Florence is a captivating Italian locale that Mark Twain once described as a “city of dreams.” With its abundance of timeless art, rustic Tuscan cuisine, incredible boutique shopping, and mesmerizing views at every turn, the city of Florence is nothing short of spectacular. Known worldwide as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence embodies the spirit of ancient Italy and has managed to preserve it for nearly 700 years. With over 350,000 who call the city home, and nearly 1.5 million who reside in its surrounding metropolitan area, Florence skillfully fuses the past with the present, creating a unique time capsule of ancient aesthetics housed within a hustling, bustling world of modern day Italy.
Containing a wealth of preserved artistic and architectural masterpieces, the city is home to almost one-third of the world’s artistic treasures, according to UNESCO, an organization which designates world heritage sites to preserve the world’s most important cultural locations and artifacts. With a near countless number of art galleries and over 45 museums – including the Uffizi gallery, the world’s best collection of Italian Renaissance art, and the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to the legendary statue of David – it is no wonder why the city captures the hearts and imaginations of all who visit. From the ancient churches and stunning buildings that line the city streets to the priceless artistic masterpieces created by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Giotto housed within Florence’s galleries, the city is bursting with art and culture. Florence’s influence can be felt in more than just the world of art. The capital of the region of Tuscany, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian language. It was famed Italian author Dante Alighieri and other writers such as Boccaccio and Petrarca who were the first to begin writing in a language other than Latin. Florence was also the first city in all of Europe to have paved streets. With its rich history and incomparable influence on modern Italian life, Florence certainly changed the way that most view Italy.