Title: Florence
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The ancient capital of Tuscany, Florence was in the Middle Ages a prosperous republic governed by the Medici family. It is a renowned artistic center, known as the Athens of Italy for the magnificence of its monuments. The Fountain of Neptune, a masterpiece of Bartolomeo Ammannati (1563) stands in the Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square). In the south corner of the Piazza, one finds the Loggia de Lanzi, also known as Loggia dell'Orcagna after its supposed architect. Built in 1569, the famous Uffizi Gallery now houses the richest collection of Italian art. The Florence Baptistry or the Battistero di San Giovanni was built in the 7th century and restored in 1293. Construction of the dome started in 1298 and took 60 years to complete. Other important monuments in Florence. Views along the Arno river.