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The Beginning of Florence, Italy

In 59 B. C. during the time of Caesar a colony was established on the banks of River Arno, where retired servicemen and legionnaires were housed. It was called Colonia Florentia, meaning the "blossoming colony". In the next 200 years Florence developed and grew into an important trading centre as it was connected to all the important cities of the then province of Etruria and was situated on Via Cassia that ran from Rome to Florence to Lucca. And the presence of River Arno also made sea routes possible through the Mediterranean. In fact it was through the sea route that Christianity first came to Florence through Eastern tradesmen.

After A.D. 300, Christianity started spreading rapidly and the 4th century saw the construction of the first two Christian churches: San Lorenzo and Santa Felicita.