As the Tour gets under way, it’s well worth remembering that Florence was the capital of the French department of Arno during the Napoleonic era, between 1808 and 1814. Leonardo da Vinci also figured significantly within the city’s history. He may well have invented the bicycle, although experts are still debating that possibility. The capital of Tuscany definitely featured on the map of the first Giro in 1909, though, as the finale of a stage won by the race’s eventual victor, Luigi Ganna. Much more recently, the World Championships were held here in 2013, when the road race was won by Rui Costa and Tony Martin claimed the time trial title, while Mathieu Van der Poel beat Mads Pedersen in the junior category.
- First-time stage town
- Capital of the Tuscany region
- Population: 382,500 (Florentines)
- Region of west-central Italy
- Surface area: 22,987km2
- Population: 3,740,000 (Tuscans)