Florence, the capital of the Tuscan region of Italy, is found on the country’s north-west coast. The central train station, called the Santa Maria Novella, can be a good reference point for traveling throughout Florence. Another good reference point could be the famous dome of the cathedral also known as Duomo. It compliments the city’s sky line with its combined style of both Gothic and Romanesque influence.
Florence’s historical and cultural effect on the rest of the country is fascinating. Florence was once a major contributor to the political and thus cultural evolution of Europe and its well preserved buildings, galleries, and churches illustrate the late-medieval atmosphere that once unleashed the influence of the Renaissance.
This city’s brilliantly rich culture can be traced to its past. The Medici family of Florence can be traced back to the end of the 12th century and are famous throughout Florence as they are the ones who established great wealth and political power in the 13th century. This family played an instrumental part in the renaissance development in Florence. Today the family crest of six balls can be found on many of the public buildings throughout Florence.
Florence is a city of little sensation. Rarely will you find news about it in national headlines. It maintains a quiet yet dignified profile as a regional capital content to cater to its countless number of tourists but otherwise going about its own business in its own world of churches, art, cafes, small restaurants, and many other low key attractions rich in culture and history. Florence is a great place to study Italian for those who are not interested in a hustle and bustle, adrenaline rush kind of atmosphere, but for those who prefer the laid back and relaxing activities of museum visiting, picture taking, architecture appreciating, coffee sipping, and food sampling entailed in a relaxing and low key vacation.