Firenze or Florence, whose hot summers are cooled by gentle breezes borne by the river Arno, is the capital of Tuscany. What is known in its Western history books as the Renaissance is closely associated with the artists and artisans that this city’s patricians supported and encouraged. Although centuries have passed since Da Vinci, Dante, and Michelangelo worked here the natural beauty of the Arno capital and its entrepreneurial traditions maintain Firenze’s international importance.
If one can wade through the swarms of undergraduate students who fill the city for summer semesters at one of the many branch offices of foreign universities, then one can still feel the energy which Tuscans generate. Like in any ancient Italian municipality there are lots of historical artifacts, not to mention churches. However unlike Rome and Milan, the essential character is not only preserved but compact, even intimate.