Surrounded by farms, vineyards, villas and orchards, Florence sits as the capital city of Tuscany right in the heart of Italy. Once called the “Athens of the Middle Ages”, Florence was the birthplace of Renaissance and existed as the center of medieval trade and finance. In modern day, however, Florence is one of the top 15 fashion capitals of the world, and even it’s buildings stand as works of art. The Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, has endured the test of time and is a symbol of the great engineering achievements of the european middle ages. Florence is also home to the Cathedral, which is topped by the famous Duomo which can be seen across any view of Florence. Finally, Florence is perhaps best known because of the great people who have settled there. Many great artists, namely Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Dante have all called Florence home and have made significant contributions to the city’s art collections. Political theorist Machiavelli, as well as the astronomer Galileo both came from Florence. And perhaps most famously, the Medici family, which ruled the city for generations and whose palace still stands for visitors to catch a glimpse.