A-to-Z Index

Keys to Florence, Italy,

The Story

Dr. Rose recieving the keys to Florence, Italy

Keys to the City of Florence (replica), Florence, 2009.

These three silver keys are replicas of the original iron keys to Florence's oldest gate, Porta Romana.  President Linwood Rose received the keys from Florence Councilman Riccardo Nencini in April 2009, as a gesture of friendship and mutual commitment to international cultural development and exchange. The tradition of “giving keys to the city” to important visiting dignitaries or political allies probably dates back to the Middle Ages. Florence was enclosed by a circle of walls beginning in Roman times; this was expanded six times as the city grew during the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. The walls had thirty-five feet tall wooden gates that were closed when enemy troops approached the city, as well as every night around 8 pm. If you reached the city later than the official closure of the gates, you had to wait until they reopened in the early morning hours. In the Renaissance, the urban poor gathered around the gates for public charitable distributions of bread and grain.

Question: Where can I learn more about Dr. Rose receiving the keys to the city?

Answer: http://www.theflorentine.net/articles/article-view.asp?issuetocId=4384