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Welcome to City of Florence
Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Politically, economically, and culturally it was just about the most important city in Europe for something approaching 250 years - from sometime before 1300 until the early 1500s.
Florentines reinvented money - in the form of the gold florin - which was the engine that drove Europe out of the "Dark Ages" a term invented by Petrarch, from Arezzo. They financed the development of industry all over Europe - from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon, to Hungary. They financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War. They financed the papacy, including the construction of Avignon and the reconstruction of Rome when the papacy returned from the "Babylonian captivity".
Features Rated by Florence Locals
Most of the major tourist sights in Florence are within easy walking distance of each other. It is possible to walk from one end of the historic center of Florence to the other - North-South or East-West in a half hour. Walking is not only an easy way to get around, it also offers the chance to 'take in' much more of the city life. Be warned though, that electric motor scooters are small enough to fit where cars cannot. They are silent but quick and in the summer they often times travel into the plazas. Some of the streets in central Florence are closed off to traffic, and many more are simply too narrow for buses to get through. Therefor, bus and car tours are not recommended. This is a very small, very compact city that really needs to be seen by foot. And, of course, if you need to, you can always buy a new pair of shoes in Florence.