Florence is the title of a song from Notre-Dame de Paris , written by Luc Plamondon and set to music by Richard Cocciante . The original version is performed by Bruno Pelletier (in the role of Gringoire) and Daniel Lavoie (Archdeacon Frollo). It discusses the changes of the end of the Renaissance , especially the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus .

Position in the work

This song opens Act II of the musical. It establishes a transition by placing in suspense the progress of the action. The scene establishes a dialogue between Frollo and Gringoire, the first asking the second to inform him about the scientific and literary evolutions of the time. This dialogue, however, takes a prophetic turn by announcing the main changes that will take place during the rebellious renaissance.


The song alternates purely contemporary themes with history and those “to come”, including:

  • to the city of Florence , a high-rise place of the Renaissance at the time, especially under the leadership of Como de Medici ;
  • to Bramante , painter architect and protector of famous Raphael ;
  • to the Italian poet Dante , and in particular to his work The Divine Comedy ;
  • the geocentric theories of Copernicus and Galileo ;
  • the discovery of America by the Venetian Christophe Colomb ;
  • the invention of printing by Gutenberg ;
  • to the German city of Nuremberg , the center of the diffusion of knowledge by the printing press;
  • to Martin Luther , and his translation of the New Testament .