Florence (Firenze):

  • is a compact, metropolitan city of 500,000 people
  • is the birthplace of the Renaissance
  • is one of the most walkable cities in Italy (most important sites are within 1/2-hour walking distance of the Duomo)
  • draws visitors from all over the world
  • has a history rich with intrigue, adventure, and centuries of incredible patronage of the arts (can we say “Medici”?)
  • has an equally rich “present,” — with cafes, clubs, shops and cinemas
  • is centrally located for day trips to other Tuscan hill towns and city centers
  • is home to Michelangelo’s David, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi as well as works by Caravaggio, Giotto, Rembrandt and Raphael
  • has a cuisine characterized by simple preparations of abundant produce, mellow cheeses, grilled meats and a fascination for beans