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  Florence, Italy


 It is no secret that Florence, Italy is a city rich in art history and architectural jewels. Located in the Tuscany region, Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the number-one tourist destination for many travelers. From Michelangelo’s statue of David to the tomb of Galileo Galilei, art appreciators and academics from all over the world visit this city every year to take part in the endless offerings.

 While the city boasts a population of about 369,000 residents, millions of tourists outnumber the locals from April through October each year. Perhaps this is because Florence is known as the “birthplace of the Renaissance” and has been home to notable residents such as Dante Alighieri, Sandro Botticeli, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Gucci Gucci, Amerigo Vespucci, Rafael, Florence Nightingale, Niccolò Machiavelli and the Medici family. Some visitors choose to see da Vinci’s famous “The Annunciation” or Caravaggio’s “Medusa” at the Uffizi gallery. Others might instead walk to the Piazza del Tuomo, which is located in the center of the city and is the location of the Florence Cathedral and the Mudeo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral). Additionally, there are plenty of palaces, museums, galleries, parks, villas and churches that would please any photo enthusiast.

 Originally established as a settlement for Julius Caesar’s soldiers in 59 BC, Florence was originally called Florentia (“the flourishing”). By the mid-1400’s, the Medici family had seized control of the city. Having been bankers to the pope, the family rose to power quickly. Lorenzo Medici, a huge supporter of the arts, commissioned works by Michelangelo, Botticelli and da Vinci. The Medici also commissioned a philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli, to write a history of the city entitled the “Florentine Histories.” By the 20th century, factors such as tourism and trade had contributed to the tripling of Florence's population. This fertile history has contributed to the breathtaking religious buildings and art that visitors regularly come to see.

 Today, Florence is a center of production for Italy. The city produces goods such as furniture, chemicals and food, as well as local products such as jewelry, antiques, handicrafts, glassware and souvenirs. Wine from Florence, in particular, is an important source of income for the economy of Tuscany. Activities like theatrical productions, art exhibitions, fashion shows, fairs and festivals are very common. Travelers look forward to seeing landmarks like the Florence Baptistery for its mosaics, the Basilica of San Lorenzo for its funerary monuments and the medieval churches for their frescoes.


 The fact that the most popular time of year for visitors is between August and October may stem from Florence's Mediterranean climate. The humid summers sometimes border upon subtropical, and the winters are rainy and cool.

 For tourists looking for a nearly-limitless supply of impressive things to see and do, Florence is a cultural land mine. Having been home to many shifts in culture that impacted the entire western world, it's no wonder that this is one of the top-rated cities for travelers. 

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