Florence—Firenze in Italian—was the birthplace of the Renaissance. To walk its streets today is to tread in the footsteps of the last seven centuries of history and culture. The capital of Tuscany, Florence is truly the heart of Europe.
The city of Dante, Fra Angelico, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and the colorful Medici dynasty enchants visitors with its cobbled streets and medieval structures. The Uffizi Gallery houses some of the most magnificent works of art in the world.
In Florence, the past and present come together. From the leisurely lunches in trattorias to the evening passeggiata (open-air stroll), the city bursts with la dolce vita, “the sweet life.”
The French writer Stendhal was so dizzied by the beauty of Florence that he became faint, a reaction now known as “Stendhal’s Syndrome.” He put it this way:
I was in a sort of ecstasy from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty… I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations. Everything spoke so vividly to my soul… Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.