful of the city's cultural heritage, according to Nardella. In June 2017, he instituted a programme of spraying church steps with water to prevent tourists from using such areas as picnic spots. While he values the benefits of tourism, he claims that there has been "an increase among those who sit down on church steps, eat their food and leave rubbish strewn on them", he explained. To boost the sale of traditional foods, the mayor had introduced legislation (enacted in 2016) that requires restaurants to use typical Tuscan products and rejected McDonald's application to open a location in the Piazza del Duomo.

In October 2021, Florence was shortlisted for the European Commission's 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism award along with Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Dublin, Ljubljana, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.


Food and wine production Food and wine have long been an important staple of the economy. The Chianti region is just south of the city, and its Sangiovese grapes figure prominently not only in its Chianti Classico wines but also in many of the more recently developed Supertuscan blends. Within 32 km (20 mi) to the west is the Carmignano area, also home to flavourful sangiovese-based reds. The celebrated Chianti Rufina district, geographically and historically separated from the main Chianti region, is also few km east of Florence. More recently, the Bolgheri region (about 150 km or 93 mi south-west of Florence) has become celebrated for its "Super Tuscan" reds such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia.


Fashion By the year 1300 Florence had become a centre of textile production in Europe. Many of the rich families in Renaissance Florence were major purchasers of locally produced fine clothing, and the specialists of fashion in the economy and culture of Florence during that period is often underestimated. Florence is regarded by some as the birthplace and earliest centre of the modern (post World War Two) fashion industry in Italy. The Florentine "soirées" of the early 1950s organised by Giovanni Battista Giorgini were events where several Italian designers participated in group shows and first garnered international attention. Florence has served as the home of the Italian fashion company Salvatore Ferragamo since 1928. Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci are also headquartered in Florence. Other major players in the fashion industry such as Prada and Chanel have large offices and stores in Florence or its outskirts. Florence's main upscale shopping street is Via de' Tornabuoni, where major luxury fashion houses and jewellery labels, such as Armani and Bulgari, have boutiques. Via del Parione and Via Roma are other streets that are also well known for their high-end fashion stores.


Education The University of Florence was first founded in 1321, and was recognised by Pope Clement VI in 1349. In 2019, over 50,000 students were enrolled at the university. The European University Institute has been based in the suburb of Fiesole since 1976. Several American universities host a campus in Florence. Including New York University, Marist College, Pepperdine, Stanford, Florida State and James Madison.The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies is based in Villa I Tatti. The centre for arts and humanities advanced research has been located on the border of Florence, Fiesole and Settignano since 1961. Over 8,000 American students are enrolled for study in Florence, although mostly while studying in US based degree programmes.

Florence, Central Italy, Italy 
<b>Florence, Central Italy, Italy</b>
Image: Adobe Stock Tim #120018021

Florence is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.

Florence is rated D+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. D+ cities are strong regional hub cities. Florence has a population of over 378,839 people. Florence also forms the centre of the wider Florence Metropolitan City which has a population of over 1,520,000 people. Florence is the #178 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.5924 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Florence is ranked #258 for startups with a score of 1.251.

To set up a UBI Lab for Florence see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Florence has links with:

🇵🇪 Arequipa, Perú 🇵🇸 Bethlehem, Palestine 🇭🇺 Budapest, Hungary 🇺🇸 Cambridge, USA 🇫🇷 Cannes, France 🇩🇪 Dresden, Germany 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Edinburgh, Scotland 🇲🇦 Fez, Morocco 🇯🇵 Gifu, Japan 🇪🇹 Gondar, Ethiopia 🇮🇷 Isfahan, Iran 🇰🇷 Jeonju, South Korea 🇩🇪 Kassel, Germany 🇵🇱 Kraków, Poland 🇰🇼 Kuwait City, Kuwait 🇺🇦 Kyiv, Ukraine 🇯🇵 Kyōto, Japan 🇸🇪 Malmö, Sweden 🇵🇸 Nablus, Palestine 🇨🇳 Nanjing, China 🇮🇱 Nazareth, Israel 🇨🇳 Ningbo, China 🇨🇾 Paphos, Cyprus 🇺🇸 Philadelphia, USA 🇫🇷 Porto-Vecchio, France 🇺🇸 Providence, USA 🇲🇽 Puebla, Mexico 🇫🇷 Reims, France 🇱🇻 Riga, Latvia 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg, Russia 🇧🇷 Salvador, Brazil 🇺🇿 Samarkand, Uzbekistan 🇦🇺 Sydney, Australia 🇪🇪 Tallinn, Estonia 🇦🇱 Tirana, Albania 🇫🇮 Turku, Finland 🇪🇸 Valladolid, Spain
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | GUCR | Hipster Index | StartupBlink

  • Herbert Percy Horne |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇮🇹 Architect/Typographer/Art Historian/Bookplate Designer Herbert Percy Horne is associated with Florence. He was the author of a number of important books on Renaissance art and designed the Riccardi typeface.

  • Thomas Henry Wyatt |

    🇮🇪 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Thomas Henry Wyatt is associated with Florence. He was President of the Royal institute of British architects (PRIBA) from 1870 to 1873.

Antipodal to Florence is: -168.743,-43.77

Locations Near: Florence 11.2568,43.7695

🇮🇹 Sesto Fiorentino 11.2,43.833 d: 8.4  

🇮🇹 Prato 11.1,43.882 d: 17.7  

🇮🇹 Pistoia 10.924,43.932 d: 32.2  

🇮🇹 Siena 11.329,43.321 d: 50.3  

🇮🇹 Montecatini Terme 10.783,43.88 d: 40  

🇮🇹 Arezzo 11.867,43.45 d: 60.6  

🇮🇹 Capannori 10.567,43.85 d: 56.1  

🇮🇹 Bologna 11.347,44.494 d: 80.9  

🇮🇹 Imola 11.716,44.356 d: 74.8  

🇮🇹 Lucca 10.5,43.833 d: 61.1  

Antipodal to: Florence -168.743,-43.77

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 17428.2  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 16730.6  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 16673.9  

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 16588.3  

🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 12818.7  

🇺🇸 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 12735.2  

🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 12722  

🇺🇸 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 12717.2  

🇺🇸 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 12716.8  

🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 12694.8  

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