On January 2017, Italy took over the Presidency of the G7 and, as part of the initiatives programmed throughout the year, has organised the first G7 for Culture Ministers on the topic of "Culture as an instrument of dialogue among peoples” in Florence.
The promotion of inter-cultural dialogue and the creation of a shared conscience represent an essential tool for collaboration, integration, solidarity, growth and sustainable development.
By promoting the first G7 for Culture Italy confirms its cultural leadership: the aim is to draw up a common document on the topic of culture as an instrument of dialogue, reinforcing the commitment of the international community to preserve and restore the cultural heritage of humanity damaged in natural disasters, during conflicts and terrorist attacks and to fight illicit traffic of cultural heritage, by assessing the need to include a cultural component in United Nations peace missions as well as making the G7 of Cultural ministers permanent.
Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, welcomes the G7 Culture guests to Italy with a rich cultural programme drawn up for the occasion. Florence, where, from end of the fourteenth century to the middle of the sixteenth century, literature, arts and science experienced an exceptional period of growth. Florence being the birthplace of the Renaissance, and where today, a new awareness of the international community projects itself as a city where cultural heritage can again take root.
Origin and development of Florence
Located in the central Italian region of Tuscany, Florence is one of the most breathtaking cities in Europe. Celebrated as the birthplace of the Renaissance, the city is home to many of its most famous artistic treasures.
The ancient Roman colony of Florentia - in which the Forum at the centre of the castrum corresponded to the point where Piazza della Repubblica is located today - was founded in 59 BC. The rapid territorial expansion soon came to include the nearby Etruscan settlement of Fiesole. After the decline of the barbaric ages, the city, from the eleventh century, began to establish itself as a free Comune in a happy balance between the authority of the Popes and that of the Emperors, thus leaving behind the uneasy internal struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Between the thirteenth and fourteenth century, at the time of Dante and Boccaccio, Giotto and Arnolfo di Cambio, when some of the iconic buildings like the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo (Cathedral) were built, Florence enjoyed a fertile cultural period, coinciding with an extraordinary economic development thanks to its artisans, merchants and bankers, who were organized into the famous Arts and Crafts Guilds - the Arts of Calimala and Wool, related to the processing and marketing of famous textiles, some of the most powerful of the corporations.