Florence is the capital ofTuscany, a city of art and joie de vivre.
With its magnificent tower, the Palazzo Vecchio is a communal palace that has been the city's political centre since the beginning of the 14th century. Originally, it was the seat of the city's Republican rulers but soon afterwards the MEDICI dynasty settled there, the cleverest and most powerful of the handful of families that ruled over the city.
In front of the palace's facade there is a double life-sized statue that is a copy of Michelangelo's, 'David'. In the Gallerie dell' Accademia, there are several further sculptures by the great artist that idealized and glorified the strength of the Renaissance people.
The three-sided Gothic cathedral and the Campanile are tightly packed into the city center's Cathedral Square and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a replica of St. Peters in Rome and the Cathedral of Milan.
The bronze 'Tower To Paradise' adorns the city's most sacred building, the Battistero, its mighty inner-dome, in Byzantine style, being supported by strong Roman columns while, in a gigantic mosaic, Christ the 'Judge of the World' features alongside angels and battles with the devil.
Basilica di San Lorenzo was the Medici's cathedral and one of the earliest creations of the Florentine Renaissance. To make way for it, an entire section of the city was torn down, a process that cost the Medici a large sum of money.
Close to the Holy Antonius Cloister, there is now a monastery and a museum where there are striking frescos by the artist Monk, Fra Angelico, several of which are on view in the monastery and its surrounding buildings.
It could be said that the world obtained its taste for culture from Florence, a city in which art and culture unite in beautiful completion.