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Assassin's Creed Wiki

Florence (Italian: Firenze) is a major city located in central Italy, and the capital of the region of Tuscany. During the late 15th century, the city was ruled by the powerful Medici family, and comprised four districts: Santa Maria Novella, San Giovanni, San Marco, and Oltrarno.

For a brief time, however, the city fell into a dark age of sorts with the Bonfire of the Vanities, when, under the command of Girolamo Savonarola, thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art, and books deemed occasions of sin were destroyed.


Roman Era[]

Florence was founded by Julius Caesar during the Republic era, in the year 59 BCE.[2] Inside the city, the Romans built a forum and an oratory in the west side of the city and constructed a bridge crossing the Arno River.[3]

With the development of Christianity, John the Baptist became the patron saint of the city, giving his name to the central district of Florence.[4] In 393 CE, San Lorenzo, one of the first churches in the area, was consecrated just outside the city.[5]

Middle Age[]

After the sacking of Rome in the 5th century, the Ostrogoths took over. Under their rule, the city was constantly under attack from the Byzantines, who sent the population level below 1,000. However, the Lombards came to power in the 6th century, ending the Byzantine assaults.[2]

By 1030, on the site of the Roman Forum was established the Mercato Vecchio, which served as the business center of the city.[6]

By the 12th century, Florence became a Republic governed by the Signoria, made up of nine members (or Priori) selected by the city’s guilds, two from each district, and a Gonfalonier of Justice. The Priori were supposed to be chosen by lot.[7] Through its history, Florence attempted to gain control of the surrounding lands and towns. Two such areas were Monteriggioni to the north and Pisa to the west. Although the former maintained a shaky alliance with Florence afterwards, it would be years before Pisa would follow suit. Florentine heralds often spread the news of Pisa's demonstrations of contempt to Florence.[8]

In 1258, the church Santa Trinita was built over an existing church, becoming the mother church of the Vallumbrosan order of monks, a very serious group that strictly enforced both poverty and silence, for life.[9]

Palazzo Signoria

Palazzo della Signoria, Florence's seat of power

In 1296, Arnolfo di Cambio designed Santa Maria del Fiore, which will become the largest landmark of the city.[10] In 1299, Arnolfo also designed the Palazzo della Signoria, which served as the center of the Signoria in the San Giovanni District.[7]

Florence grew to a population of 80,000 in the 14th century, of which 25,000 were working in the wool industry.[2] The city also became a center of the Italian Renaissance. By the 14th century was built Basilica di Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in the world. The architect and painter Giotto di Bondone did some frescos inside the basilica.[11]

The Italian Brotherhood of Assassins had a presence in Florence, with the politician and writer Dante Alighieri as their members.[12] After being exile by political enemies, Aligheri wrote the Divine Comedy, condemning to hell the ones who wrong him.[13] After 1324, his apprentice Domenico and his son Renato came to live in Florence, and adopted the name of "Auditore". Under this guise of nobility, they quickly assimilated themselves into the city's upper class, and became a well-respected and known family in Florence before moving to Monteriggioni.[12]

In 1334, Giotto began the construction of a gothic bell tower near Santa Maria del Fiore. When he died, Andrea Pisano took over the construction before dying from the Black Death in 1348.[14]

ACII DB Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio

In 1345, the Ponte Vecchio was built after two previous incarnations were swept away in floods. The bridge consists of three segmental arches and a tower was built at the southeast corner to defend it. Different shops lined the central passageway, firstly butchers, but over time they were pushed out by jewelers and souvenir shops.[3]

After 1348, Florence was appealed by the council of San Gimignano which needed money after being decimated by the Black Death. Florence took control of the city, integrated it in the republic.[15]

In 1350, a member of the Vespucci House built the first residence with a painted façade in Florence, a style that was later recreated in the Oltrarno district.[16]

Campanile di Giotto

The Campanile di Giotto

In 1359, Giotto's Campanile was completed by Francesco Talenti, who deviated from Giotto’s plan in his design of the three upper floors. He enlarged each floor to match the previous according to perspective, so, when seen from below, all three floors seem to be exactly the same size. The tower was clad with white marble from Carrara, red marble from Siena and green marble from Prato.[14]

In 1378, a major revolt of the lower class led to the wool combers rising up and seizing the government of the city. Their progressive, radical democracy lasted for less than two months before the upper classes seized control once more, but the revolt so terrified the rich it was still discussed in hushed tones a century later. The Albizzi family became the de facto rulers after the revolt.[2]

In 1382, after 6 years, Benci de Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti finished the Loggia dei Lanzi to provide a covering for the swearing-in of the members of the Signoria.[17]

In 1420, the unfinished Basilica di Santa Maria Novella was consecrated. The first great basilica in Florence, it was built on the site of an ancient oratory with a hidden tomb underneath.[18]

Worried about the rise of the Medici family, who were rich bankers rapidly gaining influence in Florence, Maso and Rinaldo Albizzi imprisoned Cosimo de' Medici and exiled him in 1433. However, Cosimo gained influence behind the scenes, and rose to power in 1434, exiling the entire Albizzi family except for Luca, who had been loyal to Cosimo. Luca Albizzi joined the Signoria, the ruling body of Florence, as Gonfaloniere, succeeding Cosimo's old friend Ilario Auditore in 1442.[2]

Medici rule[]

After Cosimo de' Medici's revolt, the Medici family governed the city in what would come to be known as its Golden Age; a true Renaissance. The family had a focus on the arts and sciences, as well as an intricate banking system.[2] Even if Cosimo kept the republican government, the lots for the members of the Signoria were rigged to designate friends of the Medici.[7]


The finished Santa Maria del Fiore with the Campanile di Giotto

Two architectural competitions opposed Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi. While Ghiberti was selected to design the Florence Baptistery doors, Brunelleschi won the competition to build the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. Brunelleschi invented machines to hoist the bricks needed for the dome up to the workers and was able to construct the entire dome without using centring (a support structure to hold the dome in place while the bricks were laid). Containing over 4 million bricks, the dome was completed in 1436.[10]

In 1445, the Ospedale degli Innocenti opened. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the building was the first orphanage for unwanted babies in Europe. Babies were typically abandoned in a basin in the front, although later transactions were facilitated by the introduction of a rotating horizontal wheel which moved infants into the building without the parent being seen. Many a mother abandoned her baby in order to be hired by the Ospedale as a wet nurse, so she could be paid to feed her own child. Boys were tutored in various professions by the Ospedale’s staff, while girls were usually trained to become nuns or wives.[19]

Brunelleschi also designed the layout of San Lorenzo, but he died before the church was finished and several of his designs were subsequently modified.[5]

Il Duomo's Secret 10

Iltani's tomb inside Il Duomo's lantern

In 1446, a lantern was added to Santa Maria del Fiore.[10] Inside, the Assassin Brotherhood installed a tomb dedicated to Iltani, a Babylonian Proto-Assassin who poisoned Alexander the Great.[20] Beneath Santa Maria Novella, the Assassins also installed the tomb of Darius, a Persian Proto-Assassin who killed the king Xerxes I of Persia with his creation, the Hidden Blade.[21] Inside their sarcophagus, the Assassins hid Assassin Seals permitting to unlock the Armor of Altaïr inside the Sanctuary beneath the Villa Auditore in Monteriggioni.[22]

In the late 1400s, the San Marco District began to expand with the construction of new buildings.[23]

By 1448, the Assassin Giovanni Auditore da Firenze settled to Florence, meeting Maria de' Mozzi and married her four years later. While founding a family, Giovanni established an Assassin network in the city, creating contacts with thieves, courtesans and mercenaries of Florence.[24]

In 1454, Florence sent an army led by Federico da Montefeltro to recover a Shroud of Eden beneath Monteriggini. Mario Auditore, ruler of the city and leader of the Assassin, repealled the florentine army during a siege and moved the artifact to protect his city from further attacks from Florence.[25]

In 1455, Giovanni saved Cosimo's grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici, who fell in the Arno River. As result of this event, Lorenzo later became Giovanni close friend and patron; forging the ties between their families.[26]

AC2 Palazzo Medici

Palazzo Medici

Cosimo de' Medici ordered the construction of palazzo as the private residence of the Medici family. After refusing Brunelleschi's architectural plan for an open facade, Cosimo hired the architect Michelosso di Bartolomeo Michelozzi. Completing the building in 1455, the palazzo was designed according to the values of humanism, which attempts to engage the viewer with structures built on a more human scale. In fact, the outside was foreboding, with hard edges. In contrast, the interior courtyard, which only the Medici and their guests saw, was full of luscious, curving rounded arches.[27]

In 1456, Paola, the daughter of two Assassins, was arrested after killing a city guard. Giovanni Auditore represented her at the court pleading self-defense. Once released, she joined the Assassin and her sister Annetta served the Auditore as a wetnurse.[28] In 1465, Paola opened La Rosa Colta, a brothel in the San Marco District. The courtesans there were known for being upper-class, they were educated in poetry and the arts, as well as sexual intercourse. It was not rare to see members of the Signoria at La Rosa Colta, and even on occasion, a Medici.[29]

By 1467, the legendary thief known as La Volpe operated in Florence. He became the leader of the local thieves guild and joined the Assassins.[30]


Lorenzo de' Medici, prince of Florence

After the death of Cosimo, a crypt for the Medici House was installed in San Lorenzo.[5] Cosimo's son Piero di Cosimo de' Medici became the ruler of Florence, although he was inept and sickly. Dying of gout in 1469, Lorenzo became the new prince of Florence. As his mother Lucrezia Tornabuoni instilling in him a love of art and culture, the city flourished during his reign, with great artists, philosophers, and others contributed to the city's development. At the time, the city was also home to some of Italy's most notable figures; including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Niccolò Machiavelli, some of whom received funding from the Medici for their works.[2] Leonardo Da Vinci also became acquainted with the Auditore family.[31]

In 1470, Santa Maria Novella's upper façade was completed by the designs of Leon Battista Alberti.[18]

In 1471, Giovanni Auditore successful secured the Pope's support to the Medici bank. As a gift, Lorenzo de'Medici paid the construction of the Palazzo Auditore.[32]

In 1472, Luca Pitti died, leaving his severe Roman-style palazzo unfinished.[33]

Palazzo Auditore 1 v

Palazzo Auditore

In 1473, the Palazzo Auditore was completed, notable for its rusticated stonework and Roman pilasters. Giovanni Auditore designed the palazzo himself, based on initial sketches by Leone Battista Alberti. He incorporated a secret room for his Assassin's business. Lorenzo de'Medici admired the façade’s lack of “ostentation”.[34]

The painter Domenico Ghirlandaio decorated the Sassetti chapel of Santa Trinita with frescos of the life of Saint Francis.[9]

Though the Assassin-affiliated Auditore family abandoned Florence after the Pazzi conspiracy in 1478, one of its members, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, continued to frequent the city.[8] During the early 16th century, he would also send his apprentices to Florence to complete several contracts for the Assassin Order; such as delivering reports, stealing weapons, or delivering forged pardons.[35]

Bonfire of the Vanities[]

Eventually, the Medici's extravagant lifestyle drew the ire of the middle and lower classes and their popularity waned. After the death of Lorenzo de' Medici in 1492, he was succeeded by his son, Piero. Piero ruled as Signore of Florence until 1494, when he was exiled from the city by Girolamo Savonarola.[36]

In 1493, Bonacolto Contarini, a Templar and member of the famed Contarini noble family from Venice, travelled to Florence to attempt a resurgence of the Templar influence in city. Using his family's riches and influence, he strong armed merchants and officials who sided with the Templars while imprisoning those who resisted, intending to sell them off to foreign slavers. In response, Ezio returned to Florence with assistance from Corvo Antonelli, Perina di Bastian and the Spanish Brotherhood to stop Bonacolto's operations, destroying the Templar presence once again.[37]

Between 1497 and 1498, the monk instigated the Bonfire of the Vanities, where paintings, books, and other works of art were publicly burned throughout Florence. Despite civil unrest, Savonarola held control over the people with both the Apple of Eden, and the terror of his nine lieutenants.[38]

Eventually, in May of 1498, the Assassin Order intervened in his rule. Ezio Auditore tracked down and killed Savonarola's nine lieutenants, while Niccolò Machiavelli, La Volpe, and Paola rallied the citizens. The Florentine people eventually rioted before Savonarola's residence in the Palazzo Pitti, dragging him to the Piazza della Signoria to be burned at the stake.[38]

Medici return[]

Michelangelo designed the inner façade of San Lorenzo.[5]

In the 16th Century, the Medici constructed a private balcony on top of the Loggia dei Lanzi, making it clear to the city of Florence who was really in charge.[17]

Later, the Medici bought the Pitti Palace, connecting it to the Palazzo della Signoria and the Uffizi with a series of secret passages, one of which crossed the upper level of the Ponte Vecchio.[33]

Modern times[]

In 2012, Florence was used as a simulated training location by Abstergo Industries during the first[35] and second stage of their Animi Training Program, being introduced to the latter via a system update.[39]

The simulation depicted the Mercato Vecchio, a well-known marketplace in Florence's Santa Maria Novella district, and the surrounding area, which featured lots of narrow alleys, allowing for a quick escape when necessary. Visitors could take a break from the vendors' noisy shouting by reclining on the benches in one of the area's relaxing courtyards. Construction was in progress on some of the rooftops, with hanging platforms having been set up, which allowed people to move easily from the encircling buildings to the Mercato Vecchio itself.[35]

Florence, like most of the simulated locations in the first and second stage, had two aesthetic variations. As such, it could be utilized during the day or the night.[35]

An Assassin cell led by Adriano Maestranzi was located in Florence by 2012. However, the Templar Juhani Otso Berg managed to follow the Assassin Harlan Cunningham back to the cell. Berg and Sigma Team attacked the Assassin hideout, although Maestranzi blew it up, killing everyone except Cunningham and Berg.[40]



  • In Assassin's Creed II, a real world landmark, the Battistero di San Giovanni was missing from the piazza in front of the Santa Maria del Fiore, despite being built several hundred years before the events of the game. Ubisoft explained that the Baptistry's omission was due to hardware limitations.[41]
  • Florence also appeared in four of Ezio's suppressed Cristina Memories.
  • During the Bonfire of the Vanities sequence, the sky over Florence was covered by dark clouds, presumably from the smoke coming from continuous burning of Renaisance material.




  1. Assassin's Creed: Atlas
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Firenze
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Ponte Vecchio
  4. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: San Giovanni District
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: San Lorenzo
  6. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Mercato Vecchio
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Palazzo Della Signoria
  8. 8.0 8.1 Assassin's Creed II
  9. 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Santa Trinita
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Santa Maria del Fiore
  11. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Santa Croce
  12. 12.0 12.1 Assassin's Creed II - Paying Respects
  13. Assassin's Creed: Revelations - A Little Errand
  14. 14.0 14.1 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Giotto’s Campanile
  15. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: San Gimignano
  16. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Casa di Vespucci
  17. 17.0 17.1 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Loggia dei Lanzi
  18. 18.0 18.1 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Santa Maria Novella
  19. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Ospedale degli Innocenti
  20. Assassin's Creed IIIl Duomo's Secret
  21. Assassin's Creed IINovella's Secret
  22. Assassin's Creed IIChange of Plans
  23. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: San Marco District
  24. Assassin's Creed IISpecial Delivery
  25. Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyItalian Wars: Chapter 3 – Mario Auditore
  26. Assassin's Creed IIFour to the Floor
  27. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Palazzo Medici
  28. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Paola
  29. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: La Rosa Colta
  30. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: La Volpe
  31. Assassin's Creed IIFriend of the Family
  32. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Giovanni Auditore
  33. 33.0 33.1 Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Palazzo Pitti
  34. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Palazzo Auditore
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  36. Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
  37. Assassin's Creed: RebellionA War in the Shadows
  38. 38.0 38.1 Assassin's Creed IIBonfire of the Vanities (DLC)
  39. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  40. Assassin's Creed: Initiates
  41. 1UP: Filling Assassin's Creed Historical World