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Dr Michael Scott explores Italy's Invisible Cities: Florence

Dr Michael Scott, Associate Professor in the Classics and Ancient History Department at the University of Warwick explores the romantic city of Florence with co-host Alexander Armstrong.

Using the latest scanning technologies, they reveal hidden parts of the city and discover mind boggling architectural secrets from the Italian Rennaissance.

Dr Michael Scott Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History said:

"Florence is also a serene looking city. When I was living there, it was a delight to wonder its streets, gaze along the Arno river and let time slip away sitting in a cafe. But what we discovered on this trip below was the frantic competition and rivalry that flowed underneath its serene countenance - competition that was on-going at every level of Florentine society.

For me the big revelation was seeing the tiny traces of this street level competition still present in the Florentine landscape - e.g. small markers on building in squares denoting the territory of rival gangs, and the plaques with the titles that the leaders of these gangs gave themselves. Titles like 'Royal King' - they took other gang leaders to court if they tried to use the same title! From this, through to the 'calcio storico' - a game like a combination of football and rugby with barely any rules, to the dark power politics of the city's leadership - particularly the Medici family who executed 80 people following a conspiracy against them."

Catch up on the whole series on BBC iPlayer:



Alex Buxton: Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick

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